9 Experiential Marketing Ideas for Brands to Chew On

Experiential marketing ideas bring the customer in direct contact with a specific company or product. The more you interact with your customers, the more invested they are in your company.  Using innovative and exciting ways to reach your customers is the best way to gain popularity in a society with a short attention span.   Looking at these ideas can provide inspiration for ways to promote your own business, successfully.

1. Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is gaining popularity as an experiential marketing tool and companies have begun using it to help promote their products.  Brands can incorporate virtual reality into their apps, for instance,  to help draw-in more people.  Companies may also choose to create videos that incorporate virtual reality technology and 3D technology, as well.   Doing so may help draw customers toward your business by providing an enjoyable and memorable experience. Strong positive emotionally-charged memories are the output that brands should be looking for from their experiential marketing ideas.

2. Themed Escape Rooms

Escape rooms are a fun way for friends, family, and colleagues to work together to solve a problem. But, recently,   businesses have been using this to their advantage by creating their own branded escape rooms.   HBO successfully utilized this technique by creating escape rooms that featured some of their most popular shows.   As expected, people lined-up to get into the Game of Thrones escape room.   The brilliance behind this concept is that the escape room players were so focused on the game, they were  barely aware of the marketing.

3. Support a Cause

You don’t always need to talk about your brand or product to generate positive press.   You can also create a buzz around your company, while doing something good for the world, by supporting a worthy cause.   Choose a cause that is important to you or one that relates to your industry, if possible.    A perfect example of this marketing technique is the LeanCuisine  #weighthis campaign.  The company asked women to stand on a scale and then measured them by their hard work and strength, rather than their weight.  The ingenious campaign lifted spirits and made women feel good about themselves while promoting a product.

4. Go Viral

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Image courtesy of marketoonist.com

The majority of Americans are on social media.   Further, most Americans are on smart phones,  glued to social media accounts, for the majority of their day.   Thus, having a video or image go “viral” on social media can mean a huge bump in sales for your brand.   A viral post potentially provides instant advertising to millions of people across the globe.  One of the best ways to go viral is to use humor or humanitarianism in your videos or images.

Another way to draw attention to your company  is to bounce off of a current viral campaign.  For instance, one of the most famous experiential marketing ideas of the past few years was the ASL Ice bucket challenge, which was aimed at raising awareness for a terrible illness in need of funding.   The challenge videos became so  popular,  companies began taking the challenge and posting their videos,  which helped build momentum for the ALS foundation, but also brought them free advertising/branding.    The “Harlem Shake” is another example of a viral video that many companies latched onto, in an effort to gain popularity.   Using fads and pop culture to boost your social media presence is a great way to grab the attention of that illusive millennial generation.

5. Challenges, Contests, & Games

People are drawn to challenges.   Asking your customers to enter a contest or join-in a fun challenge is a good way to interact with your customers and bring brand awareness to your business.   People also love to give opinions.   A taste test is a great way to garner attention for a food/beverage service industry.

A contest will automatically build interest in your company- as long as you’re offering a worthwhile prize. You can even encourage sales by requiring a purchase to be entered into the contest.    Games can also be useful.  The trick is to come up with a memorable way to introduce your product to potential customers.

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Onspot Social insider info: We will be adding games and fun things to our app in the near future to help you engage with your users at trade shows and in-store to help you increase leads and capture contact information. Stay tuned.

6. Make a Scene

Literally, make a scene.  For the premier of Game of Thrones season 3, the studio created a giant dragon skull and left it on a beach. The abnormal sight left plenty of people talking.  So much so, in fact, that the show gained 600% of its viewership during season 3. Some of the best experiential marketing ideas are the most simplest.

7. Celebrity Endorsement

People tend to pay attention to celebrities.   Michael Jordan, for instance,  has been a great spokesperson for Hanes underwear and Air Jordan sneakers. The implication is that people will be closer to Michael Jordan if they use products he is using. Get those celebrities out into the community, in front of your customers. Let customers engage. If it is someone that truly aligns with your brand, that experience will resonate forever with your customers, which will leave them with a branded memory of the experience. The value that branded memories can bring to an organization over the lifetime of a customer is much larger than any short-term benefit that traditional sales and marketing tactics provide. If your budget allows, this could be a great approach for your brand, but as mentioned, be sure choose a celebrity who aligns well with your brand.

8. Showcase your Product in a Unique Way

If you have an amazing product, showcase what it can do!  Car companies, for example,  have been known for their experiential marketing ideas. Many have arranged races to demonstrate their vehicle’s abilities.  Aston Martin took it to another level  in 2014 when they showcased their newest vehicle  by driving on the ice in the Colorado Rockies.  The driver masterfully skidded through the beautiful background, creating a stunning video.  Not only did Aston Martin demonstrate the car’s  abilities,  they did it in a way that garnered attention and got people talking.  The video went viral nearly instantly. Experiential marketing ideas like this from Aston Martin are a big reason why their brand stays relevant and remembered.

9. Teamwork

Surprising collaborations can open-up your product to a brand new audience,  And, the collaborating brands don’t need to be similar.  In fact, companies from completely different industries can work together quite well.   Why can’t a clothing company and a car company work together?  Or an airline and a pizza chain?   Try to find unique opportunities to collaborate with popular industries in your market  to create interesting and attention-worthy marketing ideas.

Experiment with Different Experiential Marketing Ideas

These days, brands are getting more and more creative and experiential with their marketing campaigns.  The list of 9 experiential marketing ideas above is just a small subset with what brands are experimenting with. Experimentation provides an opportunity for your business  to test a few ideas. For the best results,  conduct small experiments with as many types of interesting experiential marketing ideas as possible to determine which resonate most with your customers.  The learnings coming out of these experiments will help brands hone their experiential marketing campaigns over time, creating increasingly effective outputs for the business.