In today’s overwhelmingly digital world, a genuine face-to-face experience is a valuable—and rare—occurrence. However, the desire for more personal interaction is increasing among younger generations. In fact, 78% of millennials would rather spend money on a memorable experience or event than buy desirable things. In response, brands are beginning to utilize the power of experiences in their marketing campaigns.

Experiential marketing presents consumers with an opportunity to experience a brand face-to-face through an event or other offline interaction. They connect with the brand in a unique way, which can result in positive exposure and increased brand awareness.

Though experiential marketing is still fairly new, there are many brands who have launched creative and successful campaigns. Cell phone carrier T-Mobile took the popular mobile game Angry Birds to a whole new level when they offered the public the chance to play a real-life game on a T-Mobile smartphone, complete with exploding pigs, live sound effects and instant replays. It created an environment of excitement and enjoyment.

Also, last year, shoe and clothing store Zappos ambushed Google’s experiential marketing campaign in Austin, Texas. In order to promote their new photo app, Google had set up a cupcake truck with the slogan, ”Pay with a Photo.” They handed out free cupcakes in exchange for a photo taken with their app. Zappos surprised everyone by placing a giant shoebox next to the truck, encouraging people to, “Pay with a Cupcake.” In return for feeding the shoebox your cupcake, you received prizes such as a watch, a gift card, or a pair of shoes. While Google had not planned on the ambush, both brands gained exposure through the campaign. Consumers left satisfied with cupcakes or gifts and an amusing experience. To ensure word spread about that experience, Zappos filmed the whole thing and created a clever, tongue-in-cheek video.

Experiential marketing can be very effective when done right. In a survey run by EventTrack, 98% of people said that seeing a product or service marketed through an experiential marketing campaign would make them more inclined to purchase it. When creating an experiential marketing campaign, it is important to connect with consumers on a positive and emotional level, while also aligning with your brand or specific initiative. Make sure your campaign stands out and piques enough curiosity to attract passerby without being interruptive. Also, whether it’s a branded hashtag, or a video like the one Zappos created, some sort of digital component should be integrated into your campaign.

At Harmon Group, we have marketing professionals who can help create an experiential marketing campaign tailored to your brand. They can put every element into action, from the development of the initial idea to a supporting social media strategy. Contact us today to learn more about how experiential marketing can benefit your brand.

If you want to know more about what we can do for your brand or business, contact us.