In an online world, experiences are critical in encouraging consumers to interact with your brand physically. Consumers crave real-life experiences, especially when it comes to online-only retailers. Whether that’s a pop-up, collaboration or store-within-a-store, these events act as a physical extension of the brand and are commonly known as experiential marketing.
It focuses on forming experiences which can help build brand awareness, create months of content and increase sales. 80 per cent of marketers believe that live events are crucial to their company’s success. As well as being impactive on the day, social media helps to increase the longevity of its success. Sharing photos, comments and tags can massively increase your reach, so prompting this in your event is important. 98 per cent of consumers create digital or social content at events and 72 per cent say that a friend’s post about a branded experience makes them more likely to buy from that brand.
After attending events, 98 per cent of visitors feel more inclined to purchase and 80 per cent said that live demonstrations and free samples help them decide on their purchasing decision. These experiential marketing events help your customers buy with confidence, improve brand perception and are a great exercise for awareness. This kind of marketing can also be known as engagement marketing – because its sole purpose is to boost engagement.
As a trend that has risen massively in the retail sector, especially as technology improves and allows more experimentation, we look at some of the best experiential marketing campaigns below.
Ahead of Word Banana Day 2019, Chiquita, the world’s leading banana company, teamed up with Snapchat. SnapCodes appeared on 200 million Chiquita blue stickers, allowing participants to virtually peel back the sticker to tap into three experiences. These included a lens that transforms Snapchatters into a dancing banana, a lens that turns their face into a banana and a ‘Gamified’ lens that invites users to catch the falling Chiquita bananas into a fruit bowl for points.
Image source: Chiquita
Tucker’s Newsagent and Games
Experiential marketing isn’t just for retailers. A pop-up inspired by Black Mirror’s most recent movie Bandersnatch was opened in London’s Old Street station earlier this year. The 80s themed store, named Tucker’s Newsagent and Games, was decked out with Bandersnatch inspired memorabilia, such as fictional games that are featured in the movie. This generated lots of news coverage, social sharing and promoted the new film.
It’s Doughnut Time
Promohire was appointed by creative agency Optimist Inc. to collaborate on a Google Home campaign. They hit the road on a Google Mini Donut Shop pop-up tour in a converted van to promote the Google Home Mini smart speaker devices. Collaborating with Aussie brand Doughnut Time, Google brought a truckload of sweet treats to London, but with an added twist. By visiting the pop-up, customers were in for a chance to take home a new Google Home Mini or two donuts.
The built-in conveyor would deliver a box to the guest and they would open to discover whether it was filled with a donut or a Google Home Mini. The initiative helped commuters to see how the Mini could help with their routine, informing them of news, weather, calendar appointments and journey plans for the day ahead.
Image source: Promohire
Topshop made a splash
Topshop discovered through research that their customers favoured interaction over transaction. Subsequently, they created a unique customer experience that generated 6.5 million media impressions and increased sales and footfall.
Installing part of a real waterslide, smells and sounds of summer and a VR headset, Topshop created an immersive and unforgettable experience. This experiential campaign won them Frame’s Window Display of the Year Award 2018.
Running with Nike
Coordination Asia designed futuristic running hubs for Nike in Shanghai. The space provided pop-up gym services to runners for the colder months. It also promoted the Nike+ Run Club, which is a “community that finds the runner in everyone”.
The hexagonal room had a space-ship-like interior and housed treadmills and large screens that display performance stats. Other perks such as professionals, tech demos and Just Do It Sunday all took place in the space. Those who wanted to participate could pre-register online or sign in at an information hub.
Image source: Retail Gazette
The House of Vans
The House of Vans is the title given to event spaces located in London, New York, Chicago and Brooklyn but appear as pop-ups, as well as permanent locations. The shoe brand creates spaces for the skateboarding community to get together and celebrate creative passions.
On International Women’s Day this year, Vans hosted live music, documentary screenings and skate sessions to promote women in skateboarding. This experience was designed to encourage and highlight female visibility within the skate community. As well as positioning themselves as a culturally-led brand, the overriding marketing strategy for the brand was to show themselves as being passionate about equality whilst creating a fun experience for guests.
Amazon’s prime pop-up
In October 2018 Amazon opened its first ever London pop-up. The 900 square feet brick and mortar store was the perfect combination of online and offline retail. The online-giant delivered excellence on all grounds; product, experience and entertainment. They rotated stock every two to three days, experimented with different themes, price ranges and brands. Live music, yoga sessions and customisation were just a few of the innovative perks available at the Baker Street space.
The store was multi-channel to the highest level; links and QR codes were placed around the store, the layout was minimal and efficient with clothes being hung like window displays. Amazon Fire tablets were placed by each shelf with the web page open on the Amazon store where you can buy the adjacent clothes. Payment was seamlessly made on tablets by customers or with the help of staff. Items would be delivered straight to your door with next-day delivery.
From VR waterslides to high-tech pop-ups and spaces to celebrate female talent, experiential marketing can be exciting and impactive. Creating a fun experience for your customers builds awareness, brand perception and can even drive sales. You can learn more about experiential events here.