Maya Angelou has many poignant quotes, but the one that’s our favorite is, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Why? Because it goes against the tendency to simply tell audiences why your product is superior. After all, it’s so very easy to load up a website or an ad with copy extolling the virtues of a product’s features and benefits.
Easy, yes. But not very effective.
That’s where experiential marketing comes in. By giving consumers (or trade customers) an opportunity to take part in an event or an experience, you can potentially create a feeling that they will remember for a long time.
Appliance brand LG seems to have embraced experiences as a key marketing strategy. And their latest event is no exception.
To promote its appliances that have the capability to produce “craft ice,” LG hosted a pop-up bar in New York. The event featured influential mixologists from local clubs… as well as rappers Ice-T and Vanilla Ice (see what they did there?) to participate in a cocktail contest.
In our view, this event worked for a multitude of reasons. First, it was the perfect showcase for LG products, demonstrating how homeowners can use these differentiated kitchen appliances to help host memorable parties. Second, it played off the current trend of craft cocktails.
But most importantly, it offered an unforgettable experience. For everyone who participated, it was incredible to see these cocktails being made with ice from a LG freezer, drink them, and of course, to watch two 90s-era rappers face off in a cocktail contest.
LG seems to be making a habit of creating fantastical experiences around their products. A couple years ago, they created a dishwasher water park, also in New York. It involved an inflatable water park that allowed kids (and adults) to experience what it’s like to be a dirty dish inside an LG dishwasher.
Huge Budget Not Required
This event also, undoubtedly, came with a hefty price tag for LG. So what can other marketers — whose budgets may be more moderate — learn from this?
Experiences, of course, are nothing new. Building products brands accomplish them all the time. From contractor-safety demonstrations in distributor parking lots… to The Home Depot offering workshops for kids to build birdhouses.
You don’t need to have an exorbitant budget.
But there are three lessons you should make sure to consider when developing your experiential event:
First and foremost, your experience should be relevant to your product and brand. And relevant to your customers’ needs. The LG pop-up bar and dishwasher water park are both good examples.
They all engage the target customer in something fun and interesting, and that ties back to the brand.
Too often, companies will want to have a simple customer appreciation party with hot dogs and sodas, and maybe some branded signage. That’s fine, but it misses a big opportunity to be memorable.
The other “must” for a successful experience… is that it must be engaging. That is, it should give attendees an opportunity to do something. To get hands on. To really experience the brand.
It’s hard to think of something more hands-on than the LG multi-sensory experiences. Especially the water park. When you can give audiences an experience that engages more of their senses – that’s tactile and three-dimensional – it’s much more powerful than reading an ad or watching a video.
It’s usually not enough to just be in the room when something cool happens. There should be an element of participation.
The real challenge, especially when you have a limited budget, is to be creative.
If you really want your experiential marketing event to be special, you need to make it interesting and unexpected. The more creative it is… the more you can make up for lack of budget.
To learn more about how K&A can help you with being creative for your next event, contact us.