Experiential Events vs Brand Events: How to Pick the Most Effective Street Strategy

Experiential Marketing

Picking an effective street marketing strategy for stands, food trucks, or other street-based businesses can be intimidating. How do you utilize your foot traffic, brand, and social presence to the max?

This is exactly why more companies are utilizing experiential marketing strategies. Experiential marketing means fostering a positive customer experience and increasing customer retention. Creating a memorable experience with the help of experiential events can increase your customer retention instantly and generate more buzz than a more traditional marketing strategy.

What is an Experiential Event?

Experiential events are exactly what they sound like: an experience! They are a way to engage consumers with your brand through an effortless and entertaining brand experience. Typically, the more subconscious and effortless these experiences are, the more effective. 

Event marketing companies focus their resources on providing clients an event that represents their brand in a way that gets their consumers excited. That means no more boring seminars and slideshow presentations – your brand can be represented in an entertaining way no matter what industry!

Why are Experiential Events Effective?  

Experiential events force consumers to associate your brand with an event. This strategic marketing tool can be extremely effective because they immerse your consumers in your brand without making them feel lost or suffocated in branding, like they might in a brand event. 

From workshops and masterclasses which give hands-on experiences to consumers, to simple pop-ups like sidewalk food stands, experiential events are the way to give your consumers an opportunity to engage with your brand without feeling forced into it. 

What is a Brand Event? 

Brand events are a way to generate awareness about your brand (and, as it were, brand). Typically, these events have no theme aside from the brand and are overloaded with brand attire, decorations, memorabilia, merchandise, and freebies. 

Everything about a brand event revolves around the brand, often making them less memorable – and less effective for customer retention than an experiential event.

Why are Brand Events Less Effective? 

Brand events are less effective than experiential events because they focus on the small scale rather than the larger picture. In brand events, marketing teams will center the event around the brand and not the customer, while an experiential event is structured the other way around.

The Differences Between Experiential Events vs Brand Events 

There are many key differences between experiential events vs brand events, but the most important difference is what your customers will get out of your event.

An Experience Versus an Event 

Experiential events give a full experience of your brand, whereas brand events only offer a quick glimpse of your brand. Although both events aim to form brand awareness, the overall outlook for these two types of events is different because of the way marketing companies approach them.  

Experiential marketing companies view their events as a long-term project, where the end goal is to obtain higher customer retention and brand recognition.

Crafting a memorable and lasting experience that creates returning customers is the point of experiential marketing. Experiential marketing teams – often outsourced – take time to collaborate with your brand to bring your unique vision to life and foster a better consumer-business relationship.

Brand events typically last for a single day, whereas an experiential event can last however long it needs to!

Experiential Events are More Impactful 

Successful brands have a lasting impact on their consumers. When you use experiential event marketing, you are much more likely to make a lasting impression on your consumers because you are creating a memorable experience. 

Science tells us that the more impactful an event is, the longer it stays with us. Spending the time to create a truly impactful event – like a pop-up axe throwing stand, a beer tasting, or a sponsored rodeo – can lead to loyal customers for years, if not decades.

Brand Events Have Freebies 

While offering free merch with your brand and logo on it certainly won’t hurt anything, it’s important to note that this is one of the least effective marketing strategies in terms of ROI. 

Unless your freebies encourage consumers to give you more business, then they can be a huge waste of money.  

Experiential Events Are Typically More Memorable 

Making your event memorable is the only way to build brand recognition which is one of the many reasons why experiential events are typically better than brand events. Experiential events create a lasting, memorable experience for consumers that they can forever associate with your brand!

Strategic Brand Representation with an Experiential Event.

Experiential marketing is advantageous to any company looking to promote its brand.  Experiential events eliminate the anxiety of deciding how you will be represented at a brand event by instead creating a consumer experience that they forever associate with your brand! That means no more deciding on small things like freebie bracelet colors or background decorations nobody is going to appreciate. All lasting business relies on word of mouth – and an unforgettable experience with your brand will have your customers talking about you for years to come.

In Short

Giving customers a clear vision of your brand’s mission is important, especially when it comes to building brand awareness. Many people are turning to experiential events to create lasting, impactful experiences that their consumers will never forget! 

The purpose of experiential events is to reflect your brand through a memorable experience! With companies like Food Truck Promotions, key elements of your brand will be utilized to create an unforgettable brand experience. 

Through experiential event marketing, you create a unique experience that empowers the consumer while bringing your brand to the next level.  


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The Pros and Cons of Experiential Marketing

Experiential Marketing

An understanding of the pros and cons of experiential marketing can shape your company’s success when execution time comes around. 

