Brand experiences can make a powerful way to engage consumers. How can your brand make the most of it?

Experiential marketing refers to the idea of using an actual experience to create a memorable link between the brand and the consumer. Brand experiences can make a campaign more engaging but they can also facilitate the purchasing process.

Set Creative has conducted some market research that looks at the reasons that brand experiences can be so powerful.

What makes experiential marketing so engaging and how does it increase the purchase advantage? Let’s look at the most important learnings.

The value of experience

It’s a common challenge for marketers to prove the ROI of their work especially if they have to deal with sales-focused senior stakeholders. Brand experiences are sometimes overlooked especially when you can’t measure their success. That’s why it’s important to start looking at the value of the experience and why it can be powerful enough to affect purchasing decisions.

Set Creative has conducted research to measure the effectiveness of brand experiences while trying to understand what people think of them over traditional forms of marketing.

According to their survey, 91% of the respondents have shared their most memorable experiences with others.

When it comes to defining memorable experiences, the most popular responses were:

  • Special family moments (24%)
  • Unforgettable trips (24%)
  • Live events (17%)
  • Work-related achievements (11%)

It’s useful to consider that only 7% of people mentioned the purchase of a new product as a memorable event. This is a good lesson for brands trying to stand out with their marketing campaigns. It’s not easy nowadays to appeal to a target audience with traditional product placement and that’s how memorable experiences can help.

Creating lasting memories and building trust

There is a shifting perception among consumers that favors (Read more...) things over having things. According to Set Creative’s research, 80% of UK and US consumers find that physical experiences can build more lasting memories compared to physical products.

It’s not a surprise then that 40% of UK and US consumers have increased their spend on new experiences in the last two years. Meanwhile, only 29% of the respondents have increased their spend on new items in the same period.


In fact, 38% of them have even decreased their spend on new items. Marketers are facing the challenge to create a successful brand promotion without necessarily focusing on the direct promotion of the products or services. The constant exposure to brand marketing has changed the face of campaign strategies, which means that it’s time to focus on the experiences rather than the products.

Over the last few years, we have all spent way too much time on building strategies and creating content. In most cases, it could lead to successful results but when looking at the audience’s needs and the future of marketing, experiences can be the key to success.

The survey indicated that 71% of the respondents prefer to be involved in new experiences rather than just reading about them or watch a video. This is a very important observation for our upcoming campaigns and tactics especially if we’re able to build our own physical experiences to promote a brand.

Experiential marketing can actually bring a brand closer to building trust with its consumers. Direct selling may be harder but an engaging experience can make people more interested in finding out more about your brand.

The benefits of experiential marketing

graph, how an experiential activity makes respondents feel personally

People enjoy experiences that are fun and engaging. That’s why such experiences can actually help consumers build a positive sentiment towards a brand. 82% of the respondents want from brands to create experiences that ‘entertain, engage, and educate.’ This is what’s expected from brands and it’s certainly good to know when planning an upcoming campaign that focuses on the experience along with the promotion.

There are many benefits for brands that try out experiential marketing and the most important ones are the improved shareability, the power of recommendation and the push towards a purchase.

Improved shareability

graph, the influence of activities on brand shareability

People are way more likely to share information about a new brand through a live experience (60%) than simply hearing about it through TV (36%), word of mouth (30%) or social media (21%). This means that brand that manages to create appealing experiences come with an advantage over the competitors especially when it comes to the first exposure to their messaging.

This percentage indicates the shift from traditional marketing (billboards and print media) to a new type of marketing that relies on the experience. It doesn’t necessarily mean that all other tactics can be ineffective, but it’s certainly a good advantage to tap into experiential marketing when trying to make a good impression.

The power of recommendation

Recommendations can help your brand reach a new audience in a very effective way. More people trust reviews and peer feedback before trusting a brand. Thus, we can’t ignore the power of recommendation. Set Creative also ran a practical test among 300 respondents to build a drinks brand. They’ve invited people to join different activities around themed drinks. What they’ve found out was that 51% of those involved in the live brand experience would be ‘very likely’ to recommend this brand to their friends. The percentage was way higher than the activities that involved reading, listening or watching about the brand.

This test confirms once again the growing number of people who prefer to live experiences as part of a marketing campaign. They don’t just enjoy these experiences more than other marketing methods but they are also eager to recommend it to their family and friends.

Making the purchase easier

A common misconception is that brand experiences can’t lead to actual ROI rather than brand awareness. However, this research found that 73% of people who took part in a brand experience are more likely to purchase from the brand that was involved in this experience.

This means that the brands that launch their own unique experiences gain a ‘purchase advantage’ over others since they are able to create more memorable and engaging campaigns.

Key takeaways

Experiential marketing is not new but there is a growing interest in it from consumers who get tired from the constant exposure to brand promotion. As consumers seek new experiences, the brand has a big opportunity to re-evaluate their tactics to stay ahead of the curve in the most creative ways.

The top takeaways, in this case, would be:

  • More people focus on doing things rather than owning things
  • Brand marketing can make your products stand out
  • There is a great opportunity to build trust and gain new shares and recommendations
  • People want brand experiences to entertain them

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