Transforming Customer Experience with Carnival’s John Padgett

Transforming Customer Experience with Carnival’s John Padgett

John Padgett

John Padgett is a leader in transforming customer experience with technology. He is the Chief Experience Innovation Officer at Carnival Corporation—the operator of cruise lines like Princess Cruises, Holland America, Seabourn, and more—where he leads a team with diverse skills to create game-changing guest experiences.

A key player in the development of Disney’s MyMagic+ technology—which led to a $1 billion investment in technology infrastructure at Walt Disney World in Orlando—and Ocean Medallion—the first-of-its-kind wearable device that creates an interactive guest experience—John has 31 patent registrations and 92 trademarks to his credit. He has also won multiple innovation awards for wearable devices, experience itinerary scheduling, and optimization, digital experience interaction platforms, and operational processes.

Learn how innovative technology can dramatically improve customer experience with @JohnPadgett_, Chief Experience and Innovation Officer at Carnival Corporation. #customerexperience #innovation #CX Click To Tweet

In this episode, John shares how innovative technology can significantly improve customer experience, as well as the possibilities of applying similar technology in the broader world. Listen in to learn what companies should all keep in mind about keeping clients happy, the most important thing about any customer interaction, and what it really takes to create a frictionless experience.

If you enjoy the show, please drop by iTunes and leave a review while you are feeling the love! Reviews help others discover this podcast and I greatly appreciate them!

Listen in:

On Today’s Episode We’ll Learn:

  • What’s always most important when it comes to guest experience.
  • John’s general rule of thumb about technology, automation, and keeping guests happy.
  • How Disney’s MyMagic+ technology transformed the way guests experienced Disney World.
  • What usually becomes the biggest challenge with creating a frictionless experience.
  • A common myth about senior demographics and technology.
  • The formula for maximizing guest experience.
  • How the Ocean Medallion created personalization at scale in a way that had never been done before.
  • Ways that similar technology could be applied to major hospital operations.
  • The possibilities and challenges of applying this technology in the broader world.

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Full Episode Transcript:

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Welcome to Brainfluence Podcast with Roger Dooley. Author, speaker, and educator on neural marketing and the psychology of persuasion. Every week we talk with thought leaders that will help you improve your influence with factual evidence and concrete research. Introducing your host, Roger Dooley.

Roger Dooley:    Welcome to the Brainfluence podcast. I’m Roger Dooley. I’m super excited to bring you this week’s guest. John Padgett is a leader in transforming customer experience with technology. He was a key player in the development of Disney’s MyMagic+ technology, which led to a billion dollar investment in technology infrastructure at Walt Disney World in Orlando. This is the biggest capital expenditure in Disney’s history, but it led to greatly reduced wait times, quick reactions to traffic flow patterns, entirely new revenue sources, and an overall better customer experience.

Now, John is the Chief Experience Innovation Officer at Carnival Corporation, the operator of cruise lines like Princess, Cunard, Holland American, Seaborn and more. John has 31 patent registrations and 92 trademarks to his credit. John, welcome to the show.

John Padgett:     Thank you. I appreciate being here.

Roger Dooley:    John, you joined Disney back in 1996 with a finance degree and an MBA from Virginia Tech. That wasn’t that long after you finished off your business degree. How did a finance guy end up in one of the biggest tech projects ever?

John Padgett:     Well, it just turned out that my early career at Disney was in business planning and strategy. And I had the opportunity to work on all different aspects of the Walt Disney World Enterprise, ranging from the travel industry marketing and sales to consumer marketing, the reservations, ultimately into facilities and engineering, and ultimately into technology and experience development. And so it just turned out that my career path had led to kind of a jack of all trades orientation, holistically focused on the guest experience, which Disney was so great at doing. And that allowed me to understand both the business drivers of creating great guest experiences, but also how you conduct your operations in ways that can facilitate frictionless experiences through which maximized the guest experience.

Roger Dooley:    How did the My Magic idea evolve? I assume there was some kind of initial vision, but undoubtedly, once you got into it and started actually building stuff and trying stuff, new ideas popped up and some of the initial ideas maybe didn’t prove to be quite so workable.

