When was the last time you felt stressed? There’s a high chance it’s been within the last couple of days, and that’s not uncommon in the world we currently live in.
Pressures and worries from work, family, friends, health – the possibilities are endless. It’s increasingly hard for people to find the time to truly escape.
Yet Momentum Worldwide’s recent global research, ‘We Know Experiences’, found that 86% of respondents want brands to step in and help lift their mood, and 83% believe it’s important for brands to take away stress or anxiety. This is a stark difference from previous results from seven years earlier, when only a fraction of consumers believed a brand could even alter their mood.
With this shift in mindset, and the fact that the global ‘experience economy’ is growing and innovating faster than ever, the possibility for brands to fulfil consumers’ need for escapism is here. Experience, in its many forms, is becoming further ingrained into the fabric of society.
However, it’s not a simple case of brands just providing an escape – people have a clear idea of what they want to gain from engaging with an experience. Today, 80% of people want brands to help them discover new opportunities, as well as 85% wanting brands to challenge them to explore new things. It’s not enough to watch on from the sidelines anymore; participation and co-creation are crucial offerings to satisfy people’s demands and fully immerse them in an experience.
Brands are already listening and responding to consumers’ demands, including Desperados. The drinks brand created an immersive party and asked people who attended to exchange their phone for a beer, playing on the fact people depend on their phones. All the phones were then linked up and played synchronised animations in time with the music, creating a fantastic light show and atmosphere.
The experience offered escapism from everyday life, whilst also giving every person an active role in helping form the party. This balance between physical experience and technology to create wonder and memorable experiences is giving consumers the light relief they seek.
Yet the important shift is the move from materialism to meaningfulness. We are moving towards participation, co-creation and experience with purpose. It’s no longer about the product; people want to learn and be educated whilst spending time with friends and family in a happy environment.
For Super Bowl 2020, Verizon built its Super Dome fan experience to inspire fans, families, its partners and the sport itself, and to showcase how 5G can enhance sport. Technology, especially with the rise of 5G, will no doubt play a huge part in the next phase of the experience economy, as brands get access to all five senses for experience activation and omni-experiences become part of CMOs’ strategies.
As the landscape shifts, and experience-led campaigns continue to be the future of both our industry and our global economy, brands will keep stepping up to provide a route of escapism – connecting loved ones and educating consumers. The limitation for brands is not budget, as is often argued, but a lack of imagination, insight into your consumers and access to the right talent to deliver the experience seamlessly.
As one of the pioneers of experience, Walt Disney, said: “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Never has this been truer with brand experiences.
Luke D’Arcy is UK president at Momentum Worldwide
To download Momentum Worldwide’s ‘We Know Experiences’ executive summary, click here.