Over the past few years, society’s passions have begun to run higher. Most people feel aligned with certain groups, causes, and ideals. Leaving politics aside, this emphasis on values has also affected brands. For some time, our youngest generations have expressed interest in purchasing from brands that share their values, but this past year we saw an even greater call to action for companies to take a stance. And many did.
For the brands that did align with a cause or viewpoint, it was not without risk. But the bigger the risk, the bigger the payoff when they get it right. In fact, 2019 is anticipated to be the year in which more brands will take a stance. Not only do cause-driven campaigns tend to resonate with consumers, they also have the potential to increase sales numbers. But the risks need to be taken into account as well. Brands should have a strategy to help them bounce back in case the campaign isn’t received as planned.
For many people, embracing health and wellness has become a high priority. Yet, life tends to interrupt even the best intentions with challenges that make it hard to put self-care first. Family, friends, home, work…the hurdles can seem endless. But that doesn’t mean that health needs to be neglected. People can incorporate wellness into their day-to-day, from indulging in a farm-to-table meal to splurging on their favorite skin care products.
While a vast number of brands have seen the benefit of appealing to wellness, beauty brands have an advantage. Their products often can provide the luxurious self-care that so many people crave. Many brands in the beauty industry have created experiences that resonate with consumers. By additionally tapping into the appeal of wellness when designing activations, beauty brands can amplify the success they have already seen in face-to-face marketing. Here, A Little Bird provides tips and ideas for brands looking to use experiential to prove how self-care in beauty is tied to well-being.
The philosophical question of our time: if you didn’t post it, did it really happen? The world of social media has become a prominent part of everyday life. So much so, that sometimes the line between real life and the “social media life” can become blurred. For example, a restaurant choice may be dictated by how photographable the food is. The popularity of a particular destination is often driven by its picturesque (or Instagrammable) aesthetic. And while many brands are leaning in to this trend by creating picture perfect experiences, Canon took it a step further by teaching consumers how to capture the best photo for social media.
The Santa Monica-based brand activation, dubbed “Canon Portals,” provided attendees an opportunity to use one of Cannon’s automatic cameras, including their newest mirrorless EOS R. They were then led through a series that taught specific skills. On hand were brand ambassadors, who provided extra photographic tips or tutorials on the skill being taught. Once consumers were happy with their shots, Canon helped them print physical copies of their favorites to take home.
It’s hard to believe that 2018 is almost over. From the Winter Olympics, the World Cup and everything between, brands took advantage of live marketing opportunities this year. But let’s not look back. Now is the time of year to look ahead and plan for 2019. And in the experiential industry, the goal for many brands will be to continue to deliver higher-impact, one-of-a-kind experiences for consumers.
This Adweek article explores new trends and tools for event marketers to explore in the coming year. Most notable is the prediction that experiential footprints will get bigger and better. This is in large part due to the fact that “production houses need more audiences to see their creations in person.” This aids brands in creating experiences that keep consumers engaged from start to finish.
“Millennials” have been on the tip of every marketer’s tongue over the past several years. Currently holding the title of the largest living generation of consumers, the group is the target of many marketing campaigns. But what makes a millennial? They are the generation that “came of age” around the year 2000, so generally speaking, they are people born between 1981 to 1996. One of the characteristics that has come to define this generation is their tendency to favor experiences. This has been a significant driver in the growth of experiential marketing and has helped to change the way brands interact with consumers.
Combining brand activation with the nostalgia of the turn of the century, National Geographic created an experience that not only appeals to millennials, but people of all generations. In advance of the launch of their new 90s-based series, “Valley of the Boom,” Nat Geo partnered with coworking brand WeWork to recreate a 90s-style internet café. From Oregon Trail to Tetris, attendees had the opportunity to step back into the era they grew up in.
Since its inception in 2006, the #MeToo movement has become a historic moment. Not only has it given survivors a sense of validation and community, it has started a national dialogue about the treatment of women in society. This shift in the social consciousness has also meant that brands must be hyper-aware in their messaging, especially considering that women are responsible for 70-80% of purchasing decisions. Brands have and will continue to have a challenge as it relates to traversing this new national perception.
To help companies navigate the difficult path, Sparks agency recently published some tipson how to make an impact in the #MeToo era. They cover topics such as understanding the female audience and knowing the limitations and bias that technology can create. One tip in particular is the alignment between the brand message and the company’s internal culture. If these two things don’t line up, the brand can lose its credibility in the eyes of female consumers.
The holidays can be the perfect time for companies to invest in a brand activation. People are out and about, looking to spend money and make memories. One of the most popular options de jour is the pop-up shop. Some may argue that 2018 was the year of the pop-up, and the results have been more than notable. In fact, according to Storefront, the pop up retail industry is expected to have generated $80 million in revenue. But, while the idea of a pop-up store may seem straight forward, there are many variables that brands need to keep in mind to show ROI.
To gain broad appeal with consumers, brands need to know what motivates them. Conversely, and what some would consider the most important, brands need to know what would prevent a consumer from making a purchase at a pop-up. One consideration: while people eager to participate in photo opportunities and experience something unique, some may be weary of making a purchase in fear of needing to return unwanted gifts. Brands can combat this and other concerns by employing pop-up brand ambassadors who have return policy knowledge. Brands can glean more tips from this Consumer Reports article, which gives consumers tips on how to successfully navigate the world of pop-up shopping.