For a few years now there has been a growing excitement about the possibilities experiential marketing holds for brands. Previously considered as a nice but not essential part of marketing; experiential events are now - more than ever - at the forefront of brands’ and consumers’ minds. The reason for this growth is the realisation that experiential activities are not just another event but an opportunity to create real, shareable connections between a brand and its audience.
Experiences vs. products
As a consumer I love experiencing new things from multi-sensory activities to new immersive technologies, and I am not the only one. A Harris Study revealed that 3 in 4 millennials value the experience economy over owning possessions and are increasingly spending time, money and energy on seeking out the latest, unique experiences instead of purchasing the latest desirable products. And this is not just a trend.When I look at my seventeen-year-old sister, always chasing the latest and coolest thing to do, I realise that this new pattern of purchasing is already the biggest driver of consumerism amongst the next generation and the move away from traditional ownership is not just a temporary phase.
Irreplaceable and online shareable memories
We are growing up in an ever-connected world where the physical and digital are beginning to be blurred. Experiential is one reason for this and should be utilised as a tool to educate and engage with consumers. Through events and experiences, people get to see the face of the brand, touch it, sense it, all the while showing the world what they are experiencing via social media. Why? My first thought would be to share the ‘moment of happiness’ found in interactions with others, having fun, being part of something cool and get a sense of community through live experiences. The second being that just like the product economy where consumers show off their latest, fresh-out-the-box possessions, the one-off branded experiences offers the consumer an exclusivity that gives them a social standing amongst their peers.
Endless experiential solutions
Whilst behaviours and expectations may evolve, people will always want to physically interact with each other and brand-interaction is, and will continue to be, a growing demand.
The beauty of experiential marketing is its endless possibilities in bringing people together through the best creative ideas and technological solutions, creating something more powerful than just another ad. Experiential agencies will continue to have fun exploring new, innovative ideas and developing the best physical link between a brand and its target audience. As trends change and technology progresses, the boundaries of live experiential activations will continue to be pushed beyond what we can imagine – what an exciting time for the marketing industry!
By Mylene Goyer, Senior Account Executive