Let’s start with the good news: experiential marketing has gained popularity for its success when properly executed. Positioned correctly, the benefits of using an experiential marketing strategy can produce monumental returns on investment (ROI). There are several pros and cons of experiential marketing and in understanding these, your business can prepare to gain the maximum ROI.

Digital & Experiential Marketing… What’s the Difference?

Ever-changing and evolving, the marketing industry has delivered its fair share of buzzwords. The latest? Experiential marketing. We’ve heard it, but what is it? Let us explain. 

A close relative to digital marketing, experiential marketing is a niche approach to enhance a company’s success. While nearly all companies can benefit from a scaled digital marketing plan, not all companies are in a position to take on an experiential approach. Like any marketing tactic, experiential marketing comes with both valuable pros and undeniable cons that can shape your understanding in implementation.


Pro of Experiential Marketing #1: You get to keep it real. Your audience loves real. 

Experiential marketing allows your target audience the unique ability to dive in and directly interact. The audience gets an actual experience, hence the name. In using an experience-focused tactic, your audience interacts with the advertisement directly as opposed to traditional marketing where your audience only views it. This creates a connection in the minds of your audience, one often referred to as “brand recognition.” 

Utilizing more senses than just sight creates a lasting impact on your target audience. Adding an audio aspect pulls in another sense and in the process, positive emotions are created in the viewer’s mind. In time those positive emotions will directly connect to the brand and vwa-lah, a new mental connection to your brand is created.

Pro of Experiential Marketing #2: Genuine connection 

In practicing experiential marketing, brands get the unique opportunity to directly interact with their audience. A look behind the curtain can establish a connection that many traditional marketing tactics cannot.

A tangible and successful example of this tactic in action was seen at SXSW by Anheuser Busch. They created a new experience that used virtual reality to grant viewers a tour through their brewery. The 4-D immersive experience gave their audience a chance to connect to the brand behind the scenes and offered an unforgettable look into a rarely seen corner of the beer conglomerate.

Pro of Experiential Marketing #3: Smarter Spend 

By investing in experiential marketing, when done right, you can gain the maximum return on investment that greatly outweighs the money spent. Using tactics like press-covered events that require physical participation, the return on investment raises and these emotionally-backed experiences lead to increases in conversion and an overall lifetime customer value.


Word of mouth referrals are not a new concept, we have been portraying ourselves and our businesses in the most positive light possible for exactly that. However, in the world of technology and social media that we live in today, that good news travels even faster. 

Giving your customers a notably great experience that is memorable and notable can grow your social media following and an audience that raves about the products you provide.

Pro Experiential Marketing #5: Go deep 

Experiential marketing gives your company a chance to know your audience on a deeper level. Much like traditional digital marketing, data-driven approaches and deep knowledge of your target audience is the recipe for high returns on investments. Taking the time to get to know your audience on an emotional level only adds to this opportunity. Knowledge, after all, is power. 

A poignant example of this was seen in Google’s “Impact Challenge” in San Francisco. Google was awarded over $5 million dollars to donate to 10 non-profits committed to bettering the San Francisco community. What Google did, broke the mold and pulled their audience in on an emotional level. Google created interactive digital posters throughout the city that served as a voting booth of sorts where locals could choose which non-profits they wanted to see impacted by Google’s funds. The concept of shared ownership and mutual engagement, even if not directly selling the product, creates a permanent and powerful relationship between your audience and your brand.

Potential Cons of Your Experiential Marketing Approach 

As with any marketing strategy, cons are inevitable. However, knowing those cons can put you and your company ahead of the game.

Con of Experiential Marketing #1: Not living up to the hype. 

If there is a disconnect between your experiential marketing tactics and your audience, typically expectations were not met because they were not properly managed. To run a successful experiential marketing campaign, expectation management has to be at the forefront of strategy or you run the risk of a new negative association between your audience and the brand itself. It is crucial to have a clear understanding of your capabilities in regards to budget, timeframe and available support.

Con of Experiential Marketing #2: ROWhy? 

As with any unique strategy, the risk is inevitably involved. Return on investment is critical when your company invests in marketing and the reality is, measuring the ROI for an experiential campaign is much more difficult to measure than traditional methods. Key performance indicators of experiential marketing look a little bit different. 

For example, long term loyalty or positive brand association cant properly be measured. What you are really gaining in the investment of an experiential campaign is insight. Any marketer knows the more audience insight you have the better return on investment can truly be just as valuable as return on insight. Appropriate investment into experiential marketing, that doesnt send your relied upon ROI plummeting, is the balance your company must find as you dip your toes into the experiential marketing pond.

