Why experiential marketing through product sampling works

Being an influencer on social media and owning a magazine with a decent distribution has resulted in our office often being inundated with products that people want us to test.

I am sure having offices full of millenials is also a draw card for many brands, and the fact that everyone is active on social media.

A few weeks back we received boxes of Balance Water. As marketers, we are socially conscious and are always concerned about using plastic. Many of our people have changed from disposable cups to re-usable one's for coffee, and they each have a bottle on their desk that they reuse for water.

When we received the box, we were immediately drawn to the branding and just how great the design is. It is streets apart from the original design of Balance Water, and has a designer appeal. The quality of the bottle also was interesting, and although we are all socially conscious, many of our team members felt that they wanted to use the bottle and refill it over and over again. The designer appeal was something that they felt would be re-usable and so the update of using the bottles once-off was almost 100 percent of the team.

Being conscious about these things is a step in the right direction. We already had received the bottles of water and immediately thought they looked amazing. Our experience was that by drinking the water, we felt more fashion forward in doing something as simple as having a drink. 

Experiential marketing has been around since the start of retail. Try before you buy - and quite often people feel that after having a good experience that they are prepared to buy the product or service.

From product launches to conferences, live experiences help brands connect with their customers, shareholders, and staff.

Some campaigns that really took off through experiential marketing:

Tesla Motor Company: I was in New York and having lunch with Celebrity Television Reporter Richard Reid when we walked past the very slick Tesla car and a beautiful looking woman asked if we would like to sit in it. I wasn't so keen but Richard was all for it. I saw it as marketing and he saw it as an experience. The end result, both have an association with Tesla and can tell the story of why Tesla cars are a worthwhile purchase. 

Shell Oil: Shell harnessed the power of virtual reality to drive an understanding of a complex concept creating a narrative follwing the life of a droplet of fuel traveling from the bowser through to the engine. The impact of this campaign was quite fascinating.

Moet and Chandon: Champagne company Moët and Chandon formed an alliance with The Concerto Group to launch the ‘Moët Academy,’ an educational experience where guests were taken on a multi-sensory journey from grape to glass. 750 buyers, journalists, and special guests were treated to an in-depth tasting, featuring the Moët & Chandon range. Who wouldn't want to experience this? In break-out experience rooms, the vineyards of the Champagne region were recreated with real vines. Picturesque backdrops brought the outside in, with vineyard-inspired focal points completing the look.

Designer fashion: The amount of time from top-end designers that I have received clothing from has been really quite phenomenal. They always get my size right, and the brands are always quality. Not only do I wear their clothes and photograph it, I also go out and buy from that brand. The feeling of getting something for free, makes me want to support that brand. Sydney designers are more proactive than many others in Australia when it comes to getting their clothes out there to influencers.

Adidas: My first trip alone on a tram in Melbourne saw me land at Federation Square, only to find a sporty looking girl walk up to me and say "you've won a free pair of Adidas". I looked around to see if it was a joke and of course it wasn't. I walked away with a new pair of shoes, and it did encourage me to share on social media, create word of mouth conversation and a little office envy.

Experiential marketing is a great way to draw in exposure, more buyers and word of mouth. With social media as it is, the experience of doing this is shared with so many people than ever before. Like the experience, then buy the goods. Simple really! 

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  • Erric Wonk
    Erric Wonk
    03 Apr 2018

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