blending big events with your shopping experience

Eventailing & Omnichannel

With the Commonwