Innovative Marketing, Volume 4, Issue 2, 2008
Rajesh Kumar Srivastava (India)
How experiential marketing can be used to build brands – a case study of two specialty stores Abstract
Study was conducted basically on how experiential marketing (EM) can be useful in building a brand. The study also covered the impact of EM on repeat visit by customers; its acceptance based on gender & the reasons for repeat visits when compared to stores not using EM. Research was carried out at four specialty stores dealing in music and books in Mumbai, a financial capital of India. Of these, two were using EM. Questionnaire using one to one interview technique was used. Of 850 interviewed, 400 (EM) and 313 (NEM) were selected for study on two sets specialty stores, one set had experiential marketing in practice & other two were not using EM (NEM). Experiential marketing impact was studied on parameters like feel good, friendly people and ambience. The study confirms the hypothesis that experiential marketing can be used to build brand better. Word of mouth is equally important for EM and NEM stores. PR role is more important for EM than NEM stores. EM stores have 31% repeat customers compared to 1% with NEM stores. This is significant comparative study on EM and NEM usage. Customers are spending more time at these stores due to EM approach. Ambience of both stores played important role. Females visited less compared to male but repeat visit of females was on the higher side as they were more influenced by EM. Keywords: experiential marketing, brand building, customer experience.
Introduction1 Bernd H. Schmitt (1999, 2003) has coined the new term instead of traditional marketing called Experiential Marketing and provided a strategic framework for Experiential Marketing. Traditional marketing views consumers as rational decision makers who care about functional features and benefits. In contrast, experiential marketers view consumers as rational and emotional human beings who are concerned with achieving pleasurable experiences. In a variety of industries, companies have moved away from traditional “features-and-benefits” marketing toward creating experiences for their customers. This shift toward experiential marketing has occurred as a result of three simultaneous developments in the broader business environment. Businesses worldwide are realizing that consumer decisions are much more influenced by emotionally generated feeling rather than by rationally derived thought (Shukla, 2007). An experience occurs when a company uses services as the stage – and goods as props – for engaging individuals in a way that creates a memorable event (Pine and Gilmore, 2003). Thus, experiential marketing attempts to evoke a strong emotional (cognitive) response by the use of sensory technique (Shukla, 2007). Experiential marketing is said to be practiced when marketers go beyond meeting basic needs to excite the consumer, to build consumer enthusiasm by © Rajesh Kumar Srivastava, 2008.
becoming part of the every day life experiences of the shopper. The experiential approach seeks to identify behaviors (or attitudes or value sets) held in common across an audience whose demographic characteristics – the traditional basis of segmentation – might be quite diverse (Gautier, 2003). Experiential marketing is about finding insights about people’s passions and the connections which are created – naturally and uniquely – between them and the equity in the brands. Bernd Schmitt (1999) has given four stages of experiential marketing process (see Figure 1). Customer experience
Methods are eclectic
Consumption is a holistic experience
Customers are rational and emotional animals
Fig 1. Four factors for experiential marketing process (Bernd Schmitt, 1999).
Experiential marketing according to Schmitt focuses on customer experiences which occur as a result of encounters. This experience replaces functional values due to...
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