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What Every Brand Can Learn from Coachella  

April 27, 2017  •  By: Renee Chemel

Coachella

Coachella. What is so great about it? For those of us who aren’t 20-something Millennials, Coachella is little more than that trendy concert thing that goes down annually outside of Palm Springs, California. But with hundreds of thousands of attendees and social media audiences in the millions, Coachella is the ideal environment for corporations to engage with the event’s large, millennial (and now also Gen Z) audiences through official sponsorships, corporate-sponsored parties, and/or influencer marketing campaigns.

This year, major sponsors included Absolut, American Express, H&M, Heineken, and #Girlboss, the new Netflix TV show modeled after notorious entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso. 2017 Coachella reportedly boasted the biggest turnout ever, with a capacity level up to 125,000.

But beyond the sheer number of people who attended and the involved corporate giants, there’s a much more interesting area to reflect upon—and that’s the sheer production value of the entire festival.

You see, we marketers often forget to think about the creative production side of our craft. Instead there’s the desire to drive right to trying to meet the customer head on with the latest deal, offering, or service.  What’s the missing piece, here? The need for sheer creativity. An impetus for greater dynamism in our work.

Coachella, and the corporations that helped make the event happen had it right. They knew their audience, and made sure to provide the most creatively stimulating events and offers possible. Or, at least, the event producers knew how to expertly fold in corporation’s offers into the hands of beloved social media influencers. Another mode of execution? Really, really cool events.

Sephora, for example gave festival goers an opportunity to enter into fully branded makeup stations complete with lavender lighting, and engaging photo booths. How is this a win-win? Festival goers get to engage and sample Sephora’s product while having fun, and Sephora benefits through attendees’ tagged social media photos. Similar to Sephora, Marriott offered different “destinations” for festival goers to stop by for photos taken by professional photographers. Yet again, another grand opportunity for digital traction.

In a case study by Media Mix, about 80% of Coachella attendees make a purchase to prep for the fest and another post-fest 55% are likely to purchase a product they encountered during Coachella.

What’s important to understand is that at an event like Coachella, brands don’t win with current or future customers by displaying generic banners or passing out brochures.  The marketing experience instead becomes integrated into the fest—it’s produced with optimum creativity.

Even outside of a big festival like Coachella, marketers can reach their audiences with more integrative and dynamic content. E-mails that integrate specialized dynamic content to meet the needs, demands, and interests of customers’ daily lives will always beat out generic outreach. Customers should feel as though they’re enjoying a new experience WHILE engaging with your company. It’s just more fun that way.

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