When it comes to Christmas shopping this year, retailers will need to focus more on the customer experience. In 2010, the Christmas season was hugely successful for online retailers with an increase of 44% when compared to 2009. While consumers are spending more time online, as they hunt for the best ideas and discounts, for most of them, going shopping is a leisure activity; a source of entertainment with an added value of feeling or experiencing something that they cannot get online.
The festive shopping period is a great opportunity for brands to truly engage with the feelings and emotions of their consumers and deliver the best shopping experience. When shopping in the real world, consumers expect to receive instant gratification, they can have a chance to view exclusive products and an opportunity to test and feel things, or even learn how to use products.
As one of the most powerful methods for deep brand engagement, experiential marketing can help your brand break through the clutter this Christmas and create an exciting experience, promoting a direct contact between your product and your potential customers. Yet, the real skill in experiential marketing is in knowing the right tactics to apply, using sensory and emotional strategies to build brand awareness and drive sales growth.
Why making it real will develop your relationships?
Every year we’ve been seeing great experiential activities promoting the magic of Christmas, such as the creation of ‘Winter Wonderland’ themed-parks, or live brand experiences such as the giant Ferrero Rocher Christmas Tree, where consumers can experience an instant treat by picking the chocolates from the tree, and the Cadbury’s Make-a-Wish Roadshow, promoting Cadbury treats in partnership with Make-A-Wish Foundation. These activities are good examples of driving consumer engagement, which can also drive greater sales and instigate repeated purchase behaviour.
Developing a Christmas experiential campaign that appeals to the five senses of the consumer, will certainly give you the opportunity to enhance your brand message and reach your target audience more effectively. When stimulating the senses, brands can invoke memories and appeal directly to their consumers instinctive and festive feelings. Sounds can also evoke memory and emotion. Who doesn’t feel emotional when hearing the iconic jingles of the Coca-Cola truck spreading Christmas cheer? I sure do!
By creating connections to memory, values, identity and aspirations, experiential activities can hang off the sensory appeal to acquire something meaningful and allow consumers a chance to try, test and experience the product before they make their purchase. How you choose to communicate with your customers can have a big influence on their shopping behaviour. Therefore, by making the shopping experience more fun and interesting, this will help you to make your brand to stand out from the crowd and create a real value for your Christmas experiential campaign.
Check out our top five selection of the best Christmas experiential campaigns
1. Coca-Cola Christmas Truck Live
2. Cadbury Wishes Event
3. Heathrow’s Giant Mistletoe
4. Ferrero Rocher Christmas Tree
4. The Twelve Lays of Christmas
5. Christmas Prank in Australia
Hotcow ethos is to show brands how great experiences can change emotions, actions and beliefs. Our mission is to help people and brands understand the power of ‘experience-based marketing’ and offer expertise in how to develop, plan and execute campaigns in the right way to get the best results. For more information or a free consultation, contact us.