John Vachalek February 8, 2010

Using Experience Marketing – Selling Your Bouncy Ball

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During a recent trip to Disney World®, I saw many great examples of experience marketing.

At Webolutions, while working with our clients, experience marketing seems to be one of the more difficult concepts for people to truly understand and it is definitely one of the more difficult marketing practices to implement. Why? The fact is, that this is something that hardly any businesses understand or are willing to do. So, it is more difficult, There is no roadmap. Creating unique experiences around your brand is not like any other form of marketing. It involves truly changing the way you interact with the world to create an experience around unique brand.

At Epcot®, I was walking with my 7-year old twin boys. All of a sudden a large, brightly-colored, inflatable ball bounced toward us. I looked up and saw that this had come from a stand where these balls were being sold. I thought perhaps this had just blown off the stand or something. But, after my boys threw the ball back to the friendly vendor, he threw it back to them again. Ah Ha, this was no accident, He had initiated a game of catch and my kids were thrilled to play. They laughed, ran and took turns throwing the ball back and forth. Soon other kids had joined in the fun.  This was just as exciting to them as the rides.

When it was time to go (because, of course, I had a schedule to keep to ensure we had fun), you can probably guess what happened. They said, “Dad, can we get one of those balls?”

Pure and simple, this is an extremely fundamental example of experience marketing. Rather than having the balls packaged up in plastic and hanging on a rack for people to buy, this vendor took the ball out, blew it up, and played catch with the kids walking by. He created an experience around his product.

Of course, this is easier with a brightly-colored bouncing ball that you are marketing to kids who are walking past in a theme park, than say, selling legal or accounting services that you are promoting to corporate executives who are locked up in their offices.  However, this is exactly the point! The harder your audience is to reach, the better the experience marketing techniques you need to create. You MUST differentiate yourself in a unique way that engages your target audience. This is even more important in the corporate setting, because your job of reaching your audience is harder.

How to use this Information

  • Determine your brand experience.  Is it like Disney where you are bringing magic into people’s lives? Or, is it something else? It must have emotion and feeling! How do you want people to feel when they interact with your company?
  • Clearly define your key target audiences and learn about them and their lives. How could you make them feel this way?
  • Think about how people interact with your business and identify the opportunities to create unique experiences. Remember an experience is not your product or your expected level of service. It is what you do during the sales process or during the delivery of your already high quality products or services that makes you different. It needs to differentiate you in an emotionally binding way with your clients. These experiences should be truly novel and dependable. It should always happen!

If you would like to comment on this post, we would love to hear from you. What great experiences are you creating in your business? If you would like some help taking your experience marketing to the next level, please give us a call at Webolutions 1-800-657-6055 for a free initial consultation.

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