Category Archives: Power of Event Marketing

How to Know the Value of a Live Brand Experience

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The Value of Live Brand Experiences

“You’re drinking what?” My husband had gone to grab a beer at a recent music festival, but returned with gin – an unusual choice for him in any venue. He had surprised himself, too, but he had been fascinated by the Hendrick’s Gin booth and decided to give it a try. This booth, he said, as he handed me a deck of playing cards branded Hendrick’s, was something I had to see. And, he was right.

There, sitting in the corner of the “food truck park,” was Hendrick’s three-story exhibit. It was rust-colored and decorated with large cogs, yet reminiscent of an old saloon. My eyes immediately went to the roof, where bearded men wearing top hats and aprons blew bubbles and threw flower petals. On the second floor, women in the same outfits and sunglasses kept cool with antique hand fans. And, on the ground, other event staff served up craft cocktails to people who came in droves to buy them. Some may have done so with intent. But, many passersby, including my husband and several friends, were unexpectedly drawn in by the live brand experience.

No matter the reason, it was easy to see their attendees’ satisfaction topped that of festival-goers who waited in long lines at other booths. In short, Hendrick’s Gin offered value not found with most other brands on the festival’s grounds.

The Value of a Live Brand Experience

A live brand experience has the ability to provide value for all involved. For consumers, it fulfills a universal human desire for a unique experience. After all, more and more people are choosing to buy experiences over products. Experiences tend to make people happier for a longer period than a physical purchase. Experiences also leave lasting memories and result in greater bonds with those who share in them. Read More

How to Create the Best Event Marketing Plan

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Event Marketing PlanEvent marketing is one of the best ways to promote your product, build brand awareness, and create personal relationships with your customers. But even the most exciting events will not sell themselves. If you want to maximize event attendance, you will need an event marketing plan.

The right event marketing plan will help you increase attendance and create a more memorable event for your guests. The right plan will help you determine who will be interested in your event and how you can spread the word.

How to Create the Best Event Marketing Plan

Of course, even the best-laid plans can go awry. You will need to constantly re-evaluate yours based on your budget, timeline, and target market.

That being said, there are certain steps you can take to increase your chances for success. Here are seven steps to creating the best event marketing plan.

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This is the Future of Retail Stores

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Future of Retail Stores

 

It never fails. Every time my husband walks by the Microsoft® store he lets a little laugh and exclaims “wow.” And, surprisingly for him, it’s not from his admiration of all the technology. It’s from all the traffic and activity that keeps the store abuzz, unlike of many of its neighbors.

Some have said the company followed Apple’s lead in its retail initiative. And, that’s fine. Bill Gates once said, “Whether it’s Google or Apple or free software, we’ve got some fantastic competitors and it keeps us on our toes.” Still, Microsoft discovered the future of retail stores before many others did. And, it’s pulling out all the stops to keep shoppers coming through its doors.

A quick glance at the events calendar for “my” store lets me know who they’re targeting and how. And, their efforts aren’t run-of-the-mill. For example, Microsoft is engaging gamers through in-store competitions and prizes. One great part of this strategy is that they’re creating a physical community for customers who are typically virtual. This experience can create positive and lasting impressions among participants for the brand.

Kids are another target audience. Microsoft is attracting them, and their parents and educators, through hands-on STEM activities. And, we can’t forget business execs, who need computer hardware and software on every desktop. Through interactive assessments, the brand helps them identify rising cyber security threats. More important, it offers solutions to mitigate them.

In short, the brand is doing exactly what it needs to do to compete in the now and, without a doubt, the future of retail. It’s executing experiential retail and offering consumers what they are drawn to.

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Building Your Brand? Here is the Right Way

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Building your brand

 

Which came first: the chicken or the egg? This age-old question continues to stump people everywhere, despite its various theories. Some are scientific in nature, while faith or philosophical thoughts are the foundation of others. A Fox News article attempted to explain many – or what could be all – of them.

