Experiential marketing is precisely what it sounds like: it’s about experience – presenting an opportunity for your target audience to experience your product or brand in a unique way. Ideally this experience will be something the consumer gladly partakes in, not something that feels like a sales pitch. This approach takes a lot of creativity and resources, but has the potential to capture attention and win long-term customers in a way traditional marketing can’t.
Getting someone to experience your brand is about making a memorable interaction that leads to loyalty. As you begin dreaming about experiential marketing, here are the factors to consider:
- What about your brand do you want customers to experience?
- What is your budget?
- What are your potential customers drawn toward? What will they actually want to engage with?
- What platform do you have to create a customer experience? For many of you, this will likely be an upcoming trade show at which you’re hosting a booth.
There are a range of ways to make marketing an interactive experience. You may start small with branded merchandise your audience would genuinely want. Consider going a step above and sending key targets a highly customized swag kit. An experiential video, beyond just a product demo, could also be an effective option. Nowadays you can actually send a video message via direct mail (yes through the actual mail!) at a relatively low cost. If your budget is a bit higher, think about innovative technologies you can incorporate, like 3D models or even augmented reality.
To get the creative juices flowing, here are a couple notable experiential marketing campaigns to inspire you.
Red Bull: Stratos
This is a company that has given themselves an image and identity far more than any other energy drink. Their slogan, “Red Bull Gives You Wings,” is something their marketing embodies, associating their brand with adrenaline and accomplishment. A campaign they did earlier this decade is something people still talk about. They partnered with a skydiving expert to capture a heart-stopping skydive from the edge of space. This was the kind of video that immersed the viewer into the experience, becoming a viral video with millions of hit to-date.
Lean Cuisine: #WeighThis
In the wake of the body positive movement, Lean Cuisine took on a new approach to their marketing. While the company name still contains “lean,” implying the focus is still on weight loss and healthy eating, they took clues from body positivity in their #WeighThis campaign. They set up a gallery wall in New York’s Grand Central Station, allowing women to write what they want to be weighed by, as opposed to being weighed in pounds. This made a profound impression on those who participated in and witnessed the experience, and was eagerly shared by many in the company’s target audience.