There is a store that sells fitness machines about half a mile from my house. Every time I pass by, it’s empty. A gigantic space filled with lonely treadmills and an even lonelier staff member. I can’t help but think they’ve missed an opportunity. Why not use part of the facility as a gym? Bring in a personal trainer. Give people a chance to try equipment before they buy it. Generate an additional revenue stream. Create an experience.
Many of today’s most well-respected companies have picked up on the power of experience marketing to educate, entertain, and frankly, make money. See what these four companies have accomplished by exercising the experiential muscle.
Widely accepted as one of the most authentic brands in the business, AirBnb prefers to market through experience and entertainment. The approach makes perfect sense. After all, when you stay in an AirBnb, you’re doing so in pursuit of an experience – something CMO Jonathan Mildenhall knows and capitalizes on. His success with experiences might lead you to believe that traditional marketing dead – or that it should be.
We’ve talked before about IKEA as an in-store marketing leader. Cooking classes, breakfast in bed, and who can resist those Swedish meatballs? But now the world’s largest furniture retailer is sending experiences home. IKEA has created a series of advertisements encouraging the reuse of products that may no longer be desired. The ads subtly remind customers of the brand’s commitment to sustainability – and also that they might want a new rug, from IKEA, of course.
Remember when Greek yogurt wasn’t a thing? In 2007, Greek varieties represented only one percent total yogurt sales. Newcomer Chobani recognized that market-entry would be slow if they relied solely on early adopters. Instead, they took a “try before you buy” approach, employing experiential marketing to give consumers a literal taste of their product. And it worked. Greek yogurt now commands more than 50 percent of market sales, and legacy brands like Yoplait and Dannon are struggling to keep up.
Are you tracking the upcoming total solar eclipse? If you’re not it’s path, you can be – thanks to Casper. The mattress company has made a big splash as a market newcomer implementing experiential campaigns in New York City, at SXSW and now, in the city that shares it’s name, Casper, Wyoming. Experiential marketing director Monica Brouwer explained that live experiences “bridge the gap between [Casper’s] online and offline community.” They also create an additional revenue stream. Camp Casper is charging $499 for a two-person “tent experience,” and the first batch of tickets sold out quickly.