Why adding festivals into your launch plan is a great opportunity.
Festivals are becoming more and more common these days. Whether it’s music, food or a sports-related festival, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. And why not? They allow consumers to experience new things, create memories and have fun with family and friends.
Brands have noticed this emerging trend and have started leveraging these experiential environments. Festivals allow them to bring their brands to life in a fun and engaging way. Furthermore, consumers will already be having a good time so they are much more likely to associate your brand (if nothing goes awry!) with good memories.
With this in mind, we question why more companies don’t include festivals as part of their launch marketing campaigns.
Here are some top tips if you choose to take this route and include festival participation as part of your launch plan.
When choosing a festival to launch at, make sure that the festival’s values align with your own new brand or product e.g. if you’re an organic food brand, ensure the festival prides itself on its green credentials. For a small brand that’s just starting out on their launch journey, attending festivals immediately positions them within the consideration set along with well-established competitors. Sydney recently hosted 15,000 consumers keen to explore the latest beauty brands at Meccaland – a purpose-built festival experience that anyone in the market, simply had to be seen at.
Activate your launch plan properly.
The longer you can keep someone engaged with your brand through encouraging them to spend longer on your stand, the more likely they are to remember the experience. Think of an activation in your launch plan that showcases your brand in a fun and interactive way. Eat Natural set up a stand at Latitude music festival in the UK where consumers could build their own natural energy bars asking festival goers, ‘Can you make it?’.
Make it Instagrammable.
After all, word of mouth remains the most powerful form of marketing communication so if you can get consumers to take photos of your new brand and post them on their Instagram accounts, then you will not only be engaging with festival goers but all of their followers as well. Coachella is the king of festivals in providing those Instagrammable moments. With over 4.4m posts going out over the space of 2 weekends using #coachella, it has become one of the most expensive but effective market entries for brands. Brands that attend know how to set up that Instagrammable moment by building experiences like luxury beauty spas or psychedelic pool parties – the effort pays off!
Predict consumers’ impending needs.
It is beneficial to have visited the festival first hand before committing so you can get a feel for what the consumers are going through and what their needs may be throughout the festival. Meeting these consumer needs could help put you in a positive light. Knowing that attendees of the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas were going to be spending a lot of time in the sunshine, Progressive Insurance handed out free sunscreen. Despite being one of the smaller brands at the event, their activation resonated with attendees in desperate need of sun protection.
Live the festival’s values.
Quite often a festival will have a core theme to it like sustainability or, as recently announced, Glastonbury wanting to be plastic bottle free for 2019. Although you won’t get credit if you align your launch plan with their theme, you will definitely stand out if you don’t, so make sure you fully understand the festival’s underlying themes.
Plan to the max.
If this is part of your launch activation, this will be the first time consumers will have ever experienced your brand. Being ensconced in a festival will genuinely mean that you won’t be able to make massive changes so PLAN to the max. Try and envisage as many potential issues as possible. After all, you only have one shot at a first impression so work with an experienced events agency.
Our final thoughts – do it. If you can find a festival that matches your new product’s credentials, then we think including one in your launch plan is a no brainer. We live in a Generation Phygital world where despite consumers wanting to have their lives made more efficient through digitalisation, they still crave that interaction with the physical world.
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By George Roberts