John Padgett:     Well, it was actually grounded, believe it or not, in the fundamental business model of Disney World and the way attractions are built and developed and resorts are built and developed when a destination is being progressed year after year. Jay Rasulo, who was the chairman at the time, had asked me for a perspective on a growth strategy for Disney World. And he gave myself and a small group of players this special assignment to go off for about eight weeks and study that question. And to that date, how the destination grew was adding attractions across the various theme parks and resorts across the various theme parks year after year. So there was a mindset that you always needed to create more to do, what I would call more what.

And when we were thinking about this for weeks, I ultimately came up with the hypothesis that it wasn’t about the what, it was about the how, that Disney World had more what than a guest could experience for a year if they experienced a theme park and resort almost every single day of that year. But if we changed how a guest experienced the what, they could consume many more experiences, leave with a higher guest satisfaction, a higher intent to return, and ultimately have a higher perceived value for their overall vacation. It was really rooted, my focus on eliminating friction from guest experiences, was really rooted in a business strategy of getting Walt Disney World guests in a position where they could consume more experiences to grow the business.

Roger Dooley:    Were there any sort of, as you started to visualize the technology that would produce that better guest experience and allow them to experience more, were there any fits and starts in that, things that popped up as being really surprisingly good ideas or things that didn’t work?

John Padgett:     Well, I’m sure there were actually many. But I’d like to ground and our focus was when we decided to create a frictionless guest experience, the discussion was not actually around the technology itself. It was around the value of creating a frictionless experience and what that meant about how to reengineer and rethink the touchpoints of a guest all the way from their home all the way through their travel experience, the transportation, the resort, their engagement with the main entrances of the theme parks, throughout the theme parks, the attractions, FastPass+, food and beverage, entry into the resorts and their staterooms and resort rooms. So all those things were contemplated. And then we would imagine what it would take to accomplish that strategy. And that ultimately was the innovation that turned out to be the MagicBand. We didn’t set out to create a wearable. In fact, the category of wearable didn’t even exist. The iPhone was just being released, we were all still carrying around Blackberries. And so the notion of a wearable being the MagicBand to connect your entire vacation experience to eliminate hotel key cards, vouchers, theme park tickets, food and beverage coupons, and on and on, all these different media that a normal family would require 14 to 20 pieces of individual pieces of paper to execute an entire vacation experience, we said that’s crazy, we need to simplify it down.

And so that became the MagicBand. But the strategy was to create a frictionless experience, not create a wearable. The wearable was the facilitator of that.

Roger Dooley:    So it was entirely possible when you started thinking about it that more humans was the answer.

John Padgett:     It could have been, could have been.

Roger Dooley:    That’s great. Once you sort of crystallized on the concept, how do you tell the CEO or board of directors that you wanna spend a billion dollars on wires and gear that nobody’s really going to see? I’m assuming that the same amount of money could create some pretty amazing attractions or maybe put even a down payment on a new park or something. That had to be a little bit of a tough sell.

John Padgett:     Well, I think that you’re diving right into the dilemma of innovation and change. Because most organizations get into trouble, and then think about innovation to get themselves out of trouble and back on a growth curve. At Disney World, we were convincing with senior leadership and ultimately the board that we needed to take something that was not broken at all, in fact was arguably the highest level of a seamless guest experience that ultimately existed to that day, and we could take it to another level and we needed to proactively take it to another level before you even experienced a challenge. And you’re exactly right, the opportunity cost of a billion dollars is a couple of attractions, a couple of resorts. And when you think about that, would it have been safer at the time to just continue the current business model and invest in more what.

But when you looked at the numbers associated with changing how the guest could consume everything that you already had across the 50 square mile property, four theme parks, two water parks, I think at the time 25 resorts, and entire transportation system, making a very small difference in that kind of friction coefficient to allowing guests to consume more, so profoundly changed guests’ intent to return and perceived value, is it made just a ton of sense.

And all that ties back to understanding the drivers of innovation. I like to say that innovation is not a strategy. A business strategy is the strategy, and innovation is a method of achieving that strategy if that strategy is ultimately intended to provide excess returns. Because if it was easy, it would have already been done.

