“Make me feel special” – why experiences are a powerful influencer in 2017

It’s a time of massive social change and marketers can’t ignore the mood of the people all around the world.

Last year we saw the rise of the disaffected, and people willing to speak their mind and make changes.

The obvious things like Trump and Brexit, and the less obvious protests and movements fighting the expanding rich/poor gap, reflect a huge group of consumers, who in 2017 are fed up with being treated like a number by those in charge. There is rebellion in the air…

You see it everywhere – there is one rule for the privileged few, and one for the rest of us. VIP areas at events are a classic example, where so many famous-for-being-famous people drink free with other beautiful people, and everyone else just stares, wondering WTF?

Everyone else feels like they are one of the forgotten many, herded into crowded paddocks or nosebleed seated areas, while the chosen few get treated to the total package.

And herein lies the opportunity for marketers.

Never before has there been such a desire for consumers to be made to feel “special”, to be taken out of the masses and shown some real love. We all crave it; someone to pay us attention, show some authentic interest, listen to what we have to say, and (at least) appear to care.

This is the power of the enhanced experience.

It’s not a new concept. Seat upgrades at events, backstage experiences, meeting the stars of the show, walking red carpets, after parties, or even dinner with a celebrity have all been done. But in an age of virtual reality, and living on-line, marketers sometimes forget the immense impact of a real life experience, plucking someone from their daily obscurity, and giving them a few minutes of feeling special. It’s a killer emotional stake through the heart, they will never forget.

And everyone you impact will broadcast it to their networks, friends and contacts. With social media, the amplification opportunities have grown exponentially.

So whether the business reason is a retention/ reward tool, or to drive a promotion, or for a staff incentive, 2017 is the time to seize on the mood of consumers. Make me feel special…give a shit, and they will respond.

About Sean Pickwell:

Sean Pickwell is the Director of  Waterfront, which he started 13 years ago after a long career with Austereo working with some of Australia’s biggest marketers, radio stations and talent.

Since then he has worked with some of Australia’s biggest brands like AAMi, Toyota, LG, Pharmacare and Optus, and stars like Oprah, Pink, Simon Baker, Ewan McGregor and Jane Fonda.

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