Brand Extension
Strategists
Experiences Enhance a Brand- Trend Report

By: Robynn Delin, Brand Director, LMCA

It was during the holiday season and I overheard a woman say, “I am not buying my grandchildren stuff anymore; I am giving them experiences.”  And off they went to see Frozen the Musical.  While this might seem an obvious extension of Disney’s Frozen franchise, one can be sure that plenty of product is sold as a result of children attending the live show. 

Experiences have become a trending marketing tool for brands. Whether it be a temporary pop-up store, an event, an attraction or a long term brick and mortar, creating meaningful relationships through storytelling, brand emersion and interactivity can result in a lasting relationship between a customer and brand, hopefully translating into increased product sales.

Some examples, both successful and not, have opened and closed over the years. The new Toys ‘R Us features branded experiences and interactivity throughout the store. Spotlighting key brands and inviting children, and their parents to play, the TRU team is betting that this leads to  order for that favorite toy.  

Casper Mattress has taken brand experiences a step further by creating “sleep centers” around the country.  One can not only try out their perfect mattresses, but can actually get advice on a variety of sleep issues.  In some locations Casper has launched a branded nap destination called the Dreamery.

For $25, customers take a 45-minute nap inside little sleeping pods, furnished with Casper products from mattresses to sheets, pillows, blankets, socks, and eye mask.

For four months Elle Décor rebranded the Plaza Hotel’s legendary Rose Club at the as the Elle Décor Café, replete in furnishings from Hearst’s upcoming licensed home collection. Elle has four permanent branded cafes throughout Asia. 
But not all experiences are successful. The NFL attempted to create an interactive “everything football” experience in Times Square, but lackluster content and activities and low traffic forced the doors shut.
Experiences continue. Themed cruises, in-store yoga classes – the imagination is the limit! But how can the licensing industry generate sales post experience? This will happen only through greater collaboration and inclusion between brand owners and their licensees at the inception of the experience. Greater customer awareness of available product is key, and with the use of new technology and social media this can be a win-win-win.

 


Robynn Delin, Brand Director

RDelin@LMCA.net

As a licensing and marketing pro for more than 25 years, Robynn has worked across industries and categories from entertainment to consumer products, apparel to entertainment, including companies such as Hermes, Chrysler, Schering Plough, Spelling Entertainment, Madison Square Garden and Cirque du Soleil. She is a graduate of the University of Hartford and holds a Masters degree from Lehigh University.

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