As a man who stands just a few inches north of 5 feet, I learned early in life how to make an impression in spite of 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.

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

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

  • Put emotion in the driver’s seat – Before leaping to ideation, think about what emotion you are trying to elicit. Are you trying to peak curiosity? Tug at a heart string? 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 important as the emotion the interaction is trying to elicit is the state of mind that the consumer might be in when they encounter your brand. Imagine how different your own emotional state is when you are shopping for groceries with your family versus being at a street festival or going to a sporting event. By considering what the consumer is faced with before, and after, they encounter your brand will help you better design interactions that they’ll actually interact with.
  • Ideate with “the hook” in mind – Let’s face it, the majority of 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. Enter what the vast majority of consumers have with them at all times – social currency. Rather than just hand out samples and swag, experiential marketing has the ability to prompt consumers to take socially shareable action in order to “pay for” what they are receiving. With culture being so focused on the humble brag, providing these opportunities for sharing is something consumers crave, and the spread of moments through consumers’ social feeds provide reach far beyond what could be achieved at street level.

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