Great Business Ideas: Experiential marketing

Great Small Business Ideas to Start: Experiential marketing

Holding gatherings to celebrate and promote your product can be a lively, effective way to get customers involved with and attached to your brand and services.

The idea

The idea of using themed parties to promote products challenges the assumption that potential customers are simply passive viewers of advertising. By actively involving customers in an “experiential” advertising event you differentiate your brand and build strong customer loyalty.

Holding a brand-themed party typically involves selecting a range of products to promote, and creating a way to integrate a sales pitch into a celebratory social event. Two famous examples of this tactic are Avon beauty parties and Ann Summers parties, where customers are invited to become salespeople and sell products to their friends in the context of a party. Party-goers try free samples and discuss the merits of different products. This creates a feeling of kinship and humor among customers rather than a feeling of being targeted by marketing—making them more receptive to purchasing products.

The sales tactic does not always have to be overt. Branded parties can simply be an opportunity to create awareness of your brand, create a buzz around your company, and entice people into buying at a later date. In 2006, Diageo, the company producing Baileys Irish Cream, hosted a series of “cocktail parties” in London nightclubs, where party-goers were given complimentary Baileys liquor and free recipes for using Baileys in cocktails and desserts.

Whether you are using branded parties to build an awareness of your company, or simply to sell products, they provide an enjoyable and effective marketing solution.

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In practice

  • Branded parties do not have to be aimed at just the “young and trendy” market—a range of events can be organized to cater to the preferences of your target customers.
  • Ensure the event is as enjoyable and stress-free as possible, to allow attendees to form positive associations with your product.
  • Provide free samples to introduce your product.
  • Be original. Cutting-edge and daring ideas for corporate parties can gain large amounts of publicity.
  • Consider the tone of the event, taking into account the desires of the demographic group you are appealing to and the purpose of the event.
  • Maintain consistency with the company’s values and overall approach.