Roger Dooley:    Once you got the go ahead and then you began construction, how do you introduce something like that? It seems like a whole lot of stuff would have to work well on day one or work perfectly on day one, and if it wasn’t, you’d have potentially disaster on your hands. How did you introduce it and then scale the rollout?

John Padgett:     Well, it’s a such a great question in the sense of when you’re doing something like the MagicBand that is intended to affect everyone that stayed on that entire property, so you’re talking about millions of guests a year even in it’s first year in rollout, you have to be very thoughtful, and you have to have pressure tested yourself and pushed things to an extreme level of excellence. Because even at that level of excellence, you’re gonna have unanticipated consequences, unintended things will happen that you didn’t expect, and that gives you the ability to deal and adjust and flex along the way. So that feels risky when you go down and you mess with the core interaction with the guest.

But the corresponding benefit of attacking that core interaction with the guest is it becomes ubiquitous across your entire experience. The leverage and scale works on both dimensions. It’s a higher risk, but it’s a higher return. And ultimately when seeking any change strategy, especially at that scale, you have to anticipate some challenges. People like to believe that the tech always works. Tech hardly ever works, especially first of a kind, best of breed-type technology dealing with connecting humans into an overall ecosystem. And that’s where you have to go back and focus on what’s always most important in a guest experience is the interaction between the guest and your team member, in the case of Disney, their cast members, in the case of our team members here at Carnival Corporation and all of our brands, their crew members. But it’s that human interaction between the guest and the crew member or the guest and the cast member that ultimately creates the most personalized experience. And that’s what we were focused on. Technology is an enabler of an experience. It is not the experience. And we always keep an eye on that. And that creates a natural hedge against challenges that you may stumble across when you’re rolling out new tech.

Roger Dooley:    Now that the technology has more or less fully rolled out, I’m sure there’s still new things going on, but how did it change the customer experience? In other words, the typical guest at a park, what changed for them and how did it change for the better?

John Padgett:     Well, in so many ways. It’s first, with respect to MyMagic+, the guest receives their MagicBand at home through an out of box experience. And that changes the guest perception of when their overall vacation experience started, which gives them more value for the overall vacation because it extended longer. No longer is the guest home just a center of planning. It is the initiation of the guest experience, something very personalized to them because they receive their MagicBand, their name’s on the MagicBand, it’s a magnificent experience.

Roger Dooley:    That’s great. There’s actually research that shows that the anticipation of a vacation is a super important part of the whole experience, and sometimes better than the vacation itself.

John Padgett:     Well, exactly, because that’s where you’re anticipating, you’re dreaming, you’re excited, and it’s all upside. You haven’t incurred any of the hassles and frustrations that may occur, which is our goal, both at that time at Disney, and now at Carnival, to make sure that we minimize any hassles and frustrations. But to continue the answer to your question is that same MagicBand, once you arrive at the airport, would facilitate your access to your transportation, which was Disney Magical Express. Disney’s Magical Express was actually created to eliminate overall friction, travel friction and hassle from the transportation between the airport and the resort. When guests would arrive at the resort, their MagicBand’s already associated to them, making access to their room seamless and a bit of an experience because of the way the LED Mickey Lights flash and people get excited.

The same MagicBand also provides access to the main entrance of a theme park, which was ultimately made frictionless by eliminating the turnstiles. And then access to all the attractions and payment, all with the same interaction. And whereas it sounds easy, you’re just in those few sentences you described a transportation system, you described a hotel system and a resort system, a theme park access ticketing system, individual attractions queuing and scheduling, food and beverage transactions, and other payment transactions just in that few short sentences talking about the magnitude of unifying the guest access through a frictionless experience.

The essence is in the operations transformation to align with a new interaction becomes typically your biggest challenge because that’s when you’re dealing with the change management of people and process in context of an operation.

Roger Dooley:    I think you slipped in something important there too. The use of the technology or the whole experience extends beyond the park itself to the airport and right at the luggage claim presumably. That’s an area that would not normally be under the control of the theme park operator, but you’ve managed to work that out. I think going outside the super controlled environment of the park is an interesting thing.