At a high level, Greek philosopher Aristotle acknowledges both the chicken and the egg. Hinduism and Buddhism faiths recognize neither. Meanwhile, Christianity gives credit to the chicken, and so do British scientists. The latter say an eggshell requires a protein unique to a chicken to form. Yet, another scientific theory says a bird – not a chicken – laid an egg. And, it experienced some minor genetic mutation to produce the first chicken.

It’s likely we’ll never know which came first, though people may have a belief one way or another. Similarly, some marketers believe a brand must be well-established before meeting the public. Yet, you should know there is merit to letting your target consumers assist in building your brand.

Why Consumers Should Help in Building Your Brand

Brands are no longer only a product of their logos or even their products. A brand represents a company’s identity, values and mission. So, in turn, brands come to represent the people who support them, which means consumers don’t take these decisions lightly. In fact, 59% of respondents to a Nielsen survey “prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them.” And, that puts new brands at a disadvantage.

Of the report, Nielsen representative Rob Wengel said, “For new products launched without the benefit of a strong brand name, extra care must be taken to provide strong assurance that the product will be perceived as a good value for the money.” A smart means to deliver this extra care is to directly engage with intended consumers. Read More

3 Errors That Will Ruin Holiday Retail Promotions

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holiday retail promotions

 

To express one’s delight at something, there are few better sayings than “like a kid at Christmas.” Yet, for those who grew up as “Toys ‘R’ Us kids,” the news of bankruptcy for the long-time leading toy retailer has them feeling anything but. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the state of the retail industry. But, the good news is the future for Toys “R” Us isn’t bleak. In fact, its plans show promise and come just in time for its most lucrative quarter – the holiday shopping season.

Its strategy, dubbed Project Sunrise, will better merge in-store and online shopping experiences. Yet, the ability to win shoppers over the last few months of 2017 will surround other kinds of “experiences.” For example, the company just announced open positions for toy demonstrators. These temporary holiday staff will play with toys and assist shoppers to do the same. It will also activate its Times Square pop-up shop for the second year in a row. This 33,000 square-foot space will have its brand mascot, Geoffrey, greeting customers amid a NYC-themed backdrop. The store’s temporary status should create FOMO in shoppers to draw them in. And, its interactive elements should encourage them to spend.

This is refreshing, since holiday retail promotions may be stale compared to ongoing consumer brand efforts. And, it seems the strategy for Toys “R” Us is here to stay. The New York Times reports the company “hopes to return to its more experiential roots” once it’s regained financial stability. These efforts should bode well for its future. Yet, time will tell if they’ll be good enough to keep our last toy store chain open, and us like kids at Christmas.

Why Experiential is the Way to Go this Holiday Shopping Season

Traditional holiday retail promotions have lost their edge. For instance, the National Retail Federation (NRF) says shoppers no longer feel pressured to “immediately jump” at deals. This is because they’ve come to expect these deals all season long. So, the burden is back on the companies to rollout their best retail marketing campaigns yet. And, with spending expected to top $1 trillion this holiday shopping season, the competition will be hot.

This is especially true considering the new rivalry from peers who provide services. Almost 75% of millennials prefer to buy experiences, not things, with hard-earned dollars. That’s because experiences help them feel connected to their loved ones, forming closer bonds, something the holidays have in common. And, since the NRF reports millennials, our largest generation, to be the “most conservative holiday spenders,” retailers must offer an experience to stand out. But, activations must make the desired impact – and there are mistakes that can ruin them. Read More

6 Reasons You Need to Invest in Experiential Marketing

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Invest in an experiential marketing event

 

Several years ago, Facebook decided that they wanted to find a way to help the marketers who were using their platform for advertising. Facebook has an immense amount of data surrounding how people use both Facebook and Instagram. But they realized that most marketers didn’t understand how to use this information.

So they created an event called the Live IQ Event in New York. The event was designed to show marketers how they can take advantage of the data Facebook provides. But the way that they went about this was truly unique.

