Baby Boomers collectively have been known to spend their paychecks on physical items like homes, cars, and household appliances. On the other hand, Millennials and Generation Z are typically more interested in experiences -- with many of them choosing to spend their dollars on concerts, sporting events, and travel instead.
Given this rising trend among the younger generations, more and more companies are using experiential marketing to drive audience engagement. But instead of setting up a typical booth showcasing your products, consider thinking outside the box. Event-based marketing doesn’t have to be the same old party or convention atmosphere. Here are some unique types of experiences to attract more customers to your brand.
Classes and Workshops
Let’s face it -- traditional retail is slowly fizzling out as consumers happily choose to shop online. Many brick-and-mortar operations are having a hard time retaining business, so they’re experimenting with classes and workshops to keep customers engaged. For example, Canadian athletic apparel company Lululemon offers workout sessions to connect with the community. Marketers know customers will be more likely to purchase gear from Lululemon after attending these classes.
Meanwhile, David Lloyd -- a chain of high-end gym and racquet clubs in the UK -- ran a successful experience known as the ‘Run for Your Bun Cafe.’ The pop-up offered food and drink in exchange for exercise. Once guests had ordered their lunch, they were invited to a high-intensity 10-minute workout to actually receive it. Participants felt great after the session and felt encouraged to lead healthier lifestyles in the process.
Unlike the above examples, you don’t need to have a huge customer base to run classes and workshops. If you plan on taking this route, here are a few tips:
- Courses can be directly or indirectly related to the items you sell
- The goal is to make sure customers walk away with an awareness of what your business does
- If you’re running a hands-on workshop, make sure it is useful to the customer rather than a gimmick to sell something
Give customers a chance to play some unique games in an attempt to win prizes and learn more about your company. And we’re not talking about cheesy stuff like Beer Pong or The Shell Game either. Think of clever ways to get people involved in team-building activities where all participants are working together towards the same goal.
Coca-Cola was able to excite dehydrated beachgoers in Brazil by offering them free cans of Coke. The catch? All 500 cans were encased in a huge ice block that needed to be chipped away. Tons of people crowded around beating the ice with hammers or trying to melt it with their body heat. In the end, not only did everyone get to enjoy a refreshing drink -- but friendships were formed in the process too.
Another favourite is IKEA’s furnished wall. To celebrate the opening of France’s 30th IKEA store, the company installed a vertical rock climbing wall covered with IKEA furniture. People had a hilarious time climbing over coffee tables, stools, and patio furniture. Many participants even took small breaks on bookshelves and bed frames -- making for some great pictures they could share with friends.
These types of experiences lend well to social media posts. As people are smashing ice blocks or scaling furniture, they’ll want to post pics on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Make sure your experiential event offers reliable connectivity so you don’t miss out on this great marketing opportunity. Make it easy for customers to promote your brand for you by offering free wifi or video walls that connect to social media.
If your business lends itself well to tours, consider letting customers get an inside peek of your operations and sample your offerings. For example, if you run a cake shop, offer tours to aspiring bakers and show them how your goods are made. Don’t forget to offer lots of free samples to keep people interested too.
Big brands like Budweiser have been giving tours of their brewery to connect with beer lovers for years. And if you’re a fan of basketball, you can interact with the Golden State Warriors through an interactive sneak peek of Oracle Arena.
No matter how big or small your business, you too can build a following by opening your doors to the public. Factories, warehouses, bakeries, and wineries are all perfect locations for site tours -- especially if they’re in a busy area with lots of tourists.
Experiential marketing can give your business the boost it needs. If you’d like some guidance on setting up your next interactive event, an experiential technology firm like Big Digital can help. From event analytics to on-site support, we are Ontario’s trusted provider of out-of-home activations.
For more information about pop-up marketing solutions, call Big Digital at 1-855-621-2842 or contact us here.