John Padgett:     I think it’s very important for anyone that is staging experiences or creating vacation experiences that the consumer’s perspective is, “I’m going on a theme park, I’m going to Disney World,” or, “I’m going on a Princess Cruise.” And everything that occurs during that vacation is attributable to that particular brand which is the overall driver of your vacation experience. In the world of outsourcing, some travel providers tend to allow their brand to shrink within and just be a component of the vacation and then allow different parts of the experience to be operated by different people with different tolerances for personalization and friction. We take a counter view to that is it doesn’t matter who operates the component of the overall vacation. The consumer’s view is it is a total vacation. So holistically thinking about the guest ultimately requires you to break out of what is tightly defined as your operation to embrace the entire travel experience, the whole vacation arc, and then work on behalf of the consumer to make that excellent for them. Because that perception is gonna influence their intent to return whether that friction was associated with the transportation or your resort.

Roger Dooley:    Right. I think that kind of takes us to the cruise space where often cruise lines will arrange for air travel, they’ll arrange for transfers from the airport and so on, which does make things more seamless. Now the quality of experience varies between the lines and of course depending on one’s budget. But I think that you could argue that cruises are one of the most seamless travel experiences or vacation experiences that you can have, certainly a theme park like Disney World is. But on a cruise ship you’re visiting various interesting ports perhaps without having to pack and unpack as you would on any other form of travel. And so that is already a really smooth experience, but once again, as you mentioned in your intro, John, there’s room to make that even more seamless.

John Padgett:     There is no doubt about it. The thing that is very, very special about a cruise vacation is they say you unpack once and you visit many countries and you sleep in the same bed every single night so it’s very comfortable. But when I think about a cruise vacation, what we really are is a method by which you can experience over just within the Carnival Corporation umbrella of brands we have over 100 ships visiting over 740 destinations around the world. It is a challenge now to take what people can generally conceive you can do within a berm or within a closed ecosystem of a resort theme park destination and take that out into the world while simultaneously having the advantages of a theme park inside the berm because the ship is this self autonomous city which allows us to connect guests horizontally across every single experience whether it is retail, whether it’s recreation, whether it’s entertainment, whether it’s transportation, excursions, all of which to create a more personalized experience and eliminate that friction even more. And whereas many people like to look at the individual elements of a vacation experience, horizontally transition from experience to experience being more personal and without that friction. And we think the cruise space is an amazing way to do that and do it in a world that is authentic with true experiences that connect people and places and culture around the world. Super excited about it.

Roger Dooley:    I want you to talk a little bit about what the Ocean Medallion can do both on the ship and then the one thing I’m kind of interested about, it must be kind of a nightmare for the captain of a cruise ship that has a very specific schedule for docking and sailing and getting from one port to the next port and so on to show up at a port and then discharge a few thousand people into a strange city where they may not speak the language and then get 100% of them back on board at the specified time so that the ship can sail and go to the next place. And I’ve been on quite a few cruises, and every now and then that doesn’t quite work. There are giant traffic jams on the way to the port or various other kinds of untoward circumstances. Why don’t you explain how the Medallion might work on the ship and then if that can be extended off the ship as well.

John Padgett:     Think about it in parallel to the MagicBand at a different level. The MagicBand, what I would argue probably most successful wearable of all time even though it’s not classified as a wearable and it’s not necessarily sold as a wearable, it ubiquitously embraced by a huge population of people whether they’re three years old or 93 years old, everyone loved it, everyone transformed because it was great for them. When you benefit the guest experience, people will change immediately if it’s good for them. But eliminating friction became the new normal for us and that was the baseline. The Ocean Medallion we’ve created with Carnival Corporation is about number one, eliminate that friction, but number two, take the value up by creating personalization at scale in a way that had never been done before. And so ultimately our goal with the Ocean Medallion is to take what would previously be seen as an elite level vacation, like at the Ritz or Four Seasons or maybe on our cruise line Seaborn, and democratize that to our larger brands, giving a better price value relationship to the consumer but better scale for us, and that way everyone wins. And so it’s kind of a mass personalization that no one has ever pulled off before and that’s what the Ocean Medallion does is completely eliminates friction and allows us to provide a personalize experience across an entire vacation.

