Experiential Marketing: The Path to Lasting Customer Connections and Brand Success
Almost every business sees seasonal spikes in their turnover. Many of these will be due to key seasonal events such as Black Friday and the end of school holidays.
In this article, we explore the importance of planning for seasonal campaigns and the positive impact this can have on your business.
Forward-thinking brands are always looking for new, smart ways to engage their audience. This is why we see marketing trends explode in popularity, some then fading away entirely and others becoming a common part of marketing strategies.
Experiential marketing is no new thing, yet with many brands focusing entirely on ‘traditional’ marketing techniques such as email, social media and paid ads, experiential marketing is a tool which has huge potential to engage your audience and make you stand out from your competitors.
In this article, we explore the compelling reasons why brands should wholeheartedly embrace this immersive approach to marketing.
The Essence of Experiential Marketing
Perhaps unsurprisingly, experiential marketing is all about experiences.
Using this approach sees brands removing the focus from the product or service and turning it directly to the customer. This is often achieved through in-person events but can also be built into in-store and even online experiences.
You’ll likely have seen countless examples of experiential marketing in your day-to-day life. Some brands are absolute masters of this approach to customer engagement. Red Bull is just one example, often creating extreme sports spectacles and special events (such as the famous Flugtag event) where their brand is central to the experience, without a focus directly on their product.
Why Experiential Marketing Matters
So, many large (and indeed smaller) brands invest significantly in experiential marketing. But why?
In this section, we explore some of the benefits.
Creating Memorable Brand Experiences & Connecting on an Emotional Level
Experiential marketing is all about creating memorable moments for customers. It involves bringing them physically into the brand and the brand story, effectively making their whole world brand-centric for that moment in time.
These experiences help brands to stir emotions within their customers, these emotions then become intrinsically linked to the brand. For example, Red Bull’s investment in experiential events in the extreme sports space gives the brand a feeling of excitement and energy.
Similarly, Lulu Lemon’s ‘Proud and Present’ campaign helped the brand communicate its commitment to diversity and the LGBTQ+ community. This was delivered by combining content via Instagram and an in-person art installation at Hudson River Park.
This is something which simply cannot be achieved in common brand interactions such as browsing a social media feed or online store.
Encouraging User-Generated Content
In-person events are often very ‘Instagramable’, making them a great way to activate User Generated Content (UGC).
UGC is brand content which is created and published by an audience member or customer rather than the brand directly. This is different to influencer content as UGC is typically not requested by the brand or paid for – although there is some crossover in this space.
UGC is incredibly valuable as it offers a high level of authenticity and can drastically increase brand reach with little financial investment.
One great example of experiential events leading to huge levels of UGC is the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. This campaign saw event attendees and online shoppers creating Coke bottles with their names or messages on. This led to 250 million sales of personalised bottles and the #shareacoke hashtag being used over 610K times on Instagram.
Building Brand Loyalty
By offering customers high-value experiences you can help develop a sense of brand loyalty and long-term brand recognition. In fact, one study found that 70% of those asked become repeat customers after partaking in experiential marketing.
This ties back to emotion. By provoking positive emotions through experiences, brands can help connect those feelings with their brand – making it easy for customers to choose them in the future.
Experiential Marketing: Conclusion
Experiential marketing is a powerful tool. By bringing your audience into your brand story you can help them connect positive experiences and emotions with your brand. This can be beneficial in many ways such as helping promote the reaction of user-generated content, developing brand loyalty and increasing brand value.
To see how we can help utilise your customer connections, get in touch with the team here