Everything As Experiences 🤯 is the third theme in the future of marketing blog series. Everything as experiences is a way to think about the next move in Marketing and giving your customers real experiences they want to talk about, share and re-experience.
There has been many things written about the third space, right now we have two clear spaces, home and work.
The third and important space is the experience space. The 10% space where we will crave to have more experiences, enjoy more stimulation and look to escape.
With the number of varying lockdowns and quarantines, we have experienced many fewer experiences, some crave the theatre, some immersive movies, or like me art and zoo’s.
We have craved experiences with lockdowns and quarantines, we have had our homes become work and our work defaults to being at home.
Humans are craving experiences, we are looking for immersive experiences, can you add something to the mundane or what has become boring?
Can you add to it by creating trails, walking adventures, walking tours, running playlists etc?
Simple experiences that you can do solo or in a pair alongside pairing with a leaderboard or leaving notes or tips for others looking to experience this will be great ways to engage this audience.
Safe, Intimate, Personalised
Cinema / Theatre – Smaller more intimate experiences are what we will crave and feel safe with, can you offer an exclusive first look, a slightly more luxurious experience, or consider how you can spread people and colleagues out and build out deeper immersive experiences with brilliant visuals, brilliant surround sound or spaces where you do not want to use your mobile?
Yes, this does mean scaling down or scaling up experiences with smells, different sounds and more tailored experiences, this also comes with better margins and people talking about the experience vs just the film or performance.
Retail has been one of the hardest hit industries, huge brands have collapsed, many have been sold and brought by younger, online only brands.
Something that has been missed from retail is the touchpoints and the experience of good retailers.
There are many elements that have been missed and are actively being craved and this won’t change:
- The visuals
- The inspiration (and the aspirations)
- The aural experience
- Hearing the sounds, the music, people around you – many miss being around strangers
- The touch of something on your skin, the feel of the item of clothing, the varying quality between two items
- And then the taste, treating yourself to a coffee, a snack from your favourite treat spot and being able to have one day full of experiences.
There are many areas we look for, here are the areas you will want to include when creating your experience, visuals, audio, text (seeing and engaging with text), the touch / feel of something and adding taste into the experience.
I truly believe retail as the biggest opportunity with the right positioning and training can kickstart revenue spending and win over online for many people.
Peloton and connected fitness have really owned many of these areas and re-built to own their category.
Dark Stores & Experience Stores
Dark kitchens aka ghost kitchens have grown exponentially in recent years, not just because of restaurants shutting but down to being able to scale, offer your food to many dinners at completely new and different locations and branch out your offerings in a repeatable way, alongside ensuring you can keep your margins down.
Many dark kitchens operate on the well-known food delivery apps, some are available directly and although the cost and logistics are higher the ownership is higher.
What if in the future, these dark kitchens become hubs of experiences, blended with many of the other options and inspirations offered above but combined with retail, combined with personalised days organised for you.
Partnerships will be essential to win this space, this is how many local highstreets and stores have stayed alive and competed against much larger businesses. Local communities tend to step up and support each other in times of need. If you remove friction points and enable quick, convenient and reliable experiences you have a chance to win the even increasing bagel economies.
The High Street is struggling, many will be ghost towns when they re-open, there will be real estate that goes unopened, unused for many months at a time, what if we rethought this and applied a dark store approach.
In September 2020 I recommended in my 2021 predictions local would be essential as would the opportunity around dark stores.
- Being able to offer fewer people (not cramming) into the store,
- Offering invite-only in-store experiences you make the experience far more compelling. In-person, red rope treatment has been lost in recent years – leverage this.
- Personalisation: you can offer personalised experiences with personalised pricing
- You can connect online and offline together, gaining a better idea of ROI and CAC, alongside connecting LTV.
If this location was dark and invite only this would mean customers could book and you can build scarcity around the store, you could offer stock levels and instant picks ups – which many will look to, click and collect is still a huge influence on purchasing.
This truly can improve bad trips and turn into true experiences.
3D / 4D Experiences
Experiences require more than one layer, experiences are more than two dimensions they are 3d or 4d. Remember going to your favourite galleries, your favourite sporting events, they include the visual, they include a sound (even silence) they include the arena, they include people around you (a small number to a group or crowd) and they typically involve the smell and a feeling.
Taking inspiration from your favourite theme park, the theme part craft experiences:
- The story is vitally important
- The way your emotions follow the three-story arch
- The way you feel and the ways you connect and then interact with the story
- Most recently they added smell and liquid, typically water to add another layer of connection and experience and leaves you walking away thinking about the experience and wearing it (wet clothes or smelling od something) for the rest of the day.
Is this format something you could leverage, could you create or curate experiences using all of these senses?
Win the future of marketing and growth by creating experiences, where you can consider leveraging contactless tech, leverage billboarding and improving experiences connected to you and your brand.