Experiential Marketing: We take a closer look at branded events with Bumble & The Daily Edited

The ‘experiential event’ is your latest must know marketing strategy — learn about it, love it and get ‘gramming because it’s proven to work. In fact, 65% of brands report a boost in sales, brand awareness and customer loyalty thanks to these types of events.

So what is an experiential marketing? Otherwise known as live or immersive marketing, experiential marketing is all about direct engagement with consumers and interacting with them in a creative, memorable way. This means the event needs to find that sweet spot of being highly visual, unique and representative of your brand.

“The primary purpose is to experience a brand in a tangible, offline way, but you’ll still want an online dialogue around it. When you consider that 49% of folks create mobile video at branded events — 39% of which is shared on Twitter — it makes sense to incorporate a digital element. A branded hashtag, for example, can get people talking about the experience.” Hubspot

To learn more, we had a chat with two women who really know how to take experiential events to the next level. First, we speak to Michelle Battersby, country lead for Bumble Australia, who has utilised the face to face element of events to educate her audience and exponentially grow Bumble’s user base through word of mouth. Next, we find out how Alyce Tran, co-founder of The Daily Edited, integrated her niche brand into a fully functioning pop up cafe and discovered an unexpected potential product line as a result.

MICHELLE BATTERSBY — BUMBLE

WHY DO YOU CHOOSE TO CREATE EXPERIENTIAL EVENTS?

At Bumble adding value to our users is always front of mind. Given Bumble is a networking app we are unable to place a product or sample in peoples hands. You can’t really trial or test the product before deciding to go all in. We heavily promote meeting people in real life as soon as you connect with like-minded individuals who want to take the conversations further. Experiential events help us engage with the audience and promote the values bumble hold so close to heart such as inclusiveness, friendliness and positivity. They also help us interact with our users IRL and provide them with potential date ideas, networking or social events to attend. All of our events and activations are really interactive, vibrant and inclusive. I think for an app, especially one that was originally known as predominately a dating app, experiential events also help us differentiate ourselves from our competitors.

HOW DO YOU START THE CREATIVE PROCESS?

At the moment, because we’re still in the start-up phase, we are really into brand collaborations. We want to partner with like-minded companies and offer our users even more by creating something they’ve never seen or been exposed to. We also always want there to be an event story — what makes it special, what will draw consumers in, what will draw media in, does it have earned media value?Visual appeal, look and feel are also critical, we want it to feel like Bumble and ensure anyone attending loves what they see.

DESCRIBE YOUR RECENT EXPERIENCE WITH THE BUMBLE FUN LAB.

The Bumble Fab Lab was a 30-minute multi-sensory experience designed to make you feel happy! We created four different rooms each with a scientifically built-in element that leveraged smell, gratitude, relaxation and taste (where we partnered with Messina) to leave you positively buzzing. It was beautifully designed and very very Bumble!

HOW DID YOU MEASURE SUCCESS?

We measured success by foot traffic and feedback, this was open to the public so that was a key indicator, it was free to enter however you needed to show your bumble app. We also wanted to create a lot of local assets such as video content and brand awareness. Now that we have three verticals on the app (dating, friendship and networking) we used the gratitude room to build in an educational element where everyone would be exposed to all three verticals and aware of the options. Organic press pick up is also a great indicator of success in terms of awareness and knowing the story attached to the experience is one worth telling. The event gained loads of media traction which was fantastic.

DID EVERYTHING RUN SMOOTHLY?

The event did run really smoothly, aside from a huge storm blowing in on the second day — that did slow things for a while however entirely out of our control!

WHAT WERE THE ROADBLOCKS?

Sometimes needing to show the app to enter can be a roadblock. However, this is only the case if consumers are unaware of the different verticals. Generally it’s a quick conversation to ensure they know Bumble is no longer just for dating and they’re more than happy to give it a try!

DO YOU NEED BIG BUDGETS TO PULL OFF A GREAT EVENT?

Definitely not! I think you can create really amazing experiences that give a lot back to consumers for little to nothing. It ultimately depends on what you are trying to achieve but guerilla activations have had a lot of success for us.

MICHELLE’S TOP 3 TIPS FOR HOSTING A MEMORABLE EXPERIENTIAL EVENT

  1. Must add value — you need consumers leaving having experienced something they couldn’t have anywhere else.
  2. Must be reflective of your brand — our events will always be inclusive, friendly and positive. We want the events to be vibrant and visually appealing, something people will remember.
  3. Must have a story attached — you need to be able to gain earned media and articulate why you are creating the experience.

ALYCE TRAN — THE DAILY EDITED

WHY DO YOU CHOOSE TO CREATE EXPERIENTIAL EVENTS?

I personally need to be excited by our projects. I feel there’s no point in opening the same store 6 times right?! As a result, I am always thinking about what is going to excite me and generally it’s a more exciting concept than shelves on a wall and an EFTPOS machine. It’s a lot about the fulfilment of myself and my team and not making the same mistakes as other retailers.

HOW DO YOU START THE CREATIVE PROCESS?

A lot of the time my ideas come from my own experiences I’ve had whilst travelling, pictures I’ve seen of cool interiors that I lust after, social media or magazines. I create visual mood boards which are always the starting point for the development of my ideas.

DESCRIBE YOUR RECENT EXPERIENCE WITH THE DAILY EDITED CAFE.

A broader brand experience for our customer and the development of a more engaging way to serve our customer.

HOW DID YOU MEASURE SUCCESS?

Customer satisfaction and sales! I figure if customers like something and we are able to sell in a particular environment then we have been successful.

DID EVERYTHING RUN SMOOTHLY?

Not at all — the build of our Westfield store went beyond our anticipated schedule, a lot of the fit out was custom, the furniture was all locally made or sourced from overseas with a long lead time. It was difficult to get approval from Westfield, we had issues with contractors and with sourcing the right things. It was basically like building a house — the standard nightmarish stories you hear people talking about.

WHAT WERE THE ROADBLOCKS?

Approval of Westfield and Chadstone was tedious in both of these processes. We wanted to be in these shopping centres as they are no.1 and no.2 in terms of sales in Australia. The issue is that we aren’t a standard retailer — we are a niche brand with a unique point of view and I felt as though these big players were wanting to see us execute something more in line with other chain stores.

ANY SURPRISE OUTCOMES?

The ability for our brand to extend into new categories — I mean we could potentially do more homewares and the like now given the success of our stationery line and people’s love for the way we have merchandised the line in store.

DO YOU NEED BIG BUDGETS TO PULL OFF A GREAT EVENT?

Absolutely not, our cafe concept was very low budget. It’s all about creativity! I also designed the café myself in conjunction with our builder which cut out design fees etc so the more you can do on your own the less it will cost.

ALYCE’S TOP 3 TIPS FOR HOSTING A MEMORABLE EXPERIENTIAL EVENT

  1. You need to be excited by it.
  2. It needs to be somewhat original.
  3. If you care about social media, it should be instagrammable.

Banner image: Pink Freak by Tezza

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