The launch of a new product is one of the most exciting times for any business. It's an opportunity to showcase your brand, generate buzz about what you do and attract new customers to your business.
While traditional advertising techniques can help, the most effective ways create excitement around your product is by integrating experiential marketing. This approach allows you to engage customers in an interactive way that creates memorable experiences that drive awareness and emotional interest in your new product or service.
Let’s dive into what experiential marketing is as well as some strategies for incorporating these tactics into your next campaign.
Occasionally referred to as engagement marketing, experiential marketing focuses entirely on creating an immersive brand experience for your audience.
This type of marketing is about providing a personal experience for the customer to remember and inviting them to become an integral part of the brand’s story. By building stronger emotional connections with customers, brand memories are created and over time solidified.
Branding professionals use experientially-driven campaigns as a way to strengthen their brand identity and engage consumers by allowing them to feel like they're part of something bigger than themselves. This strategy has been proven time and time again to be successful because it's one thing for your clientele or potential customer base to see what you offer through traditional advertising methods, but another thing altogether when they get hands-on, immersive experiences designed specifically for them.
Experiential marketing can take on an endless number of forms, but here are a few common ways it manifests:
As you might already imagine, integrating experiential marketing into not only your brand strategy, but an upcoming product launch can be a huge asset. Because most of these campaigns are designed around fun and drumming up interest, they can give your product launch an added boost of creativity and engagement.
When done effectively, experiential marketing leads to more brand awareness, increased sales, and new customers.
Some of the most successful product-specific campaign launches have utilized the power of experiential marketing to captivate people and create buzz. And the best part is that this method works across a wide variety of platforms.
Tech giant Google, for example, "sold" cupcakes on the streets of Texas by asking people to "pay" for the cupcake by taking a photo with the new app they were launching. When Vodafone launched their faster internet speed option, they marketed it by building a slide next to an escalator in a mall to demonstrate a speedier route.
But it's not just big names that can bank on this kind of interactive marketing. A small business in Ohio that provides Employee Assistance Plan services turned their booths into interactive attractions that made seeking mental health treatment less of a stigma. For example, the company's NASCAR booth asked people to pick their favorite car from a display and answer the accompanying question about stress. If they got the answer right, they would get a key that would unlock a prize box.
Now that you've seen all the ways experiential marketing can be a benefit to your next product launch, it's time we walk you through a few steps of how to get started.
Yes, your goal is to get as much buzz and interest about your new product so more people will engage with it. But what is the overall message and goal of the product itself? Demonstrations and first-hand product experience is great, but experiential marketing is all about creating meaningful and emotional interactions with the customer. So instead of focusing on, let's say, your product that cuts tomatoes, focus on the concept of growing your own food or the shared experience of cultivating a garden.
This goes beyond traditional target market research or understanding the problems your new product will solve. Rather, you need to uncover some of the emotional reasons people would buy your product. Then create experiences that bring out those emotions—especially the positive ones.
If you're not having fun, chances are your customers won't either. Experiential marketing isn't just about bringing people to your product; it's about making them feel something while they're there.
So as you're developing your brand strategy for your next product launch, consider how you can use experiential marketing to make it as engaging for your target market as possible.