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The Curious Case of Experiential Marketing in India

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Remember when we used to buy products because we realllllly ‘needed’ the product? 

Now, people are more aware of what they are buying and who they are buying it from. Thus, they want to experience a brand before they buy anything from it. 

With such a peculiar consumer mindset and the fierce competition in the current market, the only way brands can stand out is by making a strong impression on the consumers. This can be creating a memorable positive experience that is likely to stay with them for a long time.

This is where experiential marketing comes into the picture. 

‘Wait, what’s experiential marketing?’ Experiential Marketing focuses on not just selling a product but actually helping the consumers experience the brand firsthand. The marketing techniques used in it aim to engage the consumers with the product on a more emotional level. 

‘So, why does it work?’ The entire concept of Experiential Marketing aims at the direct engagement of consumers, which is the very reason why it works exceptionally well for brands. This experience brings in a more personalized engagement while providing the consumers with a more positive experience of the brand. Experiential Marketing also creates an emotional connection between the product and consumer that make the brand more relatable. 

The Indian market too has been influenced by Experiential Marketing heavily. Be it international brands or Indian brands, they have cracked the code of touching the hearts of millions through Experiential Marketing. 

Wanna look at some examples? Here you go! 

The best driver that Ola could get:

In 2015, Ola launched their Ola Prime feature for elite customers and added a range of new premium car options in its app. To market the feature, they collaborated with the Indian F1 driver, Narain Kartikeyan who picked up and dropped some selected passengers as a cab driver. 

Since Ola only has one major competitor in the market, Uber and its services are almost indistinguishable. Ola decided to market a unique experience of the brand rather than boasting about its services.


How Tinder took over the colleges across India: 

Similarly, another great example of experiential marketing that has grabbed the attention of the Indian consumer is Tinder’s innovative marketing strategy. In a culturally rich country like India, where dating is still taboo, Tinder marketed a whole different experience. 

They chose the college-going urban youth and marketed their app on college and university campuses through their presence at college fests and cultural events. Eventually, Tinder also started organizing events and quirky workshops, on and off the campus and launched Tinder U, a special on-campus version of Tinder. 

Tl;dr, Experiential marketing campaigns are impactful, engaging, and fun.

But, there’s a catch! 

The Indian market is known to have short-term memory so it can be difficult for big Experiential Marketing campaigns to be long-lasting. No matter how interesting, fun, or quirky the campaign was, the chances are that the Indian market will forget it in a very short period. 

To execute a successful Experiential Marketing strategy in the Indian market, there are certain things you should remember. 

  • Build a campaign that is more human-centric and has an emotional human element to make it more relatable to the target audience. 
  • It takes time to deliver an experience. Leaving your audience mindblown just once will not really help them retain your brand. Consistent reminders help them remember your brand’s existence once in a while.  
  • Keep your product or service relevant to the campaigns since a disconnection between the two will confuse the audience. Eventually, the consumers will not be able to relate your product to the campaign and its purpose will be defeated. 

In the modern Indian market, the best way to gain the trust of the consumers is to interact with them so that they feel a sense of acquaintance with the brand. Experiential marketing can be a great tool for brands to interact with consumers directly and build a connection like never before.

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