In an effort to show millennials, who aren't as excited about riding bikes as other generations, that riding isn’t so complicated, Harley-Davidson tried a new way of reaching people.
How Wahaca Grew its Brand Using Experiential Marketing
You might be uncertain about whether experiential marketing could benefit your brand and how it could actually help you grow. So let’s look at the case study of Wahaca as an example of a company using this type of marketing to move from one restaurant to 24.
In case you don’t know, Wahaca is a restaurant chain throughout the United Kingdom. Its head of marketing, Oli Ingham, has found innovative ways to market it using experiential marketing. Let’s take a look at Wahaca’s marketing and how your brand might be able to use similar techniques.
How Ingham Grew Wahaca’s Brand
Oli Ingham used experiential marketing well by taking the theme of the brand, which is Mexican food based on the markets of Mexico or what he calls “amazing Mexican food”, and turning that into events that could help local British people connect to the restaurant brand. But he also goes beyond the food to create experiences based on Mexican culture.
The brand puts on numerous types of events that provide cultural and food-based experiences, including a Mexican-inspired film screening and a Day of the Dead festival. Its Taco Tour offers a mobile tasting experience through its taco van traveling the streets and introducing the food to new customers. Ingham created a supper club that allows local people to experience the food of different Mexican regions.
Sometimes, the events are more specific to the restaurant itself than to Mexican culture or cuisine. For instance, the restaurant is putting on a 10th anniversary event series and has promoted a “spoon amnesty” program that encourages customers to bring back the restaurant's "borrowed" colorful spoons in return for tacos.
Applying Ingham’s Examples
How are Ingham’s experiential marketing techniques effective? Some of the experiences Wahaca uses work because they bring in new audiences. For example, people might stumble upon the taco van when it’s touring the area or they might attend a festival or Latin DJ event and then discover the food. In other cases, the events create an interest in Mexico’s culture and food. People from another area of the world – in this case, the UK – enjoy experiencing foods they didn’t know were part of Mexico and learning about Mexican festivals, societal issues and culture. Instead of just going to a restaurant, they have an experience.
Whether your brand is a restaurant or a different type of business, you can use similar methods to create a marketing experience. The main formula for following Ingham’s lead is to take a major theme and create experiences that fit it. He found ways to spread and celebrate the food itself and to broaden the theme to include the Mexican culture that encompasses the food. Find unique and fun ways for your company to do the same. Your healthy food restaurant could create events promoting health and wellness. Your home decor company could create do-it-yourself tutorial events and events that center around color, pattern, texture and material. The idea is to broaden beyond the product or service. Think about the theme that encompasses it and work to create events that fit the theme.
Brighten Up Your Summer Events With These Theme Ideas and Tips
Renting a venue is just the first step to making your summer corporate event a success. You need to bring in the bright, exciting feel of summer so that your guests are glad to have chosen your presentation over other possible activities. Here are some ideas that should give you inspiration for planning your expo:
First, a Caveat: Make Sure the Theme Resonates with Your Brand
If your theme is summery, but doesn't tie into your brand's image, you'll miss a powerful marketing opportunity. Be sure to keep your event on-point as well as fun. This way, your guests will firmly connect your brand with the experience rather than thinking of it as a generic sponsor.
Roses and Wine
The aforementioned roses and wine theme was done to great success by Kim Crawford Wines, which wanted announce its new rose wine in grand style. It filled its area with roses and even had a bar made of live rose bushes. The roses were very summery, and they tied in perfectly with the launch of the new rose wine. On top of that, there were enough roses that just looking at the event area made an indelible impression – and connection with the advertised product.
A Rocking Summer Night
This type of theme is great for many companies that cater to younger audiences, but it's perfect for companies associated with making rock music. What better way to show off instruments, amps, stage lighting rigs, and other musical equipment than to have people come and experience the sounds and sights of professionals using the products? Hold the party outdoors under strung-up lights for that summer feel.
Have a Barbecue Party
Everyone loves to eat, and barbecuing is a quintessentially summer activity. This makes a barbecue a perfect event for any company that wants to be seen as fun and exciting while avoiding faddish trendiness. For maximum impact, make the event large enough for a huge number of guests and cook the food over one or more showy firepits.
