Why Gen Y is driving the demand for experiential

By Will Northover, Client Services Manager, Blackjack Promotions

As Generation Y‘s consumer spending looks set to top more than $100bn in 2014, making them an ever-more important target for brands, experiential marketing is ideally placed to capitalise.

The key traits of Generation Y (those born between early 1980s and early 2000s) are being ‘impulsive’ and ‘living in the moment’ while research has show that 78% of Millennials are more inclined to be part of a brand if they have face-to-face interaction. We’re talking about one of the most coveted consumer segments around, who are also difficult to reach through traditional mass media as they are so fragmented.

But Millennials are demanding experiential (as they will in the future) so the time is ripe for brands to turn their experiential marketing up a notch. One route to this is through music festivals. Brands must remember that Millennials want to feel part of a lively community. Music festivals are the embodiment of what it is to be a Millennial today.

A 2012 Havas Sports and Entertainment study found that music fans feel that brands actually enhance a festival experience. This study also found that more than a third of respondents claimed they would be ‘more likely to buy a sponsor’s product’ after experience its activation at a festival. However, one important thing to remember is relevancy. Brands are a welcome part of festival but only if they develop activation which add value.

And let’s not forget that Millennials are a generation that has grown up with technology and social media at their fingertips. So while face-to-face interaction is a must, brands can’t forget the importance of integrating digital and social media elements into activation. These Millennials spend an unfathomable amount of time online compared with the average consumer so the trick to building long-term relationships with them is to offer them a memorable on-site experience coupled with interaction on social networks.