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Idea #5: Design your own bar

One major trend to come out of this age of consumer choice explosion is mass customisation, or the ‘design your own’ phenomenon. Consumers now expect to be able to design everything from their own coffee at Starbucks to their own Aston Martin and branded Nike trainers online. While you’re on why not also design some clothes for your dog or design your own hat and choose a granny to knit it?

Why not design your own baby?

May as well put a few ads on there...

May as well put a few ads on there...

Web 2.0 has obviously played a big part in this, allowing users to quickly and easily create their designs via structured online interfaces. The problem is that if you do actually go outside once in a while – as I try to keep in the habit of doing – most of the real world isn’t like this. Not yet. If you want to go to a bar you have to look around to find one you like – you can’t design your own to suit your preferences. But hark!

Enter a tremendous idea:

Idea #5 – Create a business that allows people to design their own bar, club, party or meeting room.

Here’s how:

  1. Get a big building somewhere, preferably centrally located.
  2. Each floor has function rooms of different sizes.
  3. Create a flashy website featuring a virtual 3D model of the building, and individual function rooms.
  4. Using a nice set of user-friendly features and graphics based tools they can then design their chosen room however they want.

Here are some features that you could offer to enable users to customise the room and create their own personal design

Lighting
  • Various pre-set style packages – disco, rave, romantic, meeting
  • Customisable – set the colours of the lights and create your own lighting sequences
Wall projections
  • Standard = advertisements (extra revenue for the business)
  • Pay extra to choose from static projections (e.g. art, photographs)
  • Pay extra to upload your own slideshow or video

The display on the website could look something like this:

Virtual Swedish Embassy in Second Life

Virtual Swedish Embassy in Second Life

Furniture
  • Drag and drop interface on the website – choose different items of furniture and put them wherever you want.
  • Items include: tables, chairs, sofas, beds, decorations, smoke machines, kareoke machines, band/DJ equipment.

I have something like this in mind for the website:

The Sims 3 Ultra Lounge Kit

The Sims 3 Ultra Lounge Kit

Music
  • Standard = sponsored link to various internet radio channels (e.g. LastFM)
  • Pay extra to upload your own playlist to the website.
Food and drinks
  • Design your own menu.
  • Pay for it and make it free for your guests, or…
  • …pay for it and set the prices that you will sell it to your guests.
Invitations and advertising
  • Free invites to friends via all the usual channels (email, social networks etc.)
  • Advertising packages offered – on the Design Your Own Bar website, via¬†Design Your Own Bar email newsletter.

Simple as that. You fit out the building with easily moveable/customisable furniture, your staff get the fun job of decorating the rooms as per the online orders and your customers get to design their perfect hang-out at home during the day, and party in it with their friends in the evening.

Allowing customers to charge for entry/food/drinks would also open up interesting possibilities. It could be similar to the Cafe Press model – design it yourself, then use it yourself or sell it on.

I reckon this idea is just nice and ripe, but I haven’t seen anything similar fall off the tree of entrepreneurship as of yet. If you’ve got the time, energy and money go and pick it!

If not, there’ll be plenty more original ideas like this sprouting from my bonce in the near future, so if you’re a fan of that, a fan this tree metaphor, or even just a fan of the word ‘bonce’, why don’t you subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss a trick?

7 comments to Idea #5: Design your own bar

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