Tag Archives: Denmark

Could electronic agents improve customer experience in a cafe?

Script is a stereotyped sequence of activities. A good example of the script is for restaurant dining. We are greeted by a server who guides to a table, we receive a menu from a server, and the server takes our orders. Drinks arrive first and then meals arrive later. When we finish meals, we pay the bill at the cashier and leave the restaurant.

Marketers and designers use scripts to improve customer experience. We often assume the fewer activities customers perform in the restaurant, the more they are satisfied. Therefore, we hire more part-time servers. Alternatively, we try to design an unmanned store by installing vending machines or robots to automatize in-store activities.

Different from our assumptions, however, restaurant customers could be happy about doing everything by themselves. I found this when I met a friend at one of the Rainmaking cafe in Copenhagen, Denmark. Rainmaking is a corporate innovation and venture development firm.

When I entered the cafe, a refrigerator greeted me. No one was inside. I soon realized I should do everything by myself in this cafe. I picked up a beverage, paid it using my mobile phone, grabbed a table with my friend, and then cleaned up the table when leaving.

The whole experience did not bother me much but was quite pleasant. Everyone else seemed to follow this rule. This self-service cafe could be an alternative to automatization. Although many owners want vending machines or robots to make their stores unmanned or intact, not few customers are willing to perform in-store activities themselves.

Patricia M. West, Dan Ariely, Steve Bellman, Eric Bradlow, Joel Huber, Eric Johnson, … David Schkade. (1999). Agents to the Rescue? Marketing Letters, 10(3), 285–300.

The advent of electronic environments is bound to have profound effects on consumer decision making. While the exact nature of these influences is only partially known it is clear that consumers could benefit from properly designed electronic agents that know individual users preferences and can act on their behalf. An examination of the variousroles agents perform is presented as a framework for thinking about the design of electronic agents. In addition, a set of goals is established that include both outcome-based measures, such as improving decision quality, as well as process measures like increasing satisfaction and developing trust.

A surprising ride at Legoland

Lighthouse is a ride in Legoland Billund, Denmark. It looks like a small-sized drop tower exclusively designed for kids or even toddlers. I expected young riders would experience free-fall initially, followed by modest deceleration.



Surprisingly, it is not a drop tower. Instead, riders need to pull the rope until they hit the top. Legoland website explains it.

Children gain insight into themselves when they hoist themselves up by their own strength to the LEGO® Lighthouse Keeper and the spectacular view of Pirate Land and Pirate Island. Climbing down again is also fun – and a little challenging.


Many European riders actually enjoyed this labor intensive, manual ride. It is a stack contrast with electronically powered, automatic drop towers in Korea. Their difference seems to be in line with the different train ticket system between UK and Korea. Europeans seem to embrace and enjoy manual labor, whereas Asians tend to avoid it.





Is Iron Man banned in Denmark?

There is a Ninjago World at the Legoland in Denmark. In front of a flying dragon brick, I met an unfamiliar sign.



At first, I questioned why Lego hates Marvel so that pushing hand out like Iron Man was banned. Very soon, I realized it means “do not touch.” Later, I found the same sign at a construction site in downtown. It says “No entry for unauthorized people (Adgang forbudt for uvedkommende).”



Are these dynamic signs more effective than static ones? According to marketing research, people pay more attention to road signs when they are dynamic. We may need more “Iron Men” signs on the road.

Cian, L., Krishna, A., & Elder, R. S. (2015). A Sign of Things to Come: Behavioral Change through Dynamic Iconography. Journal of Consumer Research, 41(6), 1426–1446.

We propose that features of static visuals can lead to perceived movement (via dynamic imagery) and prepare the observer for action. We operationalize our research within the context of warning sign icons and show how subtle differences in iconography can affect human behavioral response. Across five studies incorporating multiple methodologies and technologies (click-data heat maps, driving simulations, surveys, reaction time, and eye tracking), we show that warning sign icons that evoke more (vs. less) perceived movement lead to a quicker propensity to act because they suggest greater risk to oneself or others and increase attentional vigilance. Icons used in our studies include children crossing signs near schools, wet floor signs in store settings, and shopping cart crossings near malls. Our findings highlight the importance of incorporating dynamic elements into icon design to promote imagery and thereby elicit desired and responsible consumer behavior.