The primacy of the brand in marketing is over. Brand managers are losing control over them to an empowered and proactive consumer base. Instead of a consumer economy in which success is determined in large part by name, it’s now being determined by performance. The element of product performance is a key component to experiential marketing campaigns today. Just think of the Maytag “try-it-before-you-buy-it” stores the 24-hour test drives being offered by car manufacturers around the world. Brands are now being driven by the consumers themselves, through experiential elements like Converse’s co-creation marketing and Scion’s cultivation of brand evangelism.
The marketing industry is being radically changed from a mass media landscape to more individualized, fragmented and personal media choices. If brands are to survive in the near future, they need to appropriate experiential marketing tenets in order to deal with this transformation.
Experiential marketing is the next marketing methodology that can bridge the disconnect between consumers’ increasing demand to engage marketers and brands on their own terms, and the slow-footed reluctance of traditional marketers to move away from mass media marketing and the one-way, command-and-control ways of building brands which they have been accustomed to for decades.
Traditional marketers continue to contend that mass media is still relevant to the consumer, especially when launching a new brand. But as is evident by the launch of Scion, a brand doesn’t need mass marketing in order to be born and grow. An experiential approach to launching a brand may be more effective and relevant than anything that television ads can offer.
The brand is no longer paramount to the new consumer. The experience with the brand is. This development has led to the rise of experiential marketing at the expense of mass marketing. Because experiential marketing is based on a deeper interaction between a marketer and consumer than traditional marketing and advertising, it allows for each individual consumer to enter into an experience with the brand.
“In the aftermath of the interaction, the way people remember and value an experience emotionally will have everything to do with their ultimate commitment to the organization or brand, says Lewis Carbone. In other words, customer loyalty in the future will be based more on the experiences consumers have with brands than what they rationally think about individual products or services a company offers. If brands in the future will be built on individual consumer experiences, why shouldn’t successful marketing campaigns be built on the same foundation?