Using Experiential Marketing Effectively Allows You to Gram the Maximum ROI 

It’s clear that if you get it right, experiential marketing’s pros far outweigh the cons. Experiential marketing gives your brand the coveted opportunity to get in front of fresh new audiences, establish a deeper brand connection, long-term loyalty, audience loyalty, and positive correlations that carry your brand successfully through social media channels. A clear knowledge of the pros and cons of experiential marketing will set your brand up for long-term success. Understanding the new generation of key performance indicators allows you to understand how to gain the maximum ROI. 

So what are you waiting for? Start experiencing.

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The Future Of Experiential Marketing Post-COVID

Experiential Marketing

In a world emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, our desire to return to live experiences and events is ramping up. With festival line-ups announced and tourists traveling at near pre-pandemic levels, epidemiologists predict we’re entering a second “roaring 20s.” Like consumers, brands are no different, and they’re eagerly awaiting a return to “normal.” With restrictions slowly lifting, they’re plotting ways to reach consumers offline again. But as brands return to traditional experiential campaigns, there’s an understanding that experiential marketing post-COVID has fundamentally changed the landscape. So, how will they find their way into consumers’ consciousness in this new era? More importantly, how will customers engage with them? Let’s take a closer look.

Post Covid Event

Safety First Takes Center Stage

If there’s one thing COVID has taught us, it’s practicing better hygiene to mitigate our chances of infection. As large-scale events return, so will an emphasis on health and safety. From sanitizer dispensers to touchless technology, gone are the days where thousands of strangers pass along their germs. The first global event staged in 2021 is the Cannes Film Festival. But this year, it will take place under strict health and safety guidelines. The biggest changes include the required use of masks during all screenings and around the red carpet. Meanwhile, guests will be required to keep a distance of three feet, and the “fan zone,” where celebrities sign autographs, has been scrapped. While organizers hope to soften some of these restrictions before the July event kicks off, expect most festivals to follow Cannes’ experiential marketing event post-COVID playbook. 

Brands Prioritize Personalization

Spending over a year in practical isolation has made us— many of us at least— become more insular. Our desire for personalization is a byproduct of being forced to be alone for months on end. To combat this, for most of 2020, brands launched virtual events. What they lacked in face-to-face interaction, they made up for with deeply personal experiences to compensate. Even with in-person campaigns resuming, expect the world of experiential marketing post-COVID to retain and expand on this strategy. 

But personalization in experiential marketing isn’t necessarily new. Luxury brands have employed this tactic for years to foster brand loyalty and emotional engagement. For example, this past Mother’s Day, Kate Spade launched Broadway in Bloom, honoring New York moms and the reblossoming of New York City after the pandemic. Without a collection to promote, Kate Spade connected with New Yorkers, memorializing the pandemic’s human impact while celebrating the city’s “return to normal.”

A Greater Emphasis on Wellness

Throughout the pandemic, reports of depression, stress, and anxiety skyrocketed. With attention to mental health, brands spent last year tapping into consumers’ wellbeing to engage with them. Well-positioned to continue that trend, experiential marketing post-COVID will emphasize emotional wellness to connect empathetically during trying times. Last December, Vans commissioned public murals for its annual #VansCheckerboardDay awareness campaign. Rallying fans worldwide to participate in various digital brand initiatives; the campaign supported mental wellness among women and the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities. Vans received over two billion views of their #VansCheckerboardDay TikTok challenge. Likewise, the brand raised over $1 million for global mental health charities.

Experiential Marketing Post-COVID Won’t Miss a Beat

The most significant impact the pandemic has had on the public is our lack of human interaction. We as a species crave close comfort, and that connection takes on many forms. To put it simply, we want to do things and, generally, with others. As restrictions lift, brands know that the best way to get consumers to buy a product is to get it in their hands. That’s why experiential marketing post-COVID is likely to resume without hesitation. Why? Because the biggest winners in the game are the ones that create the most immersive experiences. That requires getting up close and personal with target audiences. While there will be changes that outlive the pandemic, the public’s excitement for the world opening back up is high. That makes the long-term forecast for experiential marketing bright and puts the importance of in-person events back into focus.     

Experiential Marketing Post-Covid
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How Food Trucks Elevate the Kardashian’s Brands

Experiential Marketing

The Kardashians (+Jenners): Kris, Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall, and Kylie. They are the undisputed queens of marketing and social media. Through different business ventures, lifestyle apps, deals, sponsorships, and high-fashion modeling, they’re more than a family; they’re a multi-billion dollar brand. With a combined 955 million followers on Instagram alone, they’re also more than influencers. They’re arguably the most successful businesswomen of this generation. We’d be remiss if we didn’t examine strategies they use to target their audiences, exemplify their value proposition, and “break the Internet.” Branded food trucks are one of those tactics. Harnessing experiential marketing has helped them increase engagement, sell products, and introduce creative campaigns that captivate the entire pop culture universe.

