As millennial consumers continue to value the experience economy over possessions, the opportunity for brands to establish meaningful connections through experiential marketing activity only looks set to grow.
A recent study by event technology platform Eventbrite reveals just how much millennials are turning away from materialism and other traditional measures of success, and instead spending their disposable income on experiences. In fact, the study showed that 65% of 18-34 year olds are driving the burgeoning Experience Economy by spending more than £419,556,233 on experiences each month.
Social media is another huge driver of the shift towards experiential by giving millennial consumers the opportunity to show-off and share where they are and what they are doing. In a world where material objects are so readily ordered and delivered, it’s really no wonder that young consumers are increasingly craving more organic experiences that look impressive when shared with friends online.
In order to target this audience, brands are now adding experiential dimensions to their existing marketing strategies.
This week, outdoor wear brand Timberland opened a brand-new concept store in the States, with plans to completely transform it with a new theme and products every six weeks. The new store places emphasis on telling the story behind the Timberland brand with curated product collections displayed in a gallery-style setting and fun displays explaining the science behind the product on display. As well as this, customers are also able to sample local craft beer or enjoy a bottle of water that may one day be recycled into Timberland linings or shoelaces.
Experiential marketing ventures like the above follow similar initiatives by market-leading brands such as the world’s first official Nutella Café, which opened its doors in Chicago this summer. Offering a menu that features weird and wonderful uses of the popular hazelnut spread, the café takes Nutella out of its natural habitat – the kitchen cupboard – redefining it in an interactive and shareable environment.
Experiential brand activity has the potential to capture the millennial audience’s imagination and enhance the everyday into the extraordinary. Consumers now have great memories to go along with a beautiful new pair of shoes or a seriously Instagrammable Nutella breakfast with friends. By adding a little bit of experiential sparkle to your marketing strategy, you are sharing your brand with a millennial audience in a context that they enjoy, ensuring that your brand will be on their radar.