Despite what seems like a never-ending parade of videos across your news feed, creating viral content is extremely difficult. There is no formula, no process that guarantees your video or post will be seen by millions. In fact, according to Travis Chambers, founder of Chamber. Media, we need to rethink the whole concept of virality. “Virality used to mean rapid, unpaid sharing among millions of users. This just doesn’t happen often anymore, even with the most shareable videos in the world.” He says that focusing on going viral doesn’t address the key elements that will boost your bottom line.
Even though the idea of viral growth is illusory, brands continue to chase this vision to no avail. Instead, brands should spend less effort trying to meme themselves or their products and, instead focus on deeper engagement. Those brands that get consumers to care about their products and company will be on the patch to long term success. Here Inc outlines three ways that brands can get their customers attention in a meaningful way that motivates them to buy.
Toys R Us is making a comeback – but first, they need to figure out exactly how they’re going to do it. And a key element of their revival effort, according to Retail Touchpoints, will be experiential retail aimed at kids. But this time the approach will be less Geoffrey the Giraffe and more immersive brand experience – one that balances a child’s sense of wonder with a parent’s need for quality and convenience.
As many experts have iterated since the famous toy store’s demise, brick and mortar is not dead, but the expectation for in-person retail has changed. To be successful, retail brands need to deliver an experience-focused store that can offer something that global retailers like Amazon and Target cannot: a meaningful, valuable brand experience. Read on to learn more about the challenges that Toys ‘R’ Us’ is facing and their opportunities for redemption.
Forget FOMO. Some brands are seeing beyond the one-off, limited-time-only, “pop-up or miss out” event and shifting towards longer-term installations and experiences. Research indicates that allowing events to execute for a longer period results in greater impact for brands, as consumers continue to share their experiences and encourage others to attend.
This may not be the end of the pop-up era, but as Kenny Hyslop, head of experiential at Pernod Ricard, explains, “Pop-ups are expensive, plus short-term live activity puts so much pressure on the brand. Long-term residencies allow you to evolve the event.” Keeping the experience small and extending for weeks (or even month-long stints) also proves to be more sustainable, a concept that consumers care about. Check out other key factors that are driving the long-haul brand activation trend.
Instagram and Coachella go together like peanut butter and jelly. Think about it – can you really have one without the other? Coachella is designed with Instagram in mind. Which is why it may come as a surprise to learn that, this year, Instagram executed its first-ever experience at the popular festival. Dubbed Instagram Desert Chill, the activation took place in a branded house and was created to complement Coachella’s colorful desert aesthetic. It was also described as an experiential playground that encouraged attendees to use the space to create content.
The art director responsible for the space intended to make every square foot of the house Instagrammable. Other than a bar and a few places to lounge, what else is there to do besides bank some Instagram snapshots? The activation landed on multiple “Best of Coachella“ lists, proving that one of the most important factors of experiential is, in fact, how Instagram-worthy it is. Perhaps the next question is, how long will it be until people get Insta-ed out and want something less curated and more candid?
Is there a difference between buying and shopping? A Forbes article thinks so. When consumers are mission-driven, looking for something they need, they are buying. According to the article, buying “is frequently defined by some combination of best price, incredible convenience and satisfactory product.” When shopping, a person is going through a “discovery process, more emotionally-driven and may involve a complicated, service-oriented solution.”
It is shopping that often results in a consumer staying loyal to a brand or making a larger purchase. It is for that reason that, when consumers are shopping, they are more likely to be influenced by a unique experience. Brands looking to make an emotional connection with their consumers as they shop need to think about the goal of the experience. Read more about some of the strategic actions that retailers can take to impact, connect, and capture consumers throughout the buyer’s journey.
In NYC, the title of the “trendiest neighborhood” seems to ebb and flow, with newly-minted hotspots de-crowning each other on a regular basis. Throughout the years, many neighborhoods have rebranded, one of the most well-known being the iconic Meatpacking District. In what began as a gritty industrial neighborhood, the district has experienced what some refer to as “retail colonization” to become the fashion-forward hub it is today.
Building on its modern identity, the district’s goal is to lure more DTC retailers with an experiential approach. It hopes to increase foot traffic by focusing on investing in public places and open-to-the public events. Plans for “Sweat Sessions” – free fitness events that are sponsored by local gyms – and discounted post-workout food and drinks are already popping up on its summer social calendar. Is their “if we build it, they will come” strategy fool proof?
The iconic Harley Davidson brand has long sought to tap into a newer, younger demographic. Agency OA Experiential was tasked with producing engaging activations for the brand, while collaborators Mesh measured them.
The goal was two-fold. First, encourage millennials and Gen Z to interact with their new electric bikes and motorcycle stimulators during the X Games. Next, they wanted to measure their behavior. They used spatial analytics to find exactly where in the activation their target was engaged and how they interacted with the brand. Here’s the detail surrounding how they used tech to collect tangible results.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Avengers: Endgame came out this month. But this is not your run-of-the-mill Marvel movie. This monolith serves as a climax to the studio’s 21 movies that have been released over the past decade. Endgame is more than “a film” and its release will likely go down as a memorable pop culture moment. The movie has already smashed opening weekend records, making more than $356 million in its first 3 days in theaters. It goes without saying that brands are more than eager to align themselves with Endgame and take advantage of its broad reach and appeal.
Expect everything from your cereal box to your car brand to have an Avengers marketing spin. Brand tie-ins are definitely not new for this massive franchise, but as the movies and characters have evolved over the years, it seems that not all brands are sticking to the same old script. Here Fast Company explores which brands that rose to the occasion – and which ones flopped.
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