Kylie Jenner Stops Traffic With a Branded Food Truck

Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics is a brand that is a juggernaut to be reckoned with. In less than five years, the youngest member of the Kardashian/Jenner clan has built a nearly $1.2 billion brand. So, how’d she do it? Kylie’s strategy is to leverage her Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat accounts to release images of new collections and by posting videos of her swatching and modeling products. She also sends PR boxes to YouTube beauty influencers (who review her products on their channels). Simply put, Kylie’s skillfully tapped into the seismic shift in today’s eCommerce purchasing culture.

But Kylie dominates headlines because she goes beyond her virtual presence. She reinforces her popularity online with live experiential events that capture media publicity and consumer attention. In 2017, ahead of the release of its holiday collection, Kylie Cosmetics launched the Kylie Truck. This custom-wrapped branded food truck rolled through the streets of L.A. as part of a month-long campaign. From her latest lip kits to accessories, items were displayed on the truck’s front, turning it into a mobile showcase. For an extra special treat, brand ambassadors handed out vanilla cupcakes featuring Kylie Cosmetics’ famous logo on the icing. With tens of thousands of likes on Instagram, her branded food truck dominated social media with a campaign elevating the popularity and charisma of the beauty mogul.

Kendall Jenner’s Branded Tequila Truck Makes a Special Delivery 

Kylie’s older sister Kendall Jenner is ultra-famous in her own right as the world’s highest-paid model. But that doesn’t mean she’s shied away from the occasional brand endorsement. Recently, she’s carved out her niche as a businesswoman, founding the premium spirits brand 818 Tequila. Like Kylie, Kendall launched 818 Tequila with a gallery of videos and images on Instagram that’s currently amassed over six million likes. With agave plants sourced from Jalisco, Mexico, Kendall’s tequila line includes Anejo, Blanco, and Reposado blends.

Ahead of Memorial Day, Kendall rolled up her sleeves and hit the road with a branded tequila truck for 818’s debut. Wanting to be a hands-on boss, she even got behind the wheel and operated the big green truck herself. Because it’s not every day that people see one of the most famous supermodels on the planet driving a food truck. People (including a swarm of paparazzi) flocked to the L.A. event. Not only did Kendall hang out for photo-ops with fans, she even hand-delivered cases of 818 Tequila to local liquor stores.

It’s a tall order to reach the stratospheric levels of the Kardashian/Jenner brand. But that doesn’t mean you can’t launch a successful campaign with branded food trucks. If some of the most successful women in the world are using it, it makes sense to tap into the same strategy. Plus, it’s easy to take your brand to new heights when you have professionals who can handle all the details. Find out how branded food trucks will turn heads and boost your business by getting starting today!

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“Broadway in Bloom” Gives Visual Love Letter to Moms & New York City

Experiential Marketing

A Kate Spade collection is on the way and flowers are in full bloom, which can only mean one thing, summer in New York! The global lifestyle and fashion brand celebrated spring with more than just new apparel and signature handbags this year. Kate Spade took Mother’s Day to the streets of New York.

Kate Spade Broadway In Bloom Mother's Day SoHo

In the time of the city’s rebirth and beautiful flowers growing all around, Kate Spade wanted to share the love. The global giant partnered with Food Truck Promotions to wrap food trucks and food carts in an iconic Kate Spade floral design, which were scattered throughout the city. Five local florists created unique, beautiful bouquets that filled the branded food carts for the special women in our lives, who always show us love and support. 

Kate Spade handed out flowers for Mother's Day

The “Broadway in Bloom” campaign represented a visual love letter the brand, and many people have for the city and their moms. Brand ambassadors delivered flowers along Broadway to all walks of life. Without a new collection announced prior to the event, brand ambassadors used five fashion carts in SoHo to immerse individuals in a sensory experience. From the beautiful shades and hues of the flowers to the unique aromas, it was a Mother’s Day filled with love and beauty. 

Kate Spade partnered with local florists for Mother's Day

This event allowed the Kate Spade brand to connect with humans and share love with one another. Experiential marketing is about human connection, and finding even more ways to connect. This type of engagement is what people remember and brings them back filled with excitement for the next event.

Branded food trucks and fashion carts allow companies to provide a multi-sensory experience. The best way to stay ahead of competition is to provide value to consumer lives. This cannot only be done with new products, messaging and themes, but a physical way to connect with them on a small scale. At the end of the day, we all want human connection and giving exactly that with a branded event will only increase brand loyalty.

Broadway In Bloom Kate Spade Mother's Day 2021

Contact Food Truck Promotions to create an unforgettable experience for your brand. Don’t forget, flowers are always a great way to show your mom “I love you.”

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