In this article, I contrast traditional marketing with a new approach to marketing called Experiential Marketing and provide a strategic framework for Experiential Marketing. Traditional marketing views consumers as rational decision-makers who care about functional features and benefits. In contrast, experiential marketers view consumers as rational and emotional human beings who are concerned with achieving pleasurable experiences. Five different types of experiences, or strategic experiential modules (SEMs), that marketers can create for customers are distinguished: sensory experiences (SENSE); affective experiences (FEEL); creative cognitive experiences (THINK); physical experiences, behaviours and lifestyles (ACT); and social-identity experiences that result from relating to a reference group or culture (RELATE). These experiences are implemented through so-called experience providers (ExPros) such as communications, visual and verbal identity, product presence, electronic media, etc. The ultimate goal of experiential marketing is to create holistic experiences that integrate individual experiences into a holistic Gestalt. The paper concludes with an examination of strategic issues and a discussion about how to create the experience-oriented organization.
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