Sunday, January 3, 2010

Experiences, not Possessions

In today's challenging economic climate, consumers are seeking out experiences over possessions. The top theme parks in Asia are thriving, and well-recognized brands such as Legoland are pursuing expansion plans. This trend toward experiences opens important doors for marketers who can:

1. Build on competitive differentiation to create unforgettable memories. One theme park is not like another--each has (or should have) a distinctly different personality and experience possibilities. The same holds true for any experience being marketed. Reinforce brand associations by providing specific, tangible anchors and consistent customer service levels. Be sure customers recognize what will make your experience stand out from all others; be sure they know what to expect; and be sure you can deliver on those expectations.

2. Encourage engagement before, during, and after the experience. This isn't just a matter of social media. Use all manner of marketing communications to build anticipation in advance of the experience, focus customers on the unique elements that make the actual experience so memorable, and encourage sharing of ideas, feelings, and feedback throughout the process.

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