Is experience marketing a necessity for brand survival?

Is experience marketing a necessity for brand survival?

Recent industry reports have noted how 78% of millennials would rather spend money on a memorable experience or event rather than buy desirable things. This desire for “purchased experiences” over purchased goods or services has led to more and more brands exploring ‘out of the ordinary’ tactics to gain consumer attention. 

These ‘out of the ordinary’ tactics are formally referred to as experience marketing tactics, which according to Hubspot, can be defined as strategies that invite consumers to interact with a brand in a real-world setting, using participatory branding material, to illustrate both brand values and offerings.

In this blog, we explore if in today’s whisky industry, experience marketing is a necessity for brand survival. 

Importance of sharable content in experience marketing

The changes in consumer lifestyle is changing consumption patterns. According to Euromonitor, cocktail culture has experienced major changes, as nowadays consumers are increasingly interested in being seen to ‘drink the trendiest’ cocktails out of home, often portraying this on their personal social media pages. While this might sound vain, “Instagrammable" products should not be treated as a joke. 

Specifically in the drinks industry, recent reports have highlighted the demand for ”Instagrammable” experiences, such as photogenic cocktails or an intriguing setting. Brands have already jumped on this trend for example Aperol’s recent success has been described to result from being “Instagram-friendly”.  In the whisky industry, Pernod Ricard’s "The Blend" -campaign, where consumers where invited to make their own Chivas blend and share their experience on social media by using the hashtag #MyChivasBlend was highly sucessful. 

The consumption setting matters

Brands are increasingly investing in the consumption setting, and this can be seen through the creation of installations, pop-up stores or takeovers, such as decorating bars, or hosting events. While the spirits industry has a long history of hosting shows, tastings and distillery tours, in today’s crowded marketplace, these happenings present an important way to gain consumer attention and differentiate from the competition. Because of this, brands are increasingly looking for ways to take the consumption setting to the next level. 

Glenfiddich has used VR technologies to bring whisky sampling to life, while Laphroaig, offers hands-on distillery experiences where consumers can take part in harvesting peat or sourcing the water that goes into the production of the whisky. Through these immersive experiences, consumers are educated about the brand and its offerings, and are also able to develop a more personal and authentic relationship with the brand. The Macallan Residence - event shown below is another example of a brand creating a unique consumption experience for their audience in order to reinforce brand positioning and showcase their brand values, as well as build relationships with their consumers. 

Why engage in experience marketing?

Creating brand-related experiences are a great way to generate brand engagement, build relationships with consumers and ensure the brand has a place in the consumers consideration set. Via nourishing an ongoing dialogue with your audience, brands become more memorable. Experience marketing strategies also foster voluntary interaction and participation, creating a bonding experience with the brand enhancing loyalty and advocacy. 

Hosting unique interactive campaigns are also a way to differentiate from the competition and stand out from the masses.

Harnessing digital comms channels and tech, brands can utilise even more innovative and experimental ways to interact with their audience. Leveraging relevant data can enable more effectiveness when assessing consumer preferences and key touch-points where brands relationships can be further enhanced. 

Social channels can be effectively combined with live events, to maximise the reach and impact of the campaign both online and offline for a more interactive and immersive brand experience. 

To match the evolving consumption trends and to succeed in todays marketplace, brands need to adopt an “experience first” approach. In today’s whisky industry, experimental marketing can act as the missing piece for brands searching for ways to stand out. 


At DigitalParade, we can help you to develop a genuine customer experiential approach by enhancing real world events online. Our social media services in particular include audience and influencer profiling, channel and content strategy creation, social media event enhancement and bringing the physical and digital together to make a true 'phygital' experience. We help our clients define what the best channels are for them to participate on and connect with their audience, and how to build and maintain the ‘best’ followers to offer them the best chance of conversion and advocacy. Learn more about how we can help you connect with your audience at