Harnessing the Power of Experiential Marketing for Small to Medium-Size Brands

February 5, 2018

We’ve all heard about large brands or retailers putting on a big exciting event to help market themselves to the public. Think back to 2014 when Anheuser-Busch InBev turned a Colorado town into Bud Light’s “Whatever USA,” or to last year when M&M’s set up an augmented reality “ARcade” in New York City to unveil its new caramel flavor. Such events clearly make an impression. But for small to medium-size brands, they can seem far out of reach. That’s where they’re mistaken.

According to Daymon’s consumer experience marketing team, impactful events aren’t limited to companies with multi-million-dollar marketing budgets. In fact, says Creative Director Ryan Dee, “small to medium-size brands may have an advantage over larger brands in that they can be more experimental and host smaller events or activities that can more effectively convey the finer points of their messaging.”

One of the key ways to set themselves up for success is to look for community events that they can join. “Sometimes people think they have to do it all themselves, but they don’t. They can dovetail with existing events, which provides a built-in audience,” says Dee.

He points to a recent project Daymon worked on for a plant-based health bar. The small company was looking to break into the Chicago market, so they came to Daymon for help. “After researching their product and their key audiences, we found these bars were popular with runners, who liked to carry them for a burst of energy mid-race. Based on that, we recommended the brand set up activations at fitness-related events in the Chicagoland area,” explains Dee.

To extend the reach of the events, Daymon also incorporated a social media component, developing a photo opportunity for runners to “dunk the junk” in favor of these bars. “We took photos of runners dunking a basketball marked with unhealthy ingredients. We encouraged them to share their photos on social media, which ended up generating about 300,000 impressions across six events,” says Dee.

This project highlights an important point for smaller brands looking to make a name for themselves—a social media presence is a must. “Any small, up-and-coming brand that doesn’t have social media presence is shooting themselves in the foot,” says Brittney Duke, Marketing Coordinator for Daymon. She points out that many consumers today check social media before visiting a retailer or buying a product. If they don’t find the company, they may wonder about its validity.

“Whatever you’re selling, there’s going to be a digital community for you. That’s something that Daymon can help with—finding that right space and developing a presence there,” says Duke. In addition to establishing a digital outpost for consumers, she notes that social media also offers a promotional platform that’s often more cost-effective than traditional advertising.

Yet another way small to medium-sized brands can tap into experiential marketing is to get involved with programs that have sponsorships available. Daymon is offering just such a program later this year, with a wellness tour set to launch in July in Southern California. The tour will showcase sponsoring natural and organic brands at select community events and expos, and will feature sampling, guest speakers and cooking demonstrations.

With so many choices in the retail marketplace, it’s no secret that it can be difficult for smaller brands to stand out. “Experiential events are one way to cut above the noise,” says Dee. “It is one of the only marketing tools that can make a big impact for a relatively inexpensive investment. You can get additional press, additional social media engagement and above all, help consumers form a lasting memory of an experience they had with your brand.”

To learn more about Daymon’s experiential marketing services or about sponsorship opportunities for the wellness tour, contact Maegan Zitren, Senior Business Development Manager at MZitren@InteractionsMarketing.com.