Key takeaways

  • Celebrity endorsements have made way for Instagram influencers, who are now making way for micro-influencers, as a prime way for brands to connect with millennials.
    Is this new “micro-endorsement” trend on borrowed time? Maybe.
  • Beauty brands and retailers are facing different market conditions and challenges, but both are championing the same tactic: experiential.
  • 70 percent of purchasing decisions are made based on the experience a consumer has with a brand. For those late to the experiential party, you have some catching up to do.

 

Brands paid hefty prices to send micro-influencers dancing in the desert at Coachella

When it comes to celebrity endorsements, most millennials aren’t interested. According to Marketing Dive, “an overwhelming majority at 78% either don’t like celebrity endorsements or are at best indifferent.” This is the same generation that exhibits a lack-luster response to traditional branding and advertising. There should be little surprise that they aren’t as star-struck as their predecessors. These realists, despite their love for social media and digital communication, prefer IRL experiences and legitimate relationships. The posed, airbrushed image of someone they don’t know or relate to ain’t doin’ nothin’ for them.

Which is why their recent and growing distrust in mainstream Instagram influencers shouldn’t come as a surprise either. So what’s a brand to do? The truth is, regardless of millennials’ general dislike for #ad, Instagram is still a mainline to these consumer’s hearts. The answer (at least for now)? Micro-influencers. Here Forbes highlights the “hefty” spend brands invested in these less-well-known Insta celebrities at Coachella this year and why.

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Beauty and wellness briefing: Why beauty brands and retailers continue to put experiential services front-and-center

When it comes to of-the-moment experiential, there are two industries that have gotten a lot of attention lately. First is beauty. The number of beauty brands entering the market over the past few decades has been staggering. As Forbes puts it, “there are three unique circumstances that continue to prop up the beauty industry.” One of these are consumers’ (mostly women) desires for new products and brands, which has been fueled by, most notably, Instagram and YouTube. Brands have responded to consumers’ calls and, in a place where creativity and artistic-expression is front and center, these companies have excelled in designing intimate, hand’s-on experiences for consumers. When it comes to experiential, beauty is winning.

Retail, on the other hand, is experiencing a landscape that is a little more…complicated. Talk of the “retailpocolypse” has faded, replaced by “experiential retail.” The brand experience, experts propose, will be the key to the rebirth of brick-and-mortar. In this article, Glossy dives into each industry, highlighting the many reasons why both beauty and retailers continue to go all-in when it comes to a live brand experience.

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Tinder launches ‘Festival Mode’ to connect music festival goers with profile badges

Festival activations and sponsorship continue to be a popular avenue for brands looking to connect with a younger demographic of consumers. Part of this reasoning is that festival attendance is growing. While it may come as a surprise to those Gen Xers out there who exited the scene when Lollapalooza was the rage, festival attendance across the board has expaned, with 52% of Americans reporting that they attend live shows. And according to Nielsen Music’s VP/head of brand partnerships Matthew Yazge, “It’s definitely growing.” He went on to say that “we’ve seen, specifically, festivals continuing to increase… I don’t think we’ve hit the peak [of festival attendance] yet, so I would anticipate that to continue growing in the future as well.”

So, it is no surprise that dating “hook up” app, Tinder, has their eye on the festival goer-prize. TechCrunch reported on the company’s recent announcement of new feature “Festival Mode,” which is “designed to connect singles attending the same music festival.” And while this move seems intuitive, the company has data to back up this investment. According to the article, “During Hangout Fest in 2018, (Tinder) app registrations increased by up to 30x. Meanwhile, app activity at Bonnaroo 2018 increased up to 300x, at times.” While the next festival may be a mystery, we do know that Tinder and the music scene are a match made in digital heaven.

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How to keep your customers’ attention with a better experience

While many people like to think their purchasing decisions are rational and immune to emotion, they are quite a bit of distance from the truth. How we feel about a brand matters, whether we openly declare it or not. While some of us can’t wait to buy our next Patagonia jacket (even when they blatantly tell us not to) because we love their revolutionary CEO and commitment to the environment, sometimes it’s an interaction with a brand that opens our purse strings. In fact, Cisco found in its “Customer Experience in 2020” report that 70 percent of purchasing decisions are made based on the experience a consumer has with a brand. Not the product or service quality or price. But the experience. Cue jaw drop.

But those of us with decades in experiential under our belts know the power of experience all too well. Not only have we seen how brand activation can turn consumers into customers – and customers into brand advocates – we have seen studies like the yearly Event Track survey back it up. In this Inc article, the author discusses the power of the brand experience and lists three ways brands can boost how they interact with their customers.

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Hololens 2: Microsoft’s enterprise AR power play for Windows mixed reality

Speaking of matches made in digital heaven, it’s clear that VR and AR have found a place in marketers’ hearts. This technology has been groundbreaking when it comes to brand experiences and consumer engagement, giving companies the power to “show” rather than “tell” when marketing to consumers. It has allowed car brands to give companies digital tours of the factory from the comfort of the driver’s seat. It has allowed non-profits to “transport” potential and existing donors to places requiring assistance so they can see the need for their generosity “first hand.” This technology has become a tool for better storytelling, which is critical in influencing perception.

For brands and companies wondering if VR is right for them, or if you are just a tech and marketing nerd who loves to stay on the forefront of immersive technology, Microsoft recently launched its newest VR headset, the Hololens 2. Here Anshel Sag of Moor Insights & Strategy dissects the product’s hardware, software, history and future. Enjoy.