Whether competing for sales on the high street or vying for consumers’ attention online, it can be hard for retailers to stand out in today’s crowded marketplace. That’s why several brands have turned to experiential marketing to win hearts, generate buzz and secure sales through engaging physical events.
Today’s Crowded Marketplace
It has been estimated that consumers are exposed to up to 3,500 adverts each day. At each turn, companies are trying to capture their attention, whether through billboards, posters, television commercials, magazine adverts, internet banners or email marketing.
Under this constant bombardment of advertising, consumers are getting better at blocking it out. They skip through TV adverts, switch radio stations, delete spam mail, flip past magazine ads and scroll past internet banners. Indeed, 99% of the adverts seen on a daily basis have no impact at all.
In this climate, where traditional advertising isn’t making the desired impact, several organisations are trying alternative tactics. They’re using physical, immersive experiences to stand out from the crowd and connect with consumers on a deeper level. They are employing experiential marketing.
What is Experiential Marketing?
Traditional marketing channels typically use words or visuals to communicate a brand to consumers. However, the aim of experiential marketing is to engage as many senses as possible to communicate with consumers in a more engaging and personal way. With this aim, it uses physical experiences to give consumers an immersive experience associated with a brand or product.
These experiences can range from simple product sampling events or demonstrations, through to participation challenges, flash-mobs or role play. However, the intention is the same: “to create a closer bond between the consumer and the brand by immersing them in a fun and memorable experience”, says David Moth from digital consultancy Econsultancy.
Experiential Marketing in Action
Leading brands across a variety of consumer markets are beginning to deploy experiential marketing events. Here are a handful of examples:
- Samsung: During the 2012 Olympics, event sponsors Samsung set up pop-up Samsung Studios in busy locations throughout London, including St. Pancras station. Members of the public could trial Samsung’s Olympics App on the new Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note. After this simple brand experience, 90% of visitors said they were more likely to consider purchasing a Samsung phone.
- Disney Channel TV: Ahead of series two of children’s show Doc McStuffin, Disney Channel TV created a life-size replica of Doc’s clinic in Tesco, Smyths and Toys R Us stores throughout the UK. The aim was to promote the upcoming series and boost merchandise sales. At the clinics, children acted as Doc during a 10 minute role-play. The result was a 5.3% higher inclination to buy Doc McStuffin merchandise.
- Adidas: To promote the signature trainers of Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose, Adidas set up its ‘D Rose Jump Store’ in London. The basketball star was present at the Store, creating buzz around the event. Fans could win a pair of the signature trainers in a basketball inspired challenge. Those able to leap up and retrieve the shoes from a 10 foot shelf could take them home.
What’s the Pay-off?
Events like those described above have been linked to a higher ‘brand recall’ than traditional marketing channels. Unlike impersonal, traditional campaigns, a successful experiential event will be engaging and memorable.
So, unlike the ads which go unnoticed by consumers each day, these experiential events lodge brands more prominently in consumers’ minds. This creates a positive association with the brand, in turn fostering brand loyalty. Naturally, this will influence the consumer’s future purchasing decisions – especially as 48% of people say they are more likely to buy a new product if they can trial it first.
With 78% of people seeking peer recommendations, these brand converts can also be a powerful asset in promoting your brand – especially in the digital age.
Here Today, Online Tomorrow
If your experiential marketing event has succeeded in connecting with your audience in an exciting and memorable way, the chances are they will want to share their experience with others. So, in seconds they could be tweeting, tagging or Instagramming about your event.
Furthermore, research suggests consumers who post content about a brand experience are four times more likely to become advocates of that brand. As well as winning a convert, your event could spark ‘word of mouth advertising’ to fuel wider interest in your brand amongst his or her peers.
Considering an Experiential Event?
If you’re planning an experiential marketing event, RetailTeam can help. We can supply a variety of items to help you bring your brand to life:
- Print: Our expert PrintTeam can produce the full range of point of sale items to promote your brand including posters, banners, leaflets and dispensers.
- Furniture: If you’re planning a pop-up store, our InteriorsTeam can supply a variety of furnishings to support the environment you are looking to create.
- Need Something Special? Our expert Specials Team can source a variety of unusual items for you. We’ve helped retailers source items as obscure as antique apple crates and AstroTurf for their brand events.
Contact one of our RetailTeam specialists today to discuss your event.