Experiential marketing is here to stay. In fact, it is becoming the go-to for brands looking gain an edge over competitors. Not only does it allow for direct to consumer interaction to build relationships, it can provide tangible returns. But many still see experiential as it was in its early stages, with some brands focusing primarily on vanity metrics, such as impressions.
So how can brands ensure that there is ROI at the end of the activation tunnel? This Entrepreneur article opens by stating that brands define what success means to them. For some, be increased brand awareness, for others, it could be direct sales. But the author is clear: “Does every experiential activation need a cash register? Of course not. Should every experiential investment lead to demonstrable ROI? Absolutely.“ Read the full article to see the three steps that brands can take to do just that.
The key to advertising has always been to play to people’s emotions. Why? Because emotions drive decision-making and purchase at the subconscious level. It’s science, people.
Subaru demonstrated this approach beautifully, and it began by listening to their customers. It started when the company learned that more than half of Subaru owners are also dog owners. From there, the company decided to make their TV commercials focus less on the car features and more about special family moments – with a dog. In tuning in to what their audience cares about, Subaru built a bridge that went beyond selling cars. Learn more about how your company can “spark an emotional connection” with your consumers too.
Hello? Do you see us? Do we have your attention? No matter the industry, brands are working overtime to capture and maintain consumer attention while securing their loyalty and trust. Influencer marketing and brand ambassador programs have helped some brands achieve these goals, but the influencer industry may have birthed new beast – influencer fraud.
1 in 3 Gen Z and millennials say they trust an influencers words over what a brand says. But which influencers should they trust? Which ones should your brand trust? How do you find the right person to connect with your audience and foster long-term advocates? How many of their followers have been bought or are “bots”? With #ads popping up everywhere, how does a brand’s message avoid becoming diluted? Read on to discover more about the credibility and accountability of the burgeoning influencer industry.
Generally speaking, when brands develop an experiential marketing campaign, the goal is to create an activation that is unique. Not only are they better able to stand out in a crowded space and gain consumer attention, a one-of-a-kind activation can go viral, giving the activation a life, and amplification quality, all its own. When it comes to driving experiential ROI, few things are better than taking a local activation and giving it national, or even global, reach.
Every week, Biz Bash creates a roundup of the industry’s best activations. From Journey’s and Converse’s partnership to create a free, “Off the Prom” event for teens, many of the events this week centered around visually-engaging, colorful brand activations. Meanwhile, HBO was at it again, this time to kick off the final season of the network’s hit show, “Veep,” by creating a recreation of the oval office. Check out the full roundup here.
When you consider the changes in consumer buying patterns and needs, along with a fluctuating economy, retailers see that change is happening. Yet, for many, the path to adaption is still unclear. And now, as an increasing number of ecommerce brands choose to open pop-ups, or in the case of Amazon, permanent brick and mortars, retailers are seeing their challenges increase.
The silver lining to all this? Because ecommerce brands like Amazon are investing in physical stores, there are important lessons that can be learned about the viability of the brick and mortar landscape. It’s clear that physical retail is not dead, and it is possible for storefront brands to avoid the “retailpocalypse” that has dominated the news. As A Little Bird agency points out, retail environments provide a level of connection that the internet will never provide. Specifically, brick and mortar stores provide an “in real life” (irl) experience that millennials and gen z want – one that can’t be achieved through a screen.
Taco Bell has built a reputation for taking creative marketing risks that delight and excite their dedicated Gen Z and millennial fan base. Many of their campaigns are labeled as genius, with brand activations making the news as “viral stunts”. In a place where the cola wars have given way to the fast food social media wars, Taco Bell seems to often come out on top. Veronica Castillo, head of marketing at Taco Bell Canada, summed up the brand’s strategy well, saying “Unique, exciting and off-the-wall events are an essential part of the recipe that makes Taco Bell what it is.”
As reported by Event Marketer, the brand’s latest campaign didn’t disappoint. The company created what is seen as the world’s first “slide thru” take out window at Horseshoe Resort, located outside of Toronto. The activation was produced to welcome back the Cheetos Crunchwrap Slider, a fan favorite that has not graced the menu since 2006. While eating Crunchwraps might be a matter of taste, brands are wise to take a bite out of Taco Bell’s marketing recipe and offer audiences an unexpected experience in an unexpected place.
There will always be outside factors that determine a trade show’s success, such as booth location, the number of event attendees, or low-value leads. But many factors that brands can control are the ones that can make or break a company’s trade show success. According to a study, only 34% of attendees say they were satisfied with their recent trade show experience related to the value provided.
An interactive exhibit is the best way to make a positive and memorable impact with attendees. Companies don’t necessarily need to provide a full-blown immersive experience for attendees (although if you can pull it off, go for it). But booths that serve as nothing more than information desks with flyers will miss out. Those brands that offer hands-on elements, demonstrations, photo ops and/or other interactive elements will keep attendees engaged and sure to remember their experience long after the show.
Coachella is upon us yet again, taking place in a no-longer-sleepy town in central California April 12-14 and 19-21. And that means that brands are buzzing. Coachella is the big leagues of millennial brand activation; a place where brands can make a big impact with these prime consumers. But, in recent years, fashion and beauty brands are reported to have been scaling back to overcome the “boom and bust” of their Coachella campaigns. As the co-founder of Tribe Dynamics put it, “If you think about the brands that have done well at Coachella, like Anastasia Beverly Hills in 2018, it wasn’t because they did a big event but because people were just wearing the product and organically repping the brand. It’s similar to what we see at fashion weeks: Brands think runway shows are garnering all the coverage, but it is what people are wearing to the shows that drives engagement.”
This year YSL decided to buck this recent trend and go the extra mile, offering a retro-style gas station where attendees can fill up on makeup on Route 111. The activation offers a unique brand experience for attendees before they even step inside festival grounds. This will be YSL’s first public-facing event at a music festival and, as the two-weekend event unfolds, we’ll see if they drive it home – or get left in the dust.
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