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How Brands Are Using Experiential Marketing to Influence Consumer Buying

Katherinev123
August 20th, 2012
Many brands are using experiential marketing -- strategies that aid in the creation of a memorable customer experience -- to build loyalty and drive sales. When a customer has an unforgettable experience with a brand first-hand, whether it be through a product trial, an exciting event or other memorable experience, he or she is more likely to do business with the brand and spread the word to friends and family.

For some demographics in particular, experiential marketing has a marked influence on consumer purchasing behavior. For example, Jack Morton Worldwide's 2005 Experiential Marketing Survey found that almost 80 percent of teens said experiential marketing would increase their consideration of a purchase, while 60 percent of women stated that it was more likely that experiential marketing would cause them to buy a product than would TV or the Internet. What's more, 75 perent of the women surveyed said they would tell others about the experience.

As for experiential marketing tactics and campaigns, they range from street-corner events to uniquely themed restaurants and nightclubs. For example, Trend Hunter recently featured the Levi's Summer Hotline campaign, which comprised putting red telephone booths in Hong Kong's malls that dispensed prizes when shoppers completed stunts and answered questions. The campaign provided people with a fun and memorable experience, driving over 500,000 shoppers to the booths in just three days and also boosting Levi's sales by 30 percent!

Another example is IKEA's sleepover event, which the furniture brand kicked off last November. The company invited 100 lucky Facebook fans to spend the night at its London Essex store. Along with giving fans goodie bags, snacks, massages, manicures and more, the store also offered tips on choosing the right mattress and bedding and how to get a better night's sleep. Cadbury's Joyville campaign is another great example. This fun and playful campaign included installing a large musical chocolate fountain at the Westfield mall in London and driving a steam engine to different stations in Sydney, Australia, to hand out free bars of Cadbury chocolate.

In contrast, some brands have based their entire business model on a unique experience -- indeed, the experience is what sets these businesses apart from the competition. For instance, the Ogori Cafe in Japan surprises its customers by not serving them with the food they order but with what was ordered by the patrons who ate at the cafe before them. Toronto's O'Noir restaurant requires that patrons dine in complete darkness, while Horror Picture Tea in Paris is both a cafe and a tattoo parlour. Further, Galerie Harfa in the Czech Republic is a shopping mall that is filled with life-sized replicas of dinosaurs, making the shopping experience undeniably more interesting.

There is no doubt that experiential marketing can have a significant impact on consumer purchasing behavior, and brands that employ it stand to increase awareness, build loyalty and augment sales. For more examples of experiential marketing, download Trend Hunter's Marketing Trend Report and access our PRO trends database.
References: walyou, trendreports