Experiential Marketing Events: Creating Successful Experiences

Ditte Alberg

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Companies across the globe are increasingly faced with challenges concerning effective marketing communications. This has led to an increased need for companies to stand out from the crowd. Having a strong brand as perceived by the customers is therefore of utmost importance. One way to achieve this is by staging experiential marketing events. However, while many scholars have created frameworks for staging events the current models fail at seeing the theory in a broader perspective by adding the criteria of achieving success. The aim of this thesis was therefore to present a framework for staging successful experiential marketing events. Through the use of literature in the fields of experiential marketing, brand management theory and transformation theory it was possible to create such a model. Additionally, the collection of empirical data aided in testing the proposed framework and make modifications in order to create the most comprehensive model possible. A combined framework for achieving successful experiential marketing events was thus presented. The framework proposes that creating involvement with the brand should be a top priority when designing the event. Involvement aids in gaining and keeping the attention of the consumers making it easier to get across marketing messages. Three main areas were found to affect involvement: 1. Design elements 2. Synergy 3. Violation of Expectations The design elements included five characteristics: Personal Relevance, Active Participation, Physical and Visual aids as well as Innovation and Memorabilia. The first three were found to be of utmost importance while the latter two needed more testing it order to validate their importance. However, they could not be dismissed either. Synergy was the definition used to explain a natural link between the brand and the experience. In this sense brand association, brand attachment and brand resonance should be present in order to achieve increased involvement and added brand equity. Additionally, the values of the company should be communicated in a clear way. Coherence between the event and the company creates lasting associations and loyal customers. While this area was originally proposed to be of great importance it proved difficult to measure the exact the effect hereof as people are mostly unaware of the links as they are made subconsciously. Finally, violation of expectations was proposed as a mean to achieve success and increase involvement. This was found to be affected by curiosity, virtuosity and sensory stimuli. Violation of expectations proved to be the most important aspect of the framework as it does not only lead to success in the event of positive violations but could ultimately be the cause of failure and decreased involvement if expectations are violated in a negative way.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2014
Number of pages76