COVID-19 has changed everything for business and government leaders in the blink of an eye. Still, despite the challenges and concerns that coronavirus has brought to world markets, innovation continues to thrive and forward-thinking firms continue to find ways to adapt to rising economic and geopolitical uncertainty. As ever, some of the most interesting case studies come from the world of small business and medium-sized business, where scrappy entrepreneurs and organizations continue to pioneer clever workarounds and solutions.
Case in point: Las Vegas’ award-winning Mob Museum has been a hit with audiences in Sin City since 2012 and was recently named one of the best museums in America. (Those other guys? Fuggedaboutit!) But despite boasting its own basement speakeasy and moonshine distillery, and offering visitors access to an unprecedented array of exhibitions and interactive experiences themed around some of the notorious organized crime figures in history? Around the time the global pandemic was first starting to pop off, it was looking for already clever and cost-effective way to engage both visitors and long-distance audiences, and stay top of mind wherever they traveled.
To create online and long-distance ways to connect with travelers, it leveraged facial recognition technology to create a cutting-edge mobile app that not only provided guides to exhibit tours, maps, quizzes and mini-games, but also allows users to snap selfies and identify notorious mob bosses and underworld figures whose images they most resemble. (Culled from a database of over 800 of the most infamous criminals and storied lawmen in history.) This “Doppelgangster” feature – which let you share pictures of your criminal twin online with friends or via social networks – quickly generated loads of media coverage, and racked up thousands of downloads from users in over 40 countries. Cleverly, the museum is also using the app’s back-end content delivery and analytics capabilities to offer users new content and see what resonates – and then adjust and update on-site exhibits, promotional campaigns, and museum programming in turn based on users’ preferences.
It’s one of the more clever and entertaining examples of forward-thinking adaptation we’ve seen lately – and just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to coronavirus-related business innovations.