Telling the Full Story

How a carefully-chosen ticket name improved customer understanding, saved time for front-of-house teams, helped to upsell the Trust’s full offering, and provided a platform for top level messaging now used right across across the organisation.


In August 2017, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust were getting ready to trial a new, simplified pricing structure. The objective was to increase sales of the best-value ticket, which gives the holder access to all five Trust properties for 12 months – the “full” visit. Our challenge was to develop a name for this ticket.


The insight behind the solution came back to the core of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s offering.

The Shakespeare family homes could easily be described with a family tree, but there’s more to it than that. They are the places where Shakespeare was born, learned to read and write, got married, raised his family, acquired property and wealth, played a prominent part in civic life, grew into old age, and died in 1616.

This name needed to capture the fact that visitors don’t just follow the whole journey in time – from his birth to death – they also enjoy the rich tapestry of his creative legacy, and the countless artists he has inspired.

Solution – the Full Story ticket

Our final choice – the Full Story – really delivered. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s mission is to promote the enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works, life and times. The Full Story ticket feels like the perfect way to package the offering for all audiences, from first-time visitors to seasoned returning guests.

  • Quickly and clearly communicates the nature of the offering – joining up an experience comprising five sites, each with its own distinct characteristics
  • Easy to explain for the front desk team in the face of various language barriers and time constraints
  • Easy to understand and pronounce for international audiences buying tickets at the desk or online
  • Feels like an upgrade on the tickets for individual properties (such as Shakespeare’s Birthplace)
  • Expresses the emotional side of this offering. Entices visitors to embark on an adventure into Shakespeare’s personal and family life, and immerse themselves in his incredible creative legacy in Stratford-upon-Avon – more than just a tick on a list of historic sites.


The ticket trial was successful, and the new name and pricing launched in September 2017. But that was just the start of the Full Story. Off the back of encouraging sales and positive feedback from front desk teams on the clarity of the name, we put the Full Story at the centre of an effort to evolve core messaging for each Trust property.

The Full Story provided a platform and posed a question: if the offer as a whole is the Full Story, what part does each property play? This question was answered for each Trust site in an inter-departmental workshop which mark-making* facilitated. Each property’s contribution to the Full Story took shape and was fleshed out by the marketing, PR and front desk teams, and representatives from all five sites, including site managers.

The finalised Full Story messaging has since informed visitor leaflets, and, perhaps more importantly, teams who need ongoing consistent messaging, such as digital, PR and internal comms.

This project shows clearly that the right creative can have a huge positive influence, especially when there’s space to test and evaluate. In the case of the Full Story, creative developed for a ticket pricing trial become the cornerstone of an entire suite of messaging, because the stakeholders involved saw the potential, and were prepared to try a new approach.

Watch this space for the next chapter of the Full Story.

Written by Chloe Marshall

About markmaking*

mark-making* is an award-winning creative agency specialising in branding, campaigns and communications