Would you buy a car without taking it for a test drive? There are
exceptions, of course, but in most cases, the answer would be “no.”
You’d want to get a feel for how the vehicle handles or whether it has room
for your family. Does it have a solid, sturdy construction or does it feel
cheap? Ultimately, you’re trying to determine whether it will fit your
needs. Only then can you begin investigating all the other myriad factors
that go into making an informed purchase. But none of that matters if you
don’t like the product once you’ve gotten your hands on it.
For marketing and sales professionals, one of the most effective ways to
communicate your product or service to the prospect is to let them use or
demo it early in the decision-making process.
By nature, trade shows, live events, and brand activations afford
themselves to immersive, hands-on experiences. More and more brands are
leveraging these types of events in an effort to help consumers
fall in love
with their brand by allowing them to test drive the latest and greatest.
This was readily apparent at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las
CES is one of the largest trade shows in the world, featuring more hands-on
technology demonstrations and experiences than you’re likely to see at any
other singular event.
Here are several examples of hands-on marketing activations showcased at
- The Gibson Brands experience at CES allowed
attendees to pick up any one of 50 different guitars, don some headphones
and rock out to their heart’s content. By giving their guests a tangible
way to try out their extensive line of iconic guitars in one fell swoop,
Gibson streamlined – and most likely accelerated – the buying cycle.
‐ BMW offered actual test drives where attendees could
cruise the latest models around the streets of Las Vegas.
‐ Sony let attendees try a new line of noise-cancelling
headphones by sitting them inside a mock commercial jet, complete with
engine noise and the sound of a baby crying.
‐ GoPro encouraged visitors to take the controls of their
Karma drone, try the latest editing software or walk around the booth with
one of their new video stabilization camera grips.
It’s evident that hands-on marketing works and should be part of your
marketing mix. Whether at an exhibition, as part of a live event or
incorporated into a consumer brand activation—figure out a creative way to
let your customers get their hands on your brand.
Need assistance with that last part? Then contact GES to learn how we can help
drive results with your next event, exhibit or brand experience!