John Vachalek January 9, 2012

Experiential Marketing Agency Tip – Incorporating traditions into your experiential marketing

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Experiential marketing, if done effectively, should deeply engage a business’s community in a very emotional and meaningful way.

Over the holidays, I was thinking a lot about all the traditions we have as a culture and what these mean to us. The traditions in our lives create who we are, how we think, and impact our emotions at the deepest levels. Some of the traditions I am referring to include:
  • Birthdays
  • Christmas
  • Anniversaries
  • Coming of Age Ceremonies (Sweet 16, Bar Mitzvah, turning 21)
  • New Year’s Eve
While the religious nature of some of these traditions may help to drive emotion, there are many very widely celebrated traditions that do not have religious overtones.
Let’s take New Year’s Eve as an example. This is a day, an event, a time of year that impacts each of our lives. On New Year’s Eve many people have a nicer dinner, open some champagne, count-down to midnight and even make some noise to ring in the new year. We were raised this way, society enforces this, and it is a part of our lives. During this time we all:
·        Reflect on the previous year
·        Celebrate with or call those important in our life
·        Set mental or actual goals for the coming year
·        Make changes in our lives

It is a tradition. It impacts our behavior.

If you take the concept of traditions and apply these same practices to your approach to experiential marketing for your business, you can create a very powerful marketing tool.  To do this we have to explore the key elements of a tradition. These would include:
  • Some sort of ritualized behavior which occurs
  • A predetermined time when this will take place (specific time or circumstances)
  • Consistency – This ALWAYS happens at this time
  • Awareness of everyone who will be involved and anticipation
If these criteria are met, a new tradition will start to become engrained in our behavior.
Does your company have traditions which engage your clients and prospects at an emotional level? Do these traditions meet all the criteria listed above? What could you do to give these traditions more meaning and impact? Are these a part of your client’s lives to which they look forward?

This past holiday season, my family and I visited Hammond’s Candy for their holiday festival. They had carolers, factory tours, train rides, games for the kids and Santa and Mrs. Claus. It was a great day, and everyone was buying candy. They have this event every year and the place was filled with families. Many of the people I spoke with come back every year with their kids for this event. It has become a tradition.

How to use this Information
Ask yourself if your business has “traditions” that meet all of the criteria outlined above. Do these emotionally engage your prospects and clients?
If not, think about what high touch time of year, or event where you interact with your clients, for which you may be able to begin the creation of a tradition. Make sure you create something which can meet all of the criteria outlined above.
If your business has an effective experiential marketing tradition, please share this in the comments below. If you have questions about creating experiential marketing traditions for your business, we would be happy to provide you with guidance.


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