How Unique Venues Could Bolster Experiential Marketing

Written by PortMA

How Unique Venues Could Bolster Experiential Marketing

One facet of measuring experiential marketing programs in the spirits industry is seeing the different venues at which brand teams activate. The industry primarily distinguishes between on and off-premise venues when reviewing analytics, but there are opportunities to go into more detail within those categories. I want to share a case study of a spirits brand that activated at an outdoor sporting venue, and how that affected the program’s impact.

Making a strong first impression with the brand

A whiskey brand that we measure began picking up steam with its experiential marketing program in the 4th quarter of 2014. We collected and analyzed some on-site survey data for this brand and noticed one consumer metric that stood out compared to other whiskey brands.
Two in five consumers who tried this brand at an event had never heard of it prior to the experience (42%). We typically don’t see such this high of a percentage of newly educated consumers.
By comparison, newly educated consumers come in around 20-25% for two other whiskey brands in the same experiential marketing program. This tells us that when consumers are sampling this brand at the event, they’re getting their first, actual impression of it. Thus, creating an opportunity for the brand team to influence a positive attitude toward the brand.
So what could explain the fact that twice as many consumers are newly educated to the brand before the experience than those who sample other whiskies?
Perhaps fewer advertising dollars are spent on this brand compared to others, but without that data available to me, I’m left to review the nature of the events themselves to derive insight. Lo and behold, one event attracted a relatively high percentage of newly educated consumers, and left a strong impression on consumers.

Activating at a new venue generated impact

The whiskey brand team activated at the grand opening of an outdoor sports center. Yes, you read that correctly.
Normally, one wouldn’t associate whiskey with outdoor sports, but promoting a product at an unconventional setting is one way to engage potential new customers.
The brand team placed a Speakeasy-style footprint at the event, and they took advantage of word-of-mouth feedback from attendees to attract consumers. Once word was spread, consumers complimented the team for providing education about the brand and letting them sample.
One influencer said the Speakeasy “made the event,” and it showed because nine in ten consumers left with the intent to purchase the whiskey brand. Remember, close to half of them had never heard of the brand before the event (45%), suggesting the team helped create potential new customers.
I thought this was a great example of how activating at a unique venue can have a positive experiential marketing impact. I’ll continue to search for more case studies of this kind of success.
Photo Source: