In the past week alone, several brands have announced plans to begin or grow experiential efforts. Recent studies have shown that a majority of young consumers value experiences over material possessions, and brands are feeling the pressure.
During NewFronts, Vice Media announced the acquisition of Villain, a company that produces over 300 events a year. Vice already hosts a number of events including its Noisey Nights concert series and Broadly women’s leadership event, but Villain—who has produced events for clients like PepsiCo and RockStar Games—will further the brand’s focus on consumer experiences.
Millennial female-facing publisher Refinery29 is continuing its experiential push, as well. During its NewFronts presentation, the company announced that it would double the number of locations for its pop-up event 29Rooms. This summer, San Francisco and Chicago will be added to its existing New York and Los Angeles installations. Refinery29 also announced a new touring event series that features battling DJs called “Beauty and the Beats.”
Travel brands are in a strong position to reach consumers through experiential efforts. The global travel market reached $1.6 trillion in 2017, according to Deloitte, attributing this upward trend to consumer preferences for experiences.
Moxie, Marriott’s hotel chain that caters to young travelers, is investing in partnerships that create experiences for both its guests and staff working on-site. Moxie has partnered with comedy improv theater group Upright Citizens Brigade, which will host improv workshops in the hotel bar as well as create custom employee training videos. The workshops will debut on May 20 at Moxy New York Times Square.
Legacy department store brand Macy’s also plans to integrate experiences into its customer journey. Macy’s has acquired Story, a concept store in New York City that will refresh its theme and products every four-to-six weeks. Rachel Shechtman, Story’s founder and chief executive officer, has also joined Macy’s, Inc. as brand experience officer.