Roger Dooley:    Right. What would some specific examples of that be?

John Padgett:     An example would be similar the MagicBand, the Ocean Medallion creates a out of box experience at home, so you do share that same mental shift of creating your vacation, amping up that anticipation and that excitement. But probably a very basic experience that most people can relate to is when you’re on your transportation and you’re getting ready to step into your vacation experience, whether say at the port before you embark on the ship, your first greeting as you step out of the transportation is personalized. Even though you have no idea how that actually occurred, you are connected to our overall experiential IOT that provided us the information to make that first touch interaction special.

And then from there on, it continues as you can be greeted at your gangway without any hassle or frustration. Your photos and security is already taken care of. When you arrive to your stateroom door, actually we turned access to your stateroom into an experience because the door itself through a flat panel display that’s integrated into the doorframe, greets you personally, recognizes your birthday, recognizes your loyalty level, and welcomes you into your experience. Only to be matched by a stateroom steward on the other side of that door that is also already customizing your stateroom according to your preference, knows your loyalty levels, recognizes what your experiences that you valued most in your previous cruises, and makes sure you get the information and informed on how to engage in those experiences on this vacation. So that’s just a very little short snippet of how things change, but you can imagine it’s kind of like going to your grandmother’s house on vacation. Your meals are already taken care of, your preferences are already considered, and it’s warm on every front.

Roger Dooley:    You’ve kind of addressed a point that I was going to get to. Not too long ago I spoke to a CEO of another cruise line, not one in the Carnival group, it’s a luxury line, and I think they found the concept of the Ocean Medallion interesting but were really focused just on delivering a very high level of luxurious service through personal means. But I think what you’re pointing out there is that even say on your Seaborn line, the experience could be enhanced just by better preparing the various room steward or butler or whatever level of service is being provided, and just easing, making things just a little bit easier for everybody, even the staff.

John Padgett:     Well, I think that your last sentence was the most key, even the staff and crew. Because on the luxury line, the ultra lux lines, the crew to guest ratio is almost one to one, so it’s an amazing guest experience. But with the same platform and the use of the Ocean Medallion, you’re actually reducing the friction of the crew member to delivering a personalized experience because even at a one to one relationship, there’s a learning curve. And if you can accelerate that, you can ultimately improve even the ultra luxury category as well. Further, there’s nothing wrong with a business model that’s focused solely on a luxurious human high touch interaction. But when ultimately if someone cam do that same interaction at scale at a much lower price but to more people, that’s gonna become a boomerang innovation driver. Now what do you do at the ultra luxury level to take that up even a notch if we can deliver that experience to more broader. So it’s just the ultimate in raising the bar.

Roger Dooley:    The first installation was on the Regal Princess, right? I’m curious how that has gone. Have there been any surprises so far?

John Padgett:     I think that the … Regal Princess, correct, we started what we were calling our pilot period on the Regal Princess started in November of last year. So we’ve been into it for in the six to eight month timeframe. The experience has been fabulous on the Regal Princess and we’ve learned a lot, we’ve been very lucky to learn a lot in our experience. A couple things that have … I’m not saying they’re total surprises, but they’ve been reinforced. And there’s also been a few myths dispelled as well, and I’ll go through a few of those.

There’s always when you’re starting to talk about a connected experience, technology being an enabler of the experience, everyone always immediately defaults to, “Well, we’re not sure about the more senior demographics and they may not like that.” It proved at Disney, and it has proved now on the Regal Princess that there couldn’t be something more incorrect than that. The age of a guest has no relation to how excited they are to better enable their experience, maximize their vacation experience with connected technology. In fact, on the Regal, some of the most senior guests are the ones raising their hands wanting incremental features that we haven’t rolled out quite yet. So complete myth that senior demographics have challenges with technology. I blow that away.

Roger Dooley:    I think maybe it would be a more correct way of putting that would be seniors and actually most people have issues with difficult to use technology. With cryptic error messages and Windows blue screens and so on, those kinds of things are tough for older folks and for everybody, but when the technology works, why should it bother them?

