How Experiential Marketing Is Changing the Marketplace


Experiential Marketing.. what’s that all about?  Like many new phenomena it has been with us for a long time, but only now has been given a catchy two-word concept name that explains it.  Ever been to a coffee roasting house and breathed in the aroma, taken time to sample different beans and then walked away beaming with your latest purchase, only to then tell everyone you meet how amazing it was?  That was experiential marketing.

Technically speaking, according to Danielle Barclay of TRO Australia, when defining ‘experiential’,  it must clearly deliver meaningful benefits for consumers; it must be one-to-one personal interaction between the brand and consumer; it must be authentic; it must engage people in a meaningful way; it must empower a consumer to become a brand evangelist; and it must use innovation to reach the consumers in innovative ways.

The concept of providing an ‘experience’ at point of sale is not new but it is definitely amongst the hottest trends affecting how B2C retailers and service providers influence their audiences.

Many years ago the Red Balloon trend began where rather than buying an object or a tangible gift, consumers bought something less tangible – an ‘experience’, like white water rafting or a gondola ride.

This same concept has been broadened to the shopfront, where (as pictured above) consumers are invited inside the world and the vision of the provider, and given a sensory glimpse inside how their world can be transformed through the purchase of something… a 3D TV, a new apartment.. whatever it might be.  According to industry pundits, these experiences can also extend into ‘virtual experiences’, as demonstrated by the chap in the bubble as pictured at the top of this entry.

From the retailer’s side certainly there is some investment and outlay involved here, to ‘create’ the ‘experience’ that you want the consumer to try.  But this new way of selling is a natural extension of test driving a new car, or sitting on a couch in a new display home.  It gives you a tantalising vision of how this retail experience will change your life in some positive way.

Ultimately what the providers of an experiential marketing concept are trying to achieve is to recruit passive sales reps from among their new clients.  Once you have bought whatever it is, no doubt within minutes you might be Tweeting about it, put up a photo on Facebook and become their newest and least paid sales rep.  Clever!

Cynicism aside, the recruiters of ‘early adopters’ is not new, and is something that innovative companies like Apple have been doing for years.  If keeping up with the Joneses is important to you, then you will want whatever the latest trend is, or at least give up your free time to go and ‘experience it’ for yourself.

I wonder how you might incorporate an ‘experience’ into your next sales pitch?


Yours in PR

 

 

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1 Comment »

  1. ravindrakathale Said:

    Yes, this kind of concept has been around for a very long time in the form of offering samples for immediate consumption leading to sales. This variation is good. It can be used in service enterprises by inviting people to be a part of or witness a service or process going on for customers, e. g. invite prospects to attend a lecture or two as a free sample of your expertise as well as to give them a feel of the total classroom experience that you offer. Nice and useful post. Thanks.
    — Ravindra Kathale


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