What does 2016 hold for brand experiences?

Paul Saville discusses in Marketing


2015 was another big year for brand experiences. The industry saw impressive growth, as revealed in the IPA’s Bellweather reports, where events ranked second only to internet spend in Q2 and Q3.

Millennials, the likely target of most marketing briefs in 2016, continued to value experiences over anything else. In 2015, it was ideas delivered with the most creative of technology that meant we were able to give these consumers the unforgettable moments they just had to share.

In 2016, we expect to see a number of trends all designed to further entice, entertain and engage with Generation Y:

1. Quality over quantity: A trend towards brands investing more in higher quality experiences that speak to fewer but more influential people.

2. Deeper immersion: In 2015 we saw an increase in multi-sensory experiences. In 2016, immersive experiences will go a step deeper, think multi-sensory 2.0 where physical sensations are fused with creative technology to create the ultimate mind-blowing VR experiences.

3. Second Screens: While brands continue to build brilliant physical experiences, they have yet to fully tap into the power of engaging consumers through their mobiles during live events. Using a second screen at home is rapidly becoming the norm, but at sporting and music events it still has a long way to go.

4. Socially responsible: Social issues have become a major focus for many over the past year, with obesity, gender and sexuality being debated more than ever before. This is something that brands will need to be increasingly sensitive towards when planning experiences.

5.  Measuring advocacy: With the growing influence of experiences, especially via word of mouth and social media, the success of physical engagement can no longer be measured in terms of direct interactions and linked uplifts in sales. Brands in 2016 will need to consider other effective ways of measuring success, so we anticipate a move towards looking more at advocacy by focusing on metrics such as Net Promoter Score and its positive shift thanks to experiences.

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