John Padgett:     My general rule of thumb is that if you benefit the guest because you’re maximizing the value of their vacation, which typically means maximizing the value of their time, and you’re doing that in a genuine fashion, everyone adopts immediately. If you’re doing something to benefit yourself through technology and automation and not the guest, I think you could have a different result. But because the MyMagic+ model and MagicBand were very pure in their focus on enhancing the guest experience, and the Ocean Medallion as it relates to Carnival Corporation and our brands is very pure in its focus on enhancing the guest experience, the guests have literally no resistance to engaging. Someone else could do the exact same strategy with the exact same technology, but execute it in a way that is not authentically and purely to benefit the guest and the guest could have a different perception. Because they can see through it very easily. And it’s ultimately all about benefiting the guest and that will keep you focused on the right things.

Roger Dooley:    I think probably looking at this from a business standpoint beyond creating just a great experience and encouraging people to return because they had such a great experience, this technology can increase revenue simply by allowing people to do more stuff, some of which might be included in the price of admission to either the ship or the park, but some of it may not be. They might buy more merchandise or order more drinks or whatever simply because they’re not maybe standing in a line or otherwise wasting time, right?

John Padgett:     Precisely. I relate it back to your persuasion slide that you’re known for. And you articulate your perspective on the gravity and the angle and the nudge opposed by friction which is the difficulty of consuming an experience. We have a formula that is very close, it is basically that says maximize a guest experience by increasing personalization and decreasing friction. And as long as you do that, you ultimately are maximizing the value of the vacation because it’s the old finance rate buy in formula in disguise. Because if you increase the personalization, you’re increasing the value of that experience because it’s unique to the individual. And true experiences that are unique to the individuals can’t be compared to other experiences, thus they’re essentially priceless. And then if you eliminate the friction to consuming those more personalized experiences, you’re increasing consumption of those experiences. So you increase value on both dimensions, which ultimately compounds your return. And so that’s how we think about it from an overall valuation standpoint. And that’s kind of the more macro economic view to it. But on a more micro economic view to it, you’re having more revenue throughout your experience because guests are consuming more components of your overall experience.

Roger Dooley:    Makes a lot of sense. So, John, last year I attended a Smart City conference in China, and based on what I saw there and what I’ve read since, it seems like China is applying some of this kind of technology at a really large scale or using facial recognition or some kind of on person device to grant access to residential complexes or perhaps board a subway. Now leaving aside the big brother aspects, which I think are probably a real concern, do you ever think about how the kind of technologies that you’re working on in the cruise or park environments could be applied, say, at a much larger scale and an entire city like Miami or New York?

John Padgett:     No doubt. And we’ve actually created our technology platform, what we call our XIOT, our experiential IOT, all around the guest but all in context of all experiences are the same. All experiences are based on an individual, the individual’s entitlement to access an experience, and how to personalize that experience they have accessed, and to, again, eliminate any friction, hassle, and frustration about consuming that experience. So whether it is food, beverage, transportation, entertainment, recreation, hotels, they’re all essentially the same. If you really step back from it, a cruise ship is a … it is a floating city. It’s a self contained floating city. And we obviously go beyond the cruise ship to include the ports and the transportation, etc. But the ship itself has everything a city has. It has power generation. It has water filtration and purification. It has all of the hospitality functions that I’ve mentioned. It also has all … It has everything that you could imagine, communications, everything.

And so when we think about creating that entire closed loop system on a single experience platform and make it infinitely scalable, you can completely see how it can apply in the broader world. The broader world has a challenge because it has a hard time what I would call with horizontal innovation.

Roger Dooley:    What do you mean by that, John?

John Padgett:     Businesses are typically aligned by functional line of business. And in our case, as I’ve mentioned, the hotel is a line of business or the food and restaurant is another line of business, and recreation is a different line of business, and entertainment’s another line of business. If you apply that to a typical Main Street, USA, but not the Main Street, USA at Disney World, your hotel is operated by a different organization than the restaurant. The restaurant’s operated from a different organization from the transportation, different from the recreation. And when you do that, that vertical orientation of typical businesses creates breaks in the consumer experience. The consumer, as they walk down Main Street, basically has to themselves bridge the gap between each one of these components of their overall experience.

On a cruise ship, we cut horizontally across all those because we control all the interactions. So it puts you in a very unique position to seamlessly connect the guest experience across all those verticals. And that’s the challenge of doing it in the broader world. It can be done, and it will be done, it’s just a matter of time. But that is the ultimate challenge which is how to cut across and seamlessly focus on the guest, which we can do in the cruise model.

Another benefit of the cruise model relates to the level of personalization. Personalization relates to the confidence that you have in interacting with that precise individual. And a great benefit of the cruise model, because of the notion of international travel, you are completely verified on who that individual is. So it takes a tremendous amount of risk out of delivering that personalized experience once the guest is on that ship because you know that individual is in fact that individual. In the broader world, that’s a little bit harder to do at this point in time.

Roger Dooley:    Well, that kind of works both ways, John, because as a passenger, I’m willing to trust the cruise line with my information and to let them track me around the ship or wherever I am and so on, where I might be less willing to let some random governmental agency do that or a whole bunch of random corporations that might be service providers in my area. At some point you might say no, I don’t wanna do that, where if it’s Walt Disney or Princess Cruise or whatever, I’ll probably trust them with my info.

John Padgett:     I think you’re exactly right. And ultimately I see that as methods are created to provide the consumer and guest more control over their information with various technology innovations in the world, they’ll become more trusting. But it’s only these very, very high quality brands that the consumer trusts. And then the brand makes good on that trust by showing the guest across their vacation that they can trust, and when they do trust, we can create a better experience due to that connectivity that the overall system works.

Another type of business in the broader world or organization I could see this apply very easily, major hospital operations. If you think about healthcare or when you think about a hospital campus as a destination, there’s transportation, there’s the arrival experience, there’s a hotel operation, there’s a food and beverage operation. The attractions in it, entertainment, are analogous to procedures and different things that you maybe would have in that particular setting. And it’s a setting of ultimate trust because your information is being trusted in a system because of the notion that it’s dealing with your personal health. So I think it could be another type of closed model in the broader world that could very easily adopt and implement and create a better experience for the consumer based on this particular model. But I don’t know that that particular industry right now has enough consumer orientation to get to that point yet.

Roger Dooley:    Right. They’ve got a lot of stuff on their plate as it is. But that’s actually a great comparison I think because I would guess in a typical hospital stay, there are probably 10 or maybe 50 more transactions daily than there even are say on a cruise ship or in a resort. The potential savings, even error rate and so on, if you know exactly who people are, you won’t get that wrong and you won’t have to rely quite as much on that human checking to be sure that you’ve got the right prescription going to the right person, you have an automated backup, yeah, that’s great. But I share your concerns on that it’s probably not gonna happen in the next year or two, but it’s something we could look forward to. And you never know, it’s something that some forward thinking institution somewhere could pilot and show that it actually works. So maybe one of our listeners is in the healthcare industry and can do that or get that ball rolling.

Let me remind our listeners that we’re speaking with John Padgett, Chief Experience and Innovation Officer at Carnival Corporation. And John, where should people go to learn more about the work you’re doing?

John Padgett:     You can just certainly visit, O C E A anytime, and it will certainly tell you everything about the Ocean Medallions, Princess Cruises where you can experience it at this time, as well as the ability to engage in all different aspects of our overall experience, including original content that you can see back at your home, watch on your OTT, whether that’s Apple TV, Roku, or Amazon Fire. So all different types of ways to engage with us and learn more.

Roger Dooley:    Great. Well, we will link there and to any other resources we talked about on the show notes page at And there will be a handy text version of our conversation there too. John, thanks so much for being on the show. It’s been a lot of fun.

John Padgett:     Absolutely. Very much enjoyed it and hope you come see us sometime.

Thank you for joining me for this episode of The Brainfluence Podcast. To continue the discussion and to find your own path to brainy success, please visit us at



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  1. Linda Stapf
    Linda Stapf08-30-2018

    Remove friction, so simple but again so complex.

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