How do I market my product without having to go through the normal avenues like television and print? I want to take my new product to market, we have developed a new craft beer range and are excited about our product but I don’t want to go the conventional marketing route of advertising in print and on tv as it is too expensive for us. I’ve heard the term experiential marketing thrown about. What is it and how would I go about marketing my craft beer range?
Stretch: Firstly, congrats on the new venture! Below are a couple of tips on how you can avoid the big bucks while still cutting through the clutter and getting noticed.
What experiential marketing is all about
In a nutshell, it’s all about using experiences as a memorable ‘platform’ to engage consumers. Experiential also looks at how you ‘amplify’ these experiences through the use of other media. For SME’s, PR and social media are most frequently used to ensure these experiences have a wider reach. Also, the consumption/purchase experience customers receive in (or out of store) from a brand can be talkable in their own right.
As an example, Ferdinando’s restaurant in Green Point is known as much for the experience as it is for it’s pizza with patrons eating in the owner/chef’s own living room, with an honesty envelope system used to settle the bill.
The pop up store
Following on from the trend of unusual retail spaces, pop up stores remain popular globally as an usual and limited duration (exclusive) retail experience. Originally started by restaurant entrepreneurs in Europe that couldn’t afford fixed premises, these are now often used more so as marketing and brand building than sales tools.
Lady Bonin’s mobile tea shop compliments her more permanent retail space. Honest Chocolate cheekily are running a crowd funding campaign for consumer to contribute towards the country’s first chocolate café while generating significant brand awareness in the process.
Local [PR] is lekker!
Radio, television and print might not be out of reach if you consider the role that PR can play. PR (done properly) can result in significant unpaid for media for SME’s. With these businesses unlikely to be national, this creates even greater relevance when it comes to regional media and localised social media communities.
That being said, the content needs to remain refreshing and relevant to your local market. Community organisation, Dlala Nge, have generated additional revenue by leveraging off of the Joburg CBD regeneration with their trendy Inner City Adventures.
Other brands have focused less on geographical content and more on current affairs. As an example, during the national elections, chauffeur service, Uber, and beauty salon chain, Sorbet, run clever voting-related campaigns to generate talkability. For Uber, how about a free ride on election day to polling stations? Sorbet, on the other hand (excuse the pun), offered to fix post-voting thumbnails:
Last point would just be around dark marketing. As you may know, alcohol is facing pending advertising restrictions. While this might make the above measures that much more appealing, just bear in mind that, if it happens, the big boys will be playing there too; so remaining relevant becomes that much more important.
With craft qualities massively trending though, being nimble and playing on your ‘niche’ factor in communication could help.