Experiential Marketing Is Here To Stay
Experiential marketing is where the the brand identity, message and product meet the consumer. Brand experience delivers a new level of consumer loyalty because it creates a meaningful connection and leaves a lasting impression.
The surge of experiential marketing
With brands shifting their spending from traditional media and broadcasting to experiences, the impact and relevance of the strategy will only grow further, trickling down to unexpected industries and even finding its place in store.
The 2018 consumer values experience more than products. It may be more time consuming and costly, but when a brand gets it right, the reward is social sharing, recommendation to friends and a wave of new potential loyal consumers.
Experiential marketing is also shaking up the advertising industry because traditional marketing is easily ignored and is generally less impactful. Millennials and Gen Z are very well versed in traditional forms of advertising, meaning that in order to achieve a full 360 effect of their marketing campaign, brands will have to consider experiential as their next move.
Perhaps through a 360 video and a VR headset? Much like Mastercard colliding with Swarowski to produce a unique bejeweled headset.
Stranger Things, the immersive experience
Brands cultivate the “magic” of experiential marketing by creating a wide range of environments in which the consumer can become immersed. The most effective campaigns feel transformational to the user, sweeping them off their feet through an element of surprise and belonging.
Channeling a sense of nostalgia in the consumer through a fully immersive experience has been a growing SS17 trend. Time Out leveraged the popularity of the Netflix’s original series Stranger Things by recreating the iconic living room with fairy lights and the characteristic 80s memorabilia. As part of Three’s ‘Go Binge’ campaign, select consumers won a ride through the Thames whilst seeing their beloved series reenacted by professional actors in the flesh.
Lawrence Horne, MD Commercial EMEA at Time Out Digital spoke about the campaign: “We’ve responded with an approach that connects with our highly engaged audience on every level in hugely creative ways”.
The power of experiential marketing is not only in forming a lasting connection with the consumer, but also in creating an opportunity for collaboration between brands. Whilst also channeling the power of nostalgia, social causes and pop culture.
Experiential marketing comes to retail stores
The best marketing is done when consumers cannot help but share their environment with their friends and social following. Digital touchpoints enable brands to deliver a more personalised experience to visitors of a flagship or pop up store.
However, experiential is not solely reserved for pop-up stores. Due to increasing investment in technology, AR is quickly shifting the instore experience into experiential marketing.
Virtual Reality enables consumers to become their own virtual make-up artists by trying out an otherwise impossible selection of products. Estée Lauder’s “30 shades in 30 seconds” delivers a unique VR experience which allows shoppers to try every shade of the new Pure Colour Love lipstick in 30 seconds
New consumer, new marketing
The shift towards experiential marketing is no coincidence, as Generation Z becomes a key consumer for activation and a prominent participator in the market. In order to earn the loyalty of anyone born after 1995, some forward thinking brands have altered their retail spaces. By introducing “play” areas, the consumer can sample products, educate themselves, follow custom tutorials and ultimately interact with the product.
With there being a larger focus than ever on interactive, educational and inspiring spaces, the way brands choose to market is more important than ever before.
Experiential marketing is the ideal platform to leverage the power of technology and combine it with the presence of a strong brand. From Decorte’s make-up mirrors which offer three different light settings, to test makeup performance. To Sephora’s own Moisture Meter which tests the skin’s moisture level, allowing make-up artists to recommend the most appropriate product for the consumer.
Experiential marketing originated as a rare, one-of-a-kind marketing tactic, but it has started to find its long term place in retail spaces. The value of engagement marketing ultimately lies in the fact that brand, product and consumer merge into a single memorable and meaningful experience.