Black Friday is the ultimate consumer experience exception. Shoppers don't set 5am alarms, or worse, head straight to the mall from their Thanksgiving tables, for the great customer experience. Instead, they dress for comfort and speed, map out a plan of attack, and prepare for a fight if necessary. In a world where consumers crave personalized items, one-on-one experiences, and an Instagram-worthy shopping environment, the only retail experience expected on Black Friday is a hefty discount.
Today marks the one year anniversary of Donald Trump winning the presidency of the United States. The 2016 election was the most heated, emotional, chaotic, and nontraditional campaign in the history of our country. Everyone got in on the action — cable news outlets didn't hold back on unleashing polarizing political commentators and even usually-neutral CNN was forced to take a side. There was a line divided down the middle of our country and you were either going to "make America great again" or announce yourself to the world as a "nasty woman."
New York Fashion week wrapped up on Wednesday — and this year was disrupted by some significant changes that rocked the long-running experience's status quo. Firstly, many designers, including Rodarte, Proenza Schouler, Altuzarra, and Thom Browne, chose to skip the New York event altogether, instead focusing on preparation for Paris Fashion Week in February 2018. Of those who did show this year, many skipped the traditional tents of Bryant Park. Alexander Wang took his Wang Fest collection to the literal streets of Soho and Bushwick and Ralph Lauren showed 46 miles outside of the city at his home in Bedford, NY.
While free is a number we can all get behind, we've got some bigger numbers marketers can use to support and grow their experiential budgets in 2017. Beyond establishing brand loyalty, engaging consumers, and evoking positive sentiment, experiential marketing is a huge financial win for brands. Compared to traditional marketing channels, experiential campaigns offer incredible payoffs. History show, events make consumers significantly more likely to align themselves with your brand through purchases, tune-in, or alignment.
We published 116 blog posts in 2016 - we interviewed co-workers; we interviewed partners; we recapped our concerts, screenings, stunts, festival-appearances, owned activations, and everything in between; we shared our experiential marketing wisdom; and we highlighted other agencies doing kick ass experiences.
People (brands) pay thousands (sometimes millions) of dollars to proudly display their logo at an event where they believe their audience (customers) will be. Brands even go as far as paying thousands (sometimes millions) for the naming rights to a venue, concert tour, sports arena, festival, whatever.