Always Make Sure Everyone is Comfortable
The level of comfort expected will depend on your audience and the type of event you're holding, but it's always important to avoid the chance of outright misery. For outdoor events, one great way to do this is to offer branded umbrellas. If the event is on the upper-class end, provide them as part of the package. Otherwise, set up kiosks and sell them at reasonable prices. Be sure to keep the cost within the "impulse buy" range – the more people buy them, the more your brand and event name will be seen later on!
Other ways to ensure comfort include providing cushioned seating, decent plates and utensils, and easy-to-navigate pathways between tables or exhibits. If your event uses disposable serveware, be sure to have plenty of trash cans and recycle bins set up so people can conveniently offload them once they're done with their food and drinks.
For a spacious event space in sunny Miami, consider Soho Studios. We have both indoor and outdoor areas that can be customized to match any theme you choose.
Emerging Trends in Experiential Marketing Events
Trends are everything in advertising and marketing. Campaigns across several industries often share certain themes at any specific time. This is true not just for things like logos and packaging, but also for big meeting events and experiential marketing extravaganzas.
Despite this, it's important to do more than just copy what the other marketers are doing. In order to make your brand stand out from theirs, you need to put your own twist on any trend. With that in mind, here are some of the emerging trends and some tips on how to personalize your versions:
Allowing the Audience to Partake in Making the Event Happen
This is becoming more popular thanks to improvements in technological capabilities. If you hop on this trend, your event should be done in a way that ties into your guests' interests and skills. One good example is an event that used the Slido audience participation app. It let the audience write a third of the code needed for the event's computerized features – in real time. Participants got to see exactly how the code developed and how Slido works, all in a way that drew their full attention.
Most companies don't have audiences that can jump into something as complex as coding right on the spot, but all can find something that their expected guests can do. Choose an activity that fits both your company and your audience for great results.
Make Your Event Emotionally Driven
Studies show that human decision-making is influenced far more by emotion than hard reasoning. Keep this in mind when designing the experience and atmosphere of your event. Avoid dry, facts-only presentations and go for the gusto. Otherwise, people will find them boring and tune out.
The Elimination of Psychological Barriers in Learning Environments
Typical conference tables – or even worse, school-style desks – put psychological barriers between attendees, presenters, and the audience. The new trend is to get rid of all of those things and replace them with interactive displays or pods. This puts your audience right into the midst of the learning and makes your messages much more memorable. It's an especially good replacement for traditional seminars, which are normally boring precisely because of their school-like formats.
Is Silence Golden?
For some presenters, it most certainly is. More and more often, events are being broken up with quiet or even silent activities like yoga, meditation, and similar things. These breaks give participants a chance to unwind, and more importantly, regain their ability to concentrate on your messages.
Despite the benefits, silence breaks aren't fitting for all events. If your company's image is that of excitement and endless vigor, you'll be better off finding another way to recharge your audience. On the other hand, if you focus on subjects like how to become a more effective businessperson, this type of diversion should go over great.
Choose the Right Venue for Your Event
One thing that will never become obsolete is the need to choose the right venue. This will be the scene of your show and can make or break the event.
For a versatile venue in Miami that can be customized to meet the needs of nearly any event, come to Soho Studios. We have up to 70,000 square feet of indoor space available as well as two outdoor pavilions.
How to Use Haptic Technology to Engage your Event Goers
First of all, if you're not into gaming, you might not be too familiar with haptic technology. This technology uses touch as a means of interacting with computer or video game applications. With this technology, a person can feel and change items within a virtual world. It's like something from the future, and we have access to it today. How does this technology relate to you? You can use it to create an amazing experience for your event goers.
Trending Ideas for Using Haptic Technology
Here are some ideas of how you could use haptic technology for an event:
Create Excitement Before an Event: Even before event goers reach your event, you can use haptic technology to create excitement about the event. Take some inspiration from how brands are using this technology for ads. For instance, Arby's created an ad that allowed the audience to feel a golfer's footsteps through an Android phone, and Showtime gave watchers the experience of sensing a bomb explosion during the Homeland Season 4 teaser. You could do something similar by creating an ad with haptic technology that simulates some experience of your event, such as the beat of music or the feel of catching a baseball.
