Experiential Marketing: Retail’s Secret Weapon For Connecting with Customers

You’ve seen in-store tastings, live demos, and have tested products or services; you’ve probably enjoyed these opportunities to make an educated decision before making your purchase. This is the most basic execution of experiential marketing in retail. Some important experiential marketing tactics are worth discovering and considering to amp up your retail success.

Below are some of those most creative tactics brands have used to harness the power of retail’s secret weapon.

Use your sales team to strategically build strong connections between your brand and consumers

Apple is positioned as a top expert in the tech industry, more specifically, the most futuristic of brands. Their products design, look, feel, and function are almost genius, so it’s fitting they’ve named their salespeople “Geniuses” as well. When people visit the Apple store, they spend more time with the employees than the products themselves. This allows Apple the chance to truly ensure customers feel closely connected to the brand through feeling personally connected with their “Genius” ambassador. Not surprisingly, loyalty to the brand is undoubtedly the most predominant trait of most Apple customers.

Provide immersive product testing for memorable connections

Combining the classic, retro computer game, “Pong,” with its cars, Smart Car gave people the chance to test its product’s capabilities like never before. With the ability to accelerate more quickly than many cars, Smart Car highlighted its new E-Smart feature through a life-size game of Pong.

In front of a large screen displaying a green turf field, ball, and two simulated Smart Cars, were two real-life Smart Cars side by side. The driver of each car would accelerate back and forth, to play the ball projected on the screen from getting past their digital car.

The results of this experience were incredibly positive. Attendees of the event recognized the precision and excellent responsiveness of the small car’s mechanics while having a blast playing a classic game most people know and love. This approach to product testing had customers thinking about the Smart Car brand long after the experience, and hopefully had them longing for the car itself. Applying ideas similar to this in any retail setting showcases the value of your products while creating major buzz.

Create unique and memorable experiences to stand out

IKEA is without a doubt a crowd favorite when it comes to furnishing stores. From the beginning to the end of a store visit, customers are immersed in a totally unique shopping experience. With maps, food, and a seemingly immeasurable amount of product, consumers can plan to spend an entire day in this single store.

Taking this idea of an ‘all day’ shopping trip to the next level, IKEA created an in-store sleepover. Through a contest, IKEA selected 100 winners to experience its stores and products into the wee hours of the night. The event included a sleep advisor to discuss good pre-bedtime habits, plus, featured films, massages, manicures, a UK reality TV star reading bedtime stories to them, food, and much more. Consumers loved the experience, leaving with new relationships, experiences to share with friends and family, and a newfound love for the IKEA brand and all of its products.

Experiential marketing is a sure-fire way to showcase your retail products in order to stand out in consumers’ minds and build lasting relationships with customers. Capitalizing off of your sales team or brand ambassadors for engaging conversations and personal connections, having fun and unique ways to allow consumers to test your products and their key capabilities, and creating exciting and memorable experiences to immerse consumers in your brand can be some of the most powerful approaches your marketing campaign can take. By using retail’s number one secret weapon, experiential marketing, you will stay relevant, engage face-to-face, build loyalty and grow your brand-consumer base.