Why Experience Marketing Matters

13 Aug

happinessIs it me, or does the pursuit of happiness happen to have had a resurgence in the past year? The more the economy turns down, the more families and friends are spending nights at home together playing board games and throwing dinner parties. What a great time for Tony Hsieh’s book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose to hit stores! The book is a smash hit with bloggers and CEOs alike. It dives into corporate culture and how to increase happiness for employees, investors and customers. It’s a must read for HR staff, C-level staff, and anyone interested in creating a fun work environment while working hard.

Recently, my financial adviser asked me to read the NY Times Article from August 7 titled But Will It Make You Happy? He was asking me to read it for my personal edification, but little did he know that it is a gem when it comes to trending for marketers. What a great read!  The article talks about why American consumers are downsizing and what their purchase decisions mean for America’s economy. Not only are consumers purchasing fewer material goods, but they are actually increasing their purchase of experience-oriented products and services. (Think pasta-making classes, hiking trips, vacations, board games, etc.). I am definitely inspired to take a look at what I’m really buying. I think marketers should do the same for their products.

Since consumers are spending their money on experiences, not physical goods, it is more important than ever for consumers to make an emotional connection with a product. We’re seeing a shift from German-thinking of consumerism and keeping up with the Joneses, to a more French-style of thinking. The French might not have a car or a huge home, but they enjoy fine dining experiences and being with family.

If marketers can find a way to make shopping and buying an experience again, they will be successful in today’s market. Take Apple for example. They have created a shopping environment that is not only an experience, but a place where consumers know they are going to get outstanding customer service, and have the ear of an employee for as long as they need to make a purchase decision.

Here are some questions to think about if your brand needs a boost:

  • What need does your product or service fulfill?
  • Does your brand invoke an emotional reaction?
  • If so, how do you or will you capitalize on it?
  • Is your product or service something you can turn into an experience?

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