They had a number of different live demonstrations set up throughout the event. There was an “Instagram Cafe” which showcased millennials taking photos of latte art, snapping selfies, and posting pictures on Instagram. And they even built a home to demonstrate how new parents use Facebook to beat isolation and connect with others.

The result? Over 1500 people attended the event and 93 percent reported that the event gave them valuable insights. Facebook provided incredible value to its audience and boosted its brand perception in the process.

The Value of an Experiential Marketing Event

When it comes to your company’s marketing budget, you might have differing opinions as to where to invest your money. Successful marketing tactics are always changing, and what worked yesterday may not work tomorrow.

Many companies invest heavily in social media marketing since that is where so many of their customers spend their time. Social media marketing is important but it is much harder to stand out online. And most customers experience information overload when they are online.

One of the most effective ways to build a relationship with your customers is by giving them an experience they will remember. An effective experiential marketing strategy involves engaging with your customers through live events.

After all, Facebook could have just put on an all-day conference complete with lots of slideshows and occasional restrooms breaks. Or they could have hosted a series of webinars.

But they did much more than this. They created an experiential marketing event that their guests will remember. And so should you.

6 Reasons You Need to Invest in Experiential Marketing

So why should your brand invest in an experiential marketing event? In short, because it’s incredibly effective. A well-executed event gives the attendees an experience that couldn’t have been achieved online.  

Here are six reasons your brand needs to invest in experiential marketing.

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3 Tailgate Marketing Plays That Will Win You Fans

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Tailgate Marketing

 

ESPN named the matchup of Florida State and the University of Alabama “the most highly anticipated” of opening weekend. The respective #3 and #1 teams gathered TV viewers Labor Day weekend in homes and in bars for viewing parties. But, the real celebration took place at and near the site of the game, Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Tickets sold out months in advance but were available on StubHub starting at $400 and ranging up to $1,000. These prices, per USA Today, set the event up as “the second-most-expensive ticket for the 2017 season.” Yet, smart brands realized the draw well in advance of this declaration. Their tailgate marketing strategies were already in play for this Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.

Home improvement giant, Home Depot, set up “Tailgate Town.” The free event lured fans with games, activities, food and giveaways. And, it kept them there with a viewing area for the local game, as well as all other match-ups underway nationwide. Yet, the company that scored the most points on this occasion was Coca-Cola.

The leading soft drink brand kicked off festivities at noon at its World of Coca-Cola museum. There, paying visitors could take part in the “Taste It!” challenge, in which the brand chose beverages to represent each of the teams. They could also sample the all-new Coke Zero Sugar, eat hamburgers and play cornhole. And, Coke made sure to up its return on engagement with a custom Snapchat filter and several photo opps.

Later, back at the stadium, the ESPN College GameDay sponsor also hosted its FanZone. Starting at 3 pm, sports fans enjoyed interactive games, giveaways, free food and Coke and other brand activations. There were clearly no fumbles when it came to Coca-Cola’s tailgate marketing plays that day.

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This is the Best Way to Build Brand Awareness

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Build Brand Awareness

 

Did you know that around 12 million people live in the 70-mile-wide path of totality of the recent solar eclipse? And, up to another seven million outside of the path were expected to travel to witness the phenomenon? Due to widespread coverage of the much-anticipated event, it’s likely you heard these statistics. But, you may not fully grasp the interest this event drew everywhere. Viewing parties took place in areas well outside the path. Cities included some as far north as NYC and as far south as Fort Worth, TX, and even beyond. Yet, this fact didn’t go unnoticed by smart brands. Several realized the impact the total solar eclipse would make nationwide. And, they took this powerful opportunity to build brand awareness.

Some, like Chiquita, the leading banana company, utilized the Internet to reach Americans in the weeks leading up to the event. The brand released two teaser videos which garnered about 1.8 and 1.6 million views, respectively. Yet, interest waned with its official announcement. It only caught 44,000 views. And, its next four videos have received less than 6,000 views – combined – to date.

On the other hand, many brands sought to make a lasting connection with consumers. To do so, they lured eclipse enthusiasts to their locations with a can’t-refuse offer or better yet, a memorable experience. It’s those brands that pulled out all the stops with event and experiential marketing that weren’t overshadowed by the competition.

Why Event and Experiential Marketing Make the Biggest Bang

One company that sought to instill a big experience for consumers was Casper. The mattress brand set up camp in a hotspot for eclipse watching. That city, ironically enough, was Casper, WY. People who bought tickets to Casper Camp got a tent with a Casper mattress, as well as meals and activities, such as yoga and a film screening. When it came time for the eclipse, attendees received safe glasses and listened to a special soundtrack to enhance the experience. The event sold out.

Yet, this isn’t a first for Casper. In fact, the brand is known for its experiential marketing efforts. It has lent mattresses to help SXSW attendees catch some sleep. And, its “Nap Tour” has given people in 15 cities the chance to get in a power nap. The experience it delivers has reinvented the mattress industry. It has also propelled them to a $100 million company in less than two years.

That’s because experience is key to winning consumers in this day and age. In truth, almost 75% of millennials would rather buy an experience versus a product or good. Doing so gives them greater satisfaction. They are happier longer. And, they are able to connect with other like-minded individuals and their loved ones. These results build brand awareness and help secure brand loyalty. In short, delivering a great experience gives brands staying power. 

5 Ways to Build Brand Awareness with Event and Experiential Marketing

The following experiential marketing initiatives are proven to build brand awareness. They offer variety to allow any brand to fulfill its goal, while staying in budget.  Read More

6 Reasons Experiential is the Future of Brand Marketing

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Future of brand marketing

 

When some people think of brand marketing, they imagine digital methods, such as social media. Everyone is anxious to learn how they can find more Twitter followers, get more blog readers, and increase their online reach. But what if we told you that the most effective brand marketing strategy actually occurs offline?

Having a social media presence is important, but few things make an impact like a live event. Events stir up emotions and positive feelings in people that will last far longer than just reading a post.

At an experiential event, a company is able to look customers in the eye and shake their hands. This type of face-to-face interaction will be remembered far longer and will create stronger connections with your customers.

Experiential marketing has become more important than ever because it allows the customer to experience your brand in person.

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Street Team Promotions That Will Stop More People

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Street Team Promotions

 

I could hear the commotion as I perused the cases of jewelry. It wasn’t more than a minute later when I heard someone ask, “Want to join the party?” I turned to see a lady with a smile. She patiently waited for me to take the flyer from her hand. She could sense my apprehension and began telling me all about the event. The brand was Kiehl’s; the perks were celebrity biker appearances and free facials; and the cause was AIDS awareness. I thanked her and told her I’d try to make it by. It was then I noticed people all around in their branded shirts, approaching shoppers and delivering the same talking points.

After I’d done my shopping, my curiosity got the best of me, so I walked towards the noise. A DJ was blaring today’s hits. People were dancing. The facial chairs were full. And, one of the guests of honor was greeting attendees. It was the most lively Monday morning I’d ever seen in this store or in the entire mall for that matter. The amazing traffic drawn to this event was another great testimony to the power of street team promotions done right.

Why Street Team Promotions Get Results

Street team promotions reach people right where they live, work and play. This means such initiatives allow brands to target individuals based on a number of factors. These include their geographic area, interest or even income. And, they do so where people are most comfortable, helping consumers let down their guards to hear what brands have to say.

When brands use the best event staff, they make greater strides towards their event goals. That’s because their staff members’ skills and know-how encourage consumers to take the next steps towards the call to action. This may be visiting an experiential event, such as that of Kiehl’s, or going to a website to learn more or to buy a product. The sky’s the limit when it comes to street team promotions. And, this makes them effective for many types of initiatives.

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Street Team Ideas to Fuel Your Brand’s Success

Brands may find success with these ideas and examples when launching street team promotions in support of the following goals.  Read More