Seven Ways to Stand Out in, and Benefit From, the Experience Economy

Seven Ways to Stand Out in, and Benefit From, the Experience Economy. The opportunity is mutually beneficial; such events facilitate long-term brand loyalty, and customers increasingly seek to connect with more than just a company's products. Define what you stand for, and let your customers know It's no longer enough for you to simply market and sell products. Compare Gatorade and Coke, for example. Align with influencers who share your vision Think about the influencers whom your audience relates to and who can endorse your product. Find ways to connect with your audience Giving away free product samples is a tried-and-true way to connect with customers, but how can brands take outreach to the next level? There, attendees were wowed by home installations created by 19 world-class designers around the idea of "welcome." Never miss an opportunity to record content that can be used for future promotion. Social media boosts experiences in two ways: It gives participants the opportunity to connect and share with others at your event, creating a collaborative environment for attendees; it also shows potential customers who couldn't make it to your event what they're missing. Once brands find what works for their audience, they can benefit from the experience economy and stand out against competitors.

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Remember the good old days when we brewed coffee at home, went to the grocery to buy ingredients for dinner, and played pin the tail on the donkey at kids’ birthday parties?

Those days are gone, and we have instead entered the experience economy: We go to Starbucks where our favorite barista is happy to prepare our beverage of choice; we have fresh ingredients delivered to our doorsteps from Blue Apron for at-home gourmet meals; we hire entertainment companies and actors to transform our backyards into zoos and medieval castles so our children can have the ultimate birthday celebration.

Although the concept of the experience economy is not new, brands are capitalizing on the trend to deliver more than just goods and services to their customers: They’re now creating memories via participatory events, as well.

The opportunity is mutually beneficial; such events facilitate long-term brand loyalty, and customers increasingly seek to connect with more than just a company’s products.

Unsurprisingly, the 75.4 million Millennials, America’s largest generation, are the most active group with a renewed focus on having experiences, not things—and they are coming of age where they have larger disposable incomes to spend on your brand.

Knowing that experiences are critical to connecting with this influential group, is your brand prepared to cater to Millennials as they enter their prime earning years?

Here are seven ways how you can benefit from the experience economy and stand out against your competition.

1. Define what you stand for, and let your customers know

It’s no longer enough for you to simply market and sell products. Customers yearn to know what you stand for, as well.

What—and how—do you want potential buyers to feel when they interact with you? Define that, then show it to your customers through the products, events, and advertising you create and the emotional responses they evoke.

Compare Gatorade and Coke, for example. Both are sugary drinks, but customers have very different experiences when quenching their thirst with them. Gatorade sells a sports drink, focusing on endurance, training, and athletes’ pushing themselves to the next level. Coke focuses on fun and friendship, as seen in its “Share a Coke” campaign.

2. Align with influencers who share your vision

Think about the influencers whom your audience relates to and who can endorse your product. For performance apparel companies, athletes quickly come to mind as a group who can mobilize your customers to participate in an event or make a purchase. Other influencers include YouTube stars for beauty brands (think Michelle Phan for Lancome and L’Oreal) and lifestyle bloggers for a range of home…

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