Help an Audience Feel the Music: If you're having an event with music, your audience could feel the rhythm of the music as they listen to it with the help of haptic technology. A wearable device gives the user's body the sensation of the music's timing and beat.
Bring Interaction to Tradeshows and Event Stations: If your company is going to a tradeshow or creating an interactive station at an event, you could use this technology to interest your audience. It allows you to give your audience a sensory experience through touch screens. You could use it as a way to draw attention to your brand or to share an experience that provides a feel for your brand, such as the feel of your tires moving over gravel.
Create a Calming Experience: If your event is focused on health or relaxation, such as a yoga event, or if you simply want to get everyone to take a deep breath before starting a talk, you could use haptic technology. The Apple Watch has an app called "Breathe" that helps the user take a break and focus on breathing as a form of meditation or mindfulness. The watch taps the wrist to guide the breathing.
Provide a Virtual Experience: At your event, you can give your audience an amazing virtual 3D experience that involves the sense of touch in addition to auditory and visual stimulation. Haptic technology makes this possible so people can explore a virtual environment, play a game, make something or learn with a three-dimensional sense of touch as part of the equation.
This list gives you some ideas of how you could use haptic technology to create an experience for your audience. Yet the sky's becoming the limit with this technology, so don't put your company in a box -- think of innovative ways you could adapt haptic technology to your brand.
How to Map Out the Perfect Pop-up Tour
Digital communication rules the world, so how do companies make that personal connection with their target audience? They "pop-up" in some very special places, so their marketing plan is not just about promotion, but about appealing to the different emotions that drive consumers. Pop-up shops are all the rage right now because they grab their attention with hands-on interactions to dazzle them up close and personal. How can you map out your next pop-up tour to get the best ROI?
Establish Measurable Goals that Cater to the Audience
The moniker "know your audience" fits almost any marketing scenario including creating a successful pop-up tour. When Disney wanted to promote their Doc McStuffin show in the UK, they didn't set up Doc clinics in office buildings or on the street; they picked venues like Toys R Us and Smyths because they appeal not just to kids, but to parents, grandparents and aunts, too.
They took a multifaceted approach when planning their pop-up strategy. Their goals didn't focus just on increasing ratings for their show, but on retailing merchandise and creating a buzz for the characters, as well. The acted on goals they could track on social media, too, instead of just tallying up the revenue from event to event.
Find Spaces That Mesh With the Brand
Be a visual thinker when picking out venues. Visual space says something about a brand. Consider Supreme clothing stores. Each one has visual clues that related directly to the brand image such as the parquet floors and steel rails. They wouldn't think of opening a pop-up at a country fair or in a dirty warehouse because that is not the look they want.
Promotion, Promotion, Promotion
Marketing your pop-up before, during and after each event is the key to success. Adidas combined both a celebrity appearance and a fan challenge to get people buzzing about their D Rose Jump Store before it opened. Use every form of content marketing at your disposal from your website to the company Facebook page to get the word out. If sponsoring multiple pop-up locations, consider an app or map that fans can use to track each event.
Use some social media tactics to promote live as it happens, too. Trolli and 7-Eleven went with free giveaways at the beach to market both a new candy brand and the Slurpee inspired by it.
What's your hashtag going to be? Add some real-time graphics to make people wish they were there, too. Snapchat, Facebook Live, Vine, Instagram – set up one or more and appoint a brand ambassador to manage the show.
Before moving on to the next place on the tour, make sure people understand what they missed at the last one. Provide statistics if possible, lots of pictures and some videos of all the fun along with information for the next few stops.
Take Notes and Learn
When the final guest leaves and you pack up to go to the next venue, reflect on what you learned at this one. What worked and what didn't? Ask for feedback during the event and online afterward, too. Grow with each stop on your tour to make the next one that much more meaningful.