IDEAS built an innovative new product for the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau called the PMVB Enculturation Toolkit. The PMVB is in a very unique position as they represent not a single company or even one town’s organization. The region they cover is 2,400 square miles, filled with a variety of resorts, attractions, and mountain activities that their guests can enjoy. So how do you generate and deliver on a brand promise when you’re making that promise on behalf of so many disparate groups?
The answer lies in understanding the culture of a place, listening to the lore, traditions, and collective experience of the people who make up the Pocono Mountains region. IDEAS started by facilitating a StoryJam™ which uncovers the core story as the foundation for the brand initiative. Next was creating a new discipline called “Culture Mapping and Enculturation” that does just that. By understanding the people who must deliver on the service level pledged by the brand initiative, the PMVB Enculturation Toolkit can speak in the language and cultural hallmarks that make the Pocono Mountains unique and special.
Armed with the knowledge of who the Pocono Mountain people are and how they communicate and learn, along with the core story, IDEAS was able to organize and facilitate the learning of employees new to the area so that everyone who works in the Pocono Mountains can agree on a certain level of customer service and hospitality. This was done via the use of story and characters that carry the learners on a journey through the sort of hospitality and daily living inherent to life in the Pocono Mountains. This is the 21st century equivalent of sharing stories around the campfire.
In addition to an understanding of regional policy, learners also have the opportunity to get to know the vast expanse that is the Pocono Mountains region, and what it has to offer. A major challenge to regional unity for the PMVB is the picturesque landscape itself, and its circuitous roads. The Pocono Mountains Treasure Hunt is a way finding game that IDEAS built from scratch that orients the learner with respect to the region and teaches not only what is available, but also how to get there .