How do you get your business noticed without spending a fortune on a traditional advertising campaign?
With so much content reaching consumers every day, it’s crucial for your brand’s message to stand out. Experiential marketing — a tactic meant to create a closer bond between the customer and the brand by providing a fun, memorable experience — is a great way to differentiate your business.
Mushmina, a FedEx Small Business Grant winner, came up with a plan to make their brand stand out using experiential marketing. Check out their story:
Mushmina’s co-founders, sisters Katie and Heather O’Neill, got the inspiration for their business while traveling in Morocco and Mali, where they saw artisans creating handmade accessories “with a soul.” They brought these creations back to the States and initially sold them like the original creators — bringing trunks of goods to gatherings of family and friends; local markets and craft fairs. Soon, they began selling these fair trade accessories online, and through their own retail store in Philadelphia.
The sisters have added a new, very mobile marketing channel that pays homage to the artisans who inspired the O’Neills to found Mushmina. They’ve replicated the traditional Moroccan selling experience with the Mushmina Caravan, a souped-up VW bus that will travel from city to city nationwide, giving consumers a taste of a different culture while promoting the Mushmina brand.
“We believe that initial personal connection is key to what we do, and our Caravan will help us make that connection in a very memorable way. It’s very reflective of the nomadic lifestyle of Moroccan vendors, who drive around the area with the carpets and other goods strapped to the roof of their cars,” Heather explained. “With the growing number of online retailers, we believe the Caravan will leave a lasting impression of who we are and what we represent.”
Just remember, when trying to create an experience that resonates with your customers, you need to:
- Understand your target audience.
- Know the emotion you want them to associate with your brand.
- Create an experience that relates to what you’re selling.
Once you know who your customers are and what feeling you want your brand to evoke in them, you’re ready to start planning an experiential marketing campaign.
Although not every brand lends itself to something as exotic as Mushmina’s Caravan, most small-business owners can experiment with experiential marketing to find something that works. An e-tailer could try opening a pop-up shop — a temporary storefront — as a way to meet and engage with fans. Coffee shop owners might try partnering with local artists to turn their café into a gallery, where customers can see and buy fresh artwork every month. A travel agent could style their office to mimic the most popular destinations for that season. The possibilities are endless.
Source: FedEx Small Business https://smallbusiness.fedex.com/experiential-marketing.html