There is no doubt that we live in a digital world. That is why it is often many brands’ first instinct is to use digital marketing when promoting the business. Everyone uses technology on a daily basis. So, it is reasoned that digital has the biggest reach and highest number of impressions. But this logic is flawed, as impressions do not always equal quality interactions and are not inherently beneficial for brands. Due to the high-impact of each consumer touchpoint that experiential can offer, many brands are going down the brand activation path.
By executing experiential marketing campaigns, brands create a unique, face-to-face experience with target customers. And many brands have seen incredible results. In a recent article, Forbes shared the most successful in-person marketing tactics of nine entrepreneurs. From live streaming to local guerrilla campaigns, many of the tactics listed here can be budget-friendly while still creative, engaging, and result-driven.
Experiential retail is changing the brick and mortar paradigm wherein brands simply open their doors and wait for the purchases to manifest. Ecommerce has provided unprecedented product accessibility in both competitive pricing and convenience. Now brands need to give consumers a compelling reason to get off of Amazon and into the stores. And the data is showing that a personal brand experience can be the answer. But the data also show that the sense of community that accompanies the brand in an experiential retail approach may also be a factor.
These brand-driven communities provide a shared experience that move beyond a one-time transaction. By building communities surrounding the company itself, retailers are creating a social construct for customers. As this Jack Morton blog post sums up, experiential retail and brand communities are key “because our retail stores won’t survive on selling stuff alone.”
A Guide to Pop-Up Shops and How they Help Brands Grow
Across the industry, there is no doubt that experiential retail is a hot topic. The retailpocolypse has dominated headlines as a dramatic unintended consequence of the advent of ecommerce. And, in response, one experiential retail tactic that rolls off marketers’ tongues as often as “brand experience” is “pop-up shop.”
Pop-up shops are not a one-size fits all concept. They see many different iterations, not just a standard, Instagram-able brick-and-mortar storefront. Recently, some headline-making experiential pop-ups, like the Color Factory or Museum of Ice cream, have shown that pop-ups, while still revenue-generating, can place the experience ahead of the brand (or sponsoring brands). This article by Mc-2 provides readers with a simple breakdown of pop-up shops and how brands can use them to grow their customer base. Check it out here.
Experiential retail and pop-ups are in no way limited to one industry or genre. While beauty and fashion are seeing huge successes, they are not the only industries that have an inherent advantage when it comes to experiential retail. According to Marketing Dive, “sports and outdoor retail is another sector that could be primed for an experiential takeover, especially if more big-ticket players start buying into the model.”
The article uses retail giants Nike and REI as prime examples of how this immersive retail approach can pull in positive results. Nike has built its brand on experiences, and in turn designed the new Nike Los Angeles store to combine digital with the physical. The store, which encourages customers to use an integrated mobile app, helps the brand collect consumer insights while providing an added interaction with consumers. Read more to learn more and see why REI has also become a key player in the experiential retail game.
It was just 12 years ago that CRM software company, Salesforce, launched their signature conference and tradeshow, Dreamforce. In that first year, 1000 peopleattended the San Francisco event to get a preview of the updates that Salesforce was rolling out for the new year. Fast-forward to the present, and the current version of the tradeshow boasts 170,000 attendees and has hosted elite speakers, such as former First Lady Michelle Obama.
Dreamforce’s size and scope has allowed the event to grow into a unique experience for attendees. Spreading out over San Francisco, Salesforce has incorporated the entire city into the Dreamforce experience. Despite concerns of too much congestion, producers were able to successfully pull off one of the country’s largest tradeshows.
Nostalgia Marketing Makes People Happy – and More Likely to Spend
Nostalgia marketing is a smart marketing tool, as it has proven to be incredibly effective. According to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research, “we’re more likely to spend money when we’re feeling nostalgic.” Looking back to a “happier time” has real effects on people, and brands are looking for several innovative ways to take them there. Whether it’s creating an environment that mirrors that of the 90s or evoking a memory through a favorite childhood game, the goal is the same.
In a recent blog post, Sparks agency shared some of their favorite nostalgia-based brand activations. The events had a common unifying factor: each brand not only picked a particular era but zeroed in on a moment or object that consumers could connect their memories to. Check out the events here.
How Brands are Designing Digital Art Experiences to Engage and Delight Attendees
Incorporating an immersive art experience into an experiential event can help brands keep attendees immersed and engaged. Art experiences are also effective in promoting the creation of user-generated content. This gives marketers valuable Instagram opportunities that consumers are looking for and brands benefit from.
Inspiration for an original art experience does not have to be rooted in a traditional, tactile art form. In fact, the art world has expanded due to advances in technology. Event Marketer recently shared a selection of their top technology-driven art experiences. The feature included a coloring book-like art wall by Perrier that printed the consumers’ artwork onto a tote-bag that they could take home. Read more about the experiences included in the compilation.
Why eCommerce Leaders Love Brick-and-Mortar
For children of the 80s and 90s, the mall was a haven. It was a place to shop, meet friends, and feel independent, far away from the watchful eyes of parents at home. Before eCommerce, shopping was an activity that not only teenagers, but people of all persuasions, enjoyed. And, just because the hassle of “running around” gave way to the convenience of online purchasing, it didn’t eliminate the positive feelings associated with being out and about. People still want fun, physical, community-oriented activities, it’s just going to take more than racks and shelves to get them in.
Brick-and-mortar is not over, but it’s changed. And for those forward-thinkers who are reimagining retail, the rebirth of in-store shopping can be largely-attributed to the experience that consumers find in a store or brand space. Many of these innovative retailers, even those that live online, see this new in-store experience to be as much of a marketing tool as it is a sales opportunity. As this AdWeek article points out, many of them are using experiential retail to collect offline consumer data, providing critical insights that can’t be procured online.