Experiential marketing activations, which can range from fun pop-ups to larger-than-life events, give brands the opportunity to connect with their target customers face-to-face.
When done right, these experiences will leave a positive lasting impression on an audience.
However, an activation that misses the mark can fall flat and turn your customers away. Knowing this, it’s essential for brands to nail the key components of a successful experiential marketing activation.
One of the most important aspects of an activation are compelling experiential marketing displays.
Creating Engaging Experiential Marketing Displays
Experiential marketing displays can come in many forms, but are typically custom-made objects, signage, art installations, and more. Here are a few examples of the types of displays that many brands use in experiential marketing:
- Exhibit booths
- Pop-up experiences
- Wall graphics & supergraphics
- Activities & games
- 3D elements
- Photo ops
- Retail environments
- Customized Vehicles
When these designs are aligned with the vision, goals, and expectations for your activation, they can help create an immersive, vibrant environment for your customer. There are a few characteristics that every engaging display will have, and in this post, we’ll share top tactics for creating memorable displays to build an unforgettable experience.
Bring Customers On A Memorable Journey
A lot of companies turn their experiential marketing displays and installations into one-of-a- kind adventures for their customers. A few recent examples include:
- The interactive vending machine and scavenger hunt that Coca-Cola used to send customers on a James Bond-like adventure around a train station
- The rock climbing wall that IKEA built from its own products and furniture
- The Goodness Machine pop-up by GoGo squeeZ that shot packs of applesauce up in the air
These marketing displays are accessible and fun for the target audience. Customers aren’t going to forget catching a pack of applesauce in the park or scaling a rock climbing wall made out of furniture.
Create An Immersive Environment
A lot of brands partner with experiential marketing companies to build immersive installations and displays that make customers feel like they’ve stepped into a different world. Some of our favorite displays include:
- The Fairmont Hotels & Resorts pop-up experience with a nature soundscape and harvested and recycled plant materials
- The mobile data center exhibit booth fabrication designed and fabricated for The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
- A custom interior redesign for Adidas’ Chicago store for NBA All-Star week
- Coldplay and Amazon music’s traveling installation, “12 Spheres” designed to be a distant solar system where tracks of the new Coldplay album played
As these types of immersive art installations continue to grow in popularity, brands can take advantage of this growing medium by creating their own sensory experiences.
Align The Online and Offline Customer Experience
A successful experiential marketing display inspires customers to connect with a brand face-to-face. Social media can compliment those connections, giving customers a space to share their positive experiences with a brand. The companies who have used their displays to align the online and offline customer experience include:
- BMF’s augmented-reality photo booth where in-person visitors could create their own alien language messages and snap selfies
- The Lean Cuisine in-person and virtual #WeighThis challenge pop-up experience, where women shared online and offline on how they wanted to be weighed
- Penguin Books Australia’s “Dial-An-Author” where customers can pick up a payphone and hear a story from a famous author and submit a story to the online archive
- Netflix’s face-swapping selfie tech that let fans take photos with famous Netflix characters
Whether it’s a hashtag or a selfie, brands that encourage their audiences to spread the word about their experiential marketing online can get even more mileage for their campaign.
Match The Brand Voice and Identity
Brand voice and identity are vital components to a cohesive experiential marketing strategy. These experiential marketing displays were built around a unique brand voice and identity to deliver exceptional experiences:
- A Jordan Store retail display exhibit in downtown Chicago, designed to match the look and feel of Chicago “El” public transport system
- The warm wishes blow dryer from Drybar pop-up experience, where pedestrians could enjoy a blast of warm air during the winter months
- Lush’s annual creative showcase to share new products and commitment to their values
By leveraging brand voice and identity, these brands were able to tap into the heart and soul of their companies, creating one-of-a-kind displays.
Offer Exclusive or Limited Time Deals
Exclusivity can generate buzz and inspire customers to take action, which is a popular marketing tactic that can work very well for brands. A few experiential marketing displays that have used exclusivity or limited time offers to drive engagement include:
- Luke’s Diner takeover limited time pop-up experience to promote Netflix’s Gilmore Girls reboot
- Kohl’s Cash Wheel at the PopSugar event, where customers could spin for discounts and gift cards over the course of two days
- Snapchat’s moving Spectacles vending machine
Brands can build an entire experience around anticipation and exclusivity, which can be used in virtually any industry for a successful experiential marketing campaign.
Building A Unique Experiential Marketing Display
Whether it’s an exhibit booth or a pop-up experience, creating an experiential marketing display can be a huge undertaking. In addition to developing a strategy that aligns with marketing and sales goals, the actual design, installation, and breakdown of a display will take a lot of time and resources. While there are a number of vendors to hire for this type of work, a fully-integrated design and fabrication company can take projects from start to finish with unparalleled efficiency.
Schedule an introduction to Bridgewater Studio today to learn how, and get a free project plan customized for your next experiential marketing campaign.