Experiential Marketing: Building the Bond

Brand ambassador and consumers participating in Forever 21 experiential marketing program

In this digital age of social media and overconsumption of information, it can be difficult for a brand to stand out. Consumers need to be stimulated beyond an internet banner or a television commercial which they can easily choose to ignore. Instead, people are seeking authentic experiences.

Enter experiential marketing. Otherwise known as event marketing, mobile marketing, or live promotions, experiential marketing seeks to fully engage a consumer through participating in just that — an experience. It is a holistic and engaging approach to marketing that provides not only information, but also a sensory filled journey. Experiential marketing values the interaction over an immediate sale, striving to create a bond with the target audience through positive immersion. Consumers should walk away from the interaction feeling informed and uplifted with a memorable experience that will positively influence their future purchases and personal perspective.

Tools of the [Experiential Marketing] Trade
In its most basic form, experiential marketing works to build a connection with a consumer while bringing the brand to life. Experiential marketing can utilize a variety of tools in order to make a successful event.

Some of the tools include:
Branded vehicles
PR stunts
Branded giveaways
Social media
Photo activation
Branded uniforms
Lead generator

People often think that brand ambassadors are trying to directly sell to them, when in reality, brand ambassadors are truly trying to form genuine connections with consumers. Something as simple as a “Free Sample!” sign can be reassuring for consumers that they won’t be pressured to make a purchase on the spot, but rather shown appreciation for taking the time to enter an event site. A good brand ambassador can break down barriers to reduce skepticism.

The key in these interactions is to ensure that the brand’s message is clear and memorable. For great ways to reiterate the brand’s name and message, refer to the tools of the trade. Two crowd favorites are a drive to retail with a coupon or to be given a simple complimentary branded item.  A small token from the brand can go a long way.

Building the Experiential Marketing Bond
Experiential marketing is the perfect opportunity for a company to align with consumers who have similar values. Take the Campus Consciousness Tour, for example. Newbridge Marketing Group connected its brand partner, L.L.Bean, with its platform partner, Reverb, for the Campus Consciousness Tour – an eco-friendly music tour where musical guests Capital Cities and Scavenger Hunt performed at campuses around the country. This partnership worked with college students of environmental clubs and people who enjoy protecting and being outdoors, allowing both L.L.Bean and Reverb to reach audiences who strive to achieve similar goals for the environment.

But experiential marketing doesn’t have to take place on such a grand stage. Newbridge Maketing Group’s partnership with Forever 21 was a three-day event with a goal to promote Forever 21’s new line of active wear to college females. As a leader in the college marketing space, the partnership between Newbridge Marketing Group and Forever 21 was an ideal fit.  The event site was positioned at the exits of campus gyms. As the students left the gym after working out, they were offered a chilled, lavender towel, fruit infused water, a chance to browse the racks of the new Forever 21 active wear collection, and the opportunity to chat with the brand ambassadors that were trained to be knowledgeable representatives for Forever 21. The best part? Students were given an exclusive coupon to use in Forever 21 stores. This simple pop-up positioned Forever 21’s new collection in a strategic location, while keeping the event budget to a minimum.

Your brand’s values and interests are undoubtedly shared by many consumers. Hone in on your effort to reach that audience and take the time to build a lasting bond through experiential marketing.

Integrating Experiential Marketing into Your Brand Strategy
Ready to give experiential marketing a shot? First, your company must evaluate a few key elements in order to properly execute an experiential marketing program to reach your target audience, such as:

  • Who do you want to reach?
  • What does this group of people like to do?
  • Where are these people?
  • What are their values?
  • What do you want this group of people to feel?
  • How will you increase awareness?

Once you have determined these fundamental goals, an experienced agency in the industry like Newbridge Marketing Group can put you on the road to success. The industry is constantly developing new and innovative ways to connect with consumers. Whether your brand is a household name or a small startup looking to gain recognition, Newbridge Marketing Group can strategize and deliver a fun and effective experiential marketing program that’s customized just for you.


Natalee Mayo has been a traveling experiential Tour Manager for seven years.
When not working, she pretends that she is in the circus by taking aerial silks classes at studios around the country.
She is passionate about meeting new people and exploring
new places. Follow her @NataleeMayo.

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