Commentary

What's Working In Experiential Marketing

Citibank announced it has proof that experiential marketing works, as demonstrated in a recently published study that highlights enhanced brand engagement, word of mouth promotion and identification with the brand (wearing shirts with logos, for example). But these activation strategies are increasingly difficult to accomplish in this moment of content saturation.

We’ve uncovered five strategies to contemplate when building out an experiential marketing experience for your brand, along with exemplary executions by leading marketers.

1. Purpose-Led Experiences. Create experiences that present your brand’s perspective on and support of important social and environmental issues that align with the company’s larger mission.

Tesla

To showcase its solar panel and backup battery storage technology, Tesla launched the “Tiny House” tour in Australia, a small traveling house powered by 100% renewable energy via a 2 kW solar system and Powerwall. 

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2. Integrated Wellness. Capitalize on the continued growth of the wellness marketplace by making spa, fitness and healthy lifestyle experiences core of your brand’s offerings to help consumers reach their larger goals.

Lululemon

The athleisure brand’s in-store yoga classes and meditation spaces, offering shoppers relaxation pods where they can listen to self-guided meditations, highlight the company’s move to embrace a broader definition of wellness that encompasses the mind as well as the body

3. Community-Focused. Transform your stores into community-oriented, customer-focused spaces, hosting ongoing events that seek to educate, connect and engage  consumers.

MVRDV

Presented at the 2017 Dutch Design Week, this design studio’s nine-room hotel concept allowed residents to reconfigure rooms to fit their particular needs, but were expected to go through neighboring guests’ rooms to leave their own—dismantling expectations of privacy and encouraging communal behavior.

4. Shared Experiences. Create one-of-a-kind experiences that customers will want to post and share with their networks, helping amplify the buzz around a brand.

Amazon x Calvin Klein

At the brands’ holiday pop-up in NYC last year, none of the products had price tags and shoppers were expected to pay the same price as on the website. Instagram-worthy photo ops included gigantic model cutouts and millennial-pink benches with charging ports built into the design. The mirrored dressing rooms featured adjustable lighting with settings like holiday theme, along with an Alexa to play any seasonal song the shopper wished!

5. Partner Integration. Partner with brands with different product or service offerings for specialized activations that highlight the best of both brands and target your intersecting consumer bases.

Chanel x The Wing

Playing off the idea of a traditional men’s club, the co-working space for female entrepreneurs collaborated with Chanel for a female-centric pop-up that appropriates the motifs of a members-only Gentlemen’s Club — poker and pool, artisanal cocktails in a lounge setting — to encourage camaraderie among women.

Creating memorable one-of-a-kind experiences compels customers to post and share with their networks, helping amplify the buzz around a brand. 

However brands choose to approach these activations, it’s clear they need to take advantage of the power of a physical space to establish unique and compelling experiences for their customers. 

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