Spielwarenmesse: Experiential Marketing makes kids happy... and vendors, too

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Experiential Marketing makes kids happy... and vendors, too

from Yvette Schwerdt

While not exactly new, Experiential Marketing is more apropos than ever. Rather than listing a brand’s particular benefits, it encourages people to actually experience them live. Traditional examples include food and cosmetics samples at the department store. With the advent of social media and innovative technology, however, Experiential Marketing has now grown into a powerful business tool with vastly expanded reach and exponential ROIs. No wonder, then, that the tactic is rapidly becoming the new darling of the business world, in general, and of the toy industry, in particular.

Nivea’s recent Experiential Marketing campaign was equally impressive. Here’s how it unfolded: The company first ran print ads for its children’s sunscreen brand and included a removable RFID bracelet. Parents wishing to relax on the beach could strap the bracelet around their child’s wrist, download the respective App onto their mobile phone and define geographic boundaries. As soon as the kids ventured too far away, an alarm would go off. The campaign thus nicely reinforced the brand’s claim ‘Helps Keep Your Children Safe This Summer’. And since it included print, it automatically addressed a larger audience.

Experiential Marketing also scores when it comes to customer loyalty. Dapple, for example, has been distributing its natural, safe, baby-specific cleaning products in maternity wards for years. Young mothers appreciate the practical, colourful gifts, try the acclaimed products as soon as they come home from the hospital, and often stay loyal to the brand on the long run.

What’s more: Experiential Marketing also significantly contributes to a business’ bottom line. According to a recent study by Harvard University researchers, customers are much more likely to purchase a product they can touch in the store. At the same time they are also likely to spend more. It is thus no coincidence that master retailers, such as Apple and Best Buy, always display their merchandise for people to touch and try.

The strategy of allowing customers to experience a brand without necessarily having to buy its products is implemented in a variety of ways. Some campaigns take place in, others outside the store; some are modest and others mega in size and scope. What’s important is that they appeal to the customers’ senses and create memorable experiences. Chances are people will then emotionally engage with the brand, make the purchase, and remain committed.

Are you ready to try your hand at Experiential Marketing? Then you may find the following tips helpful:

  1. Convey your brand values. If there is little or no connection between brand and campaign, even the best experience will fail to advance your company’s goals.
  2. Have fun. Experiential Marketing is about sharing the joy in using the product. And that is best achieved if you, as the campaign initiator, genuinely enjoy the experience, too.
  3. Stay the course. A successful Experiential Marketing program is rarely made up of a single campaign. Rather, it entails planning and executing a series of integrated campaigns that support and reinforce one another.
  4. Integrate Social Media, PR, and traditional advertising. It is not only about reaching people who can physically participate in the fun, but also about addressing those who hear about it via Social Media and other multipliers.
  5. Pay attention to the feedback. Constantly evaluate your customers’ responses and use the findings to further improve your campaigns.

Granted: Experiential Marketing requires time, money and a lot of creativity but the effort is well worth it. According to a recent study by the Event Marketing Institute, Experiential Marketing campaigns generate average returns of between 100 % and 400 %, thus making vendors as happy as the kids they target.

 

 

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