As a man who stands just a few inches north of 5 feet, I learned how to make an impression early in life despite my physical stature. As I built Simon Pure Marketing, I found these learnings could be leveraged in an industry where standing out is equivalent to survival.

There’s a winning formula for capturing consumer attention in the increasingly competitive field of experiential marketing: merging entertainment with reality and bridging the gap by ensuring consumers have a moment of wonder (entertainment) where they have no choice but to engage (reality).

These four helpful experiential marketing tips will set you up well when designing breakthrough activations:

  • Put Emotion In The Driver’s Seat – Before leaping to the imagination, think about what emotion you are trying to elicit. Are you trying to pique curiosity? Tug at a heartstring? Strengthen brand trust? Understanding how you want the consumer to feel should be the driving consideration in the kind of interactions you design.
  • Consider The Moment Of Interaction – Just as critical as the exchange’s emotion is trying to elicit is the state of mind that the consumer might be in when they encounter your brand. Imagine how different your emotional state is when shopping for groceries with your family versus being at a street festival or going to a sporting event. Considering what the consumer is faced with before and after they encounter your brand will help you better design street team and promotional model interactions with them.
  • Ideate With “The Hook” In Mind – Let’s face it, the majority of the time, consumers aren’t out there looking to interact with brands. Finding the ‘hook’ that provides a moment of wonder and makes the consumer want to be part of an experience elevates a brand touchpoint from ‘impression’ to an impactful moment that drives sales.
  • Factor in Social Currency – One of the constant challenges in experiential marketing is expanding the reach of the activation beyond those consumers who happen to walk across our path. Rather than hand out samples and swag, experiential marketing can prompt consumers to take socially shareable action to “pay for” what they are receiving. With culture being so focused on the humblebrag, providing these opportunities for sharing is something consumers crave. The spread of moments through consumers’ social feeds reaches far beyond what could be achieved at the street level. Enter what the vast majority of consumers have with them at all times – social currency.

Have a thought on other ways to break through? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.