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How do you continue to grow a business when it sells out every year? For the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, embracing innovation was the answer.

REM Tattoo

Having sold every ticket for the last 17 years, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo had to find new ways to build on the business’ success. With no room to increase the number of tickets, it has had to take an innovative approach to continue to grow.

Innovation comes in all forms – and it’s often the smallest changes that have the biggest impact. “Innovation is vital,” says Brig David Allfrey, the producer of the show, “not just because you want to be doing new things, but doing the same things, better. That’s as innovative as doing something different.”

A fresh look at customer experience

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WATCH: find out how the Tattoo’s programme of innovation impacts every part of their business.
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Led by Alffrey, the Tattoo has taken a fresh look at every aspect of the customer experience – from the lead-up to the show and the performance itself, right through to convincing customers to come back – and bring their family and friends along with them next time. “We have a very interesting customer journey that brings people to the Tattoo, and there are opportunities for improvement all the way through that journey,” says Allfrey. Making the most of that journey – from booking through to attendance and recommending it to everyone afterwards – is the show’s first priority.

Becoming the best it can be

The Tattoo has always invested in the latest technology for the show. The focus so far has been on improving the sound and lighting design to make sure it’s the best it can be. Now the spectacle has its sights set on exploiting the digital space – even setting out adventurous plans for incorporating 3D technology into the show. These innovations might stray a little from the military sphere, but they embrace the show’s role as a major feature of Edinburgh’s entertainment calendar.    

Taking the show on the road

The Tattoo is already watched by hundreds of thousands of people across the world. But now there are plans to take it on tour in New Zealand, as well as the Middle and Far East in 2016. Scottish Enterprise has supported these global ambitions for growth in several ways – from helping to develop an international strategy, as well as digital marketing advice and using Globalscot’s network of contacts in these locations.

Even if your business is doing well, you can still innovate and build on its achievements. The recipe of enhancing the core product, using more digital technology and expanding into international markets means the Tattoo can look forward to many more years of success. This is a recipe other tourism businesses can adopt too.

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