March 20, 2023
Brands that provide experiences reach consumers better than those that use an informational/we’ll-tell-you-what-you-need-to-know approach. If you’re still providing text brochures and leaflets over experiential brand activations, you’re missing out.
It’s 2023 and marketing plans for the spring, summer, and fall are a hot topic. What are the best experiential marketing activations to use? Start by exploring the current consumer trends and interests.
What Do Consumers Want?
Consumer trends are showing that consumers prioritize brands that support diversity. Socially responsible companies are still in the top ten things consumers look for in a brand, but there are others taking precedence. Have your brand activations considered the top five “wants?” It’s time to establish pop-ups that deliver an ideal consumer experience focusing on these consumer preferences.
Be Very Responsive to Feedback
The most important quality a brand should have is an exceptional customer service team. If you’re not responsive to feedback, you’re disappointing consumers. They want to have a brand that listens to them and is responsive to both good and bad feedback, and this includes all channels. Your team needs to respond quickly on social media, email, live chat, and even phone. If you’re missing any of those, you lose potential business.
Plus, each disappointed consumer can then share their story online and with friends and family and that story spreads fast. Even if you’re in the right, you should still address the consumer’s concerns and try to reach a satisfactory solution.
Improve Day-to-Day Life
Is your brand offering something that improves day-to-day life? Show it in your brand activations. Show how it improves daily living. At a pop-up activation, let consumers experience how it improves their life firsthand.
Showing your support of diversity isn’t as high on the list as it was a year ago, but it’s still important. Do you remember a few years ago when Dove came up with an ad campaign in which a black woman took off her shirt and turned into a white woman? Dove took a lot of flack for that ad, and they never meant for it to appear racially biased.
While planning your pop-up event, make sure you triple-check that it is not going to be offensive to any gender, race, or ethnicity. If it could be construed as offensive, change things before it goes live.
Be Environmentally Responsible
Consider the environment in your designs and product samples. Compostable wrappers, reusable bags and drink containers, and plastic-free packaging are ideal. Make sure that you have recycling or composting containers available at your pop-up and keep trash from reaching the ground.
Prove You Value Consumers and Their Privacy
Any pop-up you have needs to protect your consumer. If you’re asking them to share personal information like emails, phone numbers, addresses, or dates of birth, you better have security measures in place to protect that information.
Four out of five consumers admit they do worry about how a brand is using their personal information, and only half of them feel they are in control when it comes to their personal data being online. Be clear in your intentions and give them chances to limit what they share.
Keep this in mind three out of five people would prefer to remain completely anonymous. If you’re forcing consumers to go to social media channels like Facebook or Instagram to interact with you, you’re losing two out of five people. Be flexible.
Prove Five Unique Pop-Up Ideas to Help Inspire You
That’s what consumers want, but how do you turn those ideals into pop-up marketing activations that deliver the impact you want? Here are five unique pop-up ideas to help you gain inspiration.
Factory 360 worked on a pop-up event in both London and NYC to celebrate late musician David Bowie’s 75th birthday. What made this three-month pop-up so effective? It allowed participants to use social media if they wanted, but there was more for those who wanted to avoid the hashtags and shared photos.
The experience expanded beyond QR code trivia and the opportunity to leave a written message to Bowie that shared a name and location. Attendees attended a “live” concert using 360 Reality Audio and were able to purchase limited-edition merchandise at the event.
Cheetos Hands-Free House
Anyone who’s eaten Cheetos understands the orange-fingers issue that occurs after finishing a handful. Poking fun at this issue, Cheetos established an “escape room” style home at SXSW a few years ago. Escape rooms remain trendy, and they took it to new heights.
As orange-stained fingers make it hard to handle any items, the company established the “Hands-Free House” that guests worked their way through using voice commands to get through the rooms and out of the house. It showed the benefits of technology in a fun, interactive, unforgettable manner.
People love freebies. The bigger the freebie, the happier they are. JetBlue took advantage of this in a unique pop-up in the middle of New York City. A giant block of ice was set up on the street, and inside that ice block were different items ranging from swag, like branded apparel and golf clubs, to free plane tickets.
To win items, passersby had to use what they had on hand – keys, cosmetic cases, etc. – to chip away the ice. If they were successful, they got to keep the item.
The Raisin House
Sun-Maid paid homage to the fact that people have long said raisins are the most disappointing Halloween treat and took over an older home in Merchantville, New Jersey, for five days. The front yard was set up to look like a raisin graveyard five days before Halloween.
On Halloween night, a trick-or-treat wall with live and fake hands was set up to hand out free samples. Daring visitors could enter the house and collect free samples from the home’s “Raisin Zombies,” and those zombies later participated in a 5K race handing out even more free samples.
Consumers love free samples, and Sun-Maid took that passion for freebies and blended it with the long-running complaint that raisins are not better than candy. The brand showed they’re more fun.
This five-day pop-up was so effective that it gained 1.4 million impressions, 4,000 samples were given out, and the company’s TikTok audience grew by 3,200%. Sales rose by more than 6% during and for three weeks following The Raisin House.
The Priceless Planet
Consumers look to brands that do their part to help the environment. That’s the trend that The Priceless Planet tapped into. The organization set up water bottle refilling stations at several outdoor sporting events, such as the U.S. Open. Consumers could go to a water station and create a water bottle and tap-to-donate. Plus, there were QR codes that consumers could use to learn more about the organization.
At The Open, 84% of the attendees opted to refill a water bottle instead of purchasing one. It also led to enough interaction and donations to plant more than 210,000 trees around the nation to offset carbon emissions created during these sporting events.
These are just a few examples of some of the pop-ups in the past few years that have been incredibly successful brand activations. Build on those examples and do even more. Factory 360’s talented team are experts in all areas of experiential marketing, including pop-ups and mobile tours. We can help you with your social media strategy and digital PR, too. Reach out to us and let us know how we can help you create an unforgettable pop-up this year.