After two years of global lockdowns, people are itching for known and novel ways to connect to the world and each other. We saw the development and launch of digital technologies that brought the whole world to a screen near you. Now that we’ve dug ourselves into the comfort of a new normal, we’ve also started to see a rise in digital fatigue and calls for a return to reality. Experiential marketing is still the absolute best way to network, generate leads, and foster strategic relationships with the end consumer. We are tactile creatures, and the more of our senses you can engage, the more likely we are to truly connect to a brand.
There are five types of experiences (connected to our five known senses) we can leverage: sensory (sense), affective or physical (feel), cognitive (think), behavior and lifestyle (act), and social-identity (relate). Ideally, a brand exposure should hit on as many as possible to create individual holistic experiences that build up brand values and culture.
So that leaves us in a bit of an ethereal space. After all, how do you touch a value?
1. Art Installations
The answer here isn’t reality vs screen, but an integration and collaboration between the two that leaves no one behind. Art installations are a really great way of doing this. They don’t have to be incredibly expensive or avant garde. It’s best to work with local artists that have a little bit of a following and aligned brand values. The big idea here would be to visually express a brand value or campaign communication. You want the consumer to be able to have a tangible representation of what the brand is. Something they can touch, smell, hear, and most importantly: photograph. Art should be interactive and shareable. Have a campaign or brand hashtag clearly visible to track the conversation online and measure engagement.
Best for: Boosting social media engagement
Keys for success: Feature a dedicated campaign hashtag to encourage and track social reach
2. Brand Pop-ups
In a world increasingly dominated by digital space, people are found wanting for something real. If you’re looking to launch your product or brand, or bring a new line of products into the world, there’s still something incredibly powerful about meeting people where they are and giving them something tangible to hold and feel. Brand pop-ups are a great way to create an impact on the community, introduce yourself and your product, and create the types of experiences that leave consumers interested and wanting more. Create the allure online by documenting and sharing every step of the journey. From the idea, to the long nights decorating, to the execution, invite viewers to see how the sausage is made and truly anticipate and appreciate your efforts. Day-of, make sure to go Live so people at home and everywhere around the world can also share in the experience.
Best for: Boosting brand awareness
Keys for success: Document and share every step of the process to promote the launch
3. Food Experiences
I don’t know about you, but I have never been mad at free food. It’s one of the most primal ways we have of making friends, and possibly the longest lasting marketing tradition. Whether you’re a food brand looking to promote tasty treats, or a services and goods brands looking to make a few new friends, aligning yourself with an experience you can taste can be very powerful. If you’re in the luxury space, curate a luxurious and tasty experience. If you’re more casual and communal, maybe consider inviting food trucks to your space. The idea is to truly embody your brand in something tangible, shareable, and delicious.
Best for: Boosting market share
Keys for success: Center on a theme that embodies a core brand value
These marketing trends are tried and true, and will continue to dominate the space in the next couple of years. It’s up to you to find what works best for your brand and audience. Wherever you are in your marketing journey, here at Ampersand, we’re happy to host.