Experiential marketing is all about connecting customers with brands – and doing so in an non-traditional and memorable way. Sometimes called customer-experience marketing, experiential marketing aims to personalize the branding experience to each individual consumer. It goes beyond the common confines of features-and-benefits marketing tactics and appeals to all people – whether they would personally benefit from a given product or not. It is proven that many people are very resistant to traditional advertising techniques – and they will go to lengths to avoid them.
With experiential marketing, individuals are psychologically pulled into the promotional endeavor. Unconventional marketing tactics flood their senses with the unfamiliar and blast them into a level of unconscious brand acceptance. Even if they have no particular interest in a given product, they are helpless but to think just how impressive the message is delivered. This stimulates grass roots conversation on many levels and leads to very rapid branding for the advertiser. Experiential marketing is modern and hip. It taps into the minds of those who are exposed to it and forces them to remember the product or message being presented.
Experiential or guerrilla marketing relies on interactive communication with prospective consumers rather than passive persuasion techniques. Feelings of pleasure and comfort are invoked leaving the prospect naturally curious to learn and/or experience more about the message or product at hand. Likewise, the experiential marketer offers the prospect the opportunity to avoid discomfort by accepting the promotional endeavor. Unique brand image and value is driven into the minds of prospects and effective relationships are developed between the brand and the prospects.
Spelled with and without the double “r” guerrilla marketing can be further defined as:
“Guerrilla marketing is an unconventional system of promotions, running on a very low budget, by relying on time, energy and imagination instead of big marketing budgets. Typically, guerrilla marketing is unexpected and unconventional, where consumers are targeted where they would not be expecting, which can make the idea that’s being marketed memorable, generate buzz, and even spread virally. The term was coined and defined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book Guerrilla Marketing. The term has since entered the popular vocabulary to also describe aggressive, unconventional marketing methods generically.” – Wikipedia.org
Whereas traditional product-centered advertising methods serve to stimulate the rational thought processes of a given consumer, brand marketing (experiential marketing) affects the consumer’s decision to purchase far more effectively by generating emotional responses. The field of experiential marketing has blossomed since its introduction in the 1980s as a powerful alternative to traditional advertising methodologies. Mainstream marketers now readily and excitedly embrace these unconventional tactics because they understand the effectiveness.
Engaging, entertaining and interactive experiential marketing makes prospective consumers take notice and appreciate a given brand. Some of the world’s largest advertisers including Harley-Davidson, Levi’s, Nokia, Wells Fargo and Volkswagen utilize experiential marketing techniques predominantly now. In addition, many small business save years of frustrating effort trying to increase their branding success by implementing these unconventional marketing techniques. Experiential marketing firms offer big results for small fees as well. Comparatively, businesses of all sizes can vastly benefit from taking this ultra-modern and highly-accepted approach to promotion.