Experience is everything, or so they say. We actually agree, as a society we are moving away (slowly) from products and spending more of our money on experiences, whether that is a meal out with the family or an adventure packed weekend. We then share these experiences via photos and videos on social media in ways we have never been able to before. Because we want to experience more and connect with others who either want the same as us or facilitate that new experience, and because we can share these experiences quickly and easily with our friends and family brands are ensuring they are getting in on this experience action. Providing experiences where customers, or potential customers can interact with a brand is what the marketers call Experiential Marketing.
Branding & Engagement
For brands large and small engagement, meaning how much and how often someone engages to some degree with your brand identity is becoming increasingly important. Engagement is understood as the key to brand loyalty, repeat custom and brand trust.
Engagement is important not only for bricks and mortar retail stores, but also service based businesses and B2B businesses. Any company, of any size, that wants their brand to be recognised and capture the attention of customers in a very crowded field should be engaging in experimental marketing.
What that means for different types of companies is very different but finding a way to promote what you do and create a buzz around it is incredibly important in a marketing world where the lines between PR, Branding, Marketing and Advertising have never been so blurred. On great experiential marketing event can be the basis of an entire marketing strategy or can simply be a way to get some great local PR for what your business is doing. How you approach experience is unique to each company and that is what makes it so exciting.
If you already have a space, be that a bricks and mortar store on the high street, an out of town shop or a workshop in an industrial estate you can create experiences in those spaces to drive traffic to you. Create a fashion show, run a workshop, connect with local events or have a tasting evening. What you do should be unique to your business and the type of brand you are.
If you are launching a new food product, provide samples at local fairs, or take space at shopping centres for tasting events.
If you are a hotel that wants more wedding business then host a wedding fair, or if it is corporate business you want, a week of interesting speakers and team building activities.
If you are a brand that wants to promote your eco credentials, then organising a clean up of your local area or offering workshops so other local businesses can get help in making their environments greener.
Whatever you choose to do, make it exciting, well executed and useful. You customers, potential customers, and even bystanders will feel like they know your brand better and that you are engaging with the type of things that matter to them. Experiential Marketing can be low key or all out crazy, and they can both work well. You simply have to identify what you want to achieve from the event, or series of events, connect what you decide to do with your brand and ensure you offer your participants a way to share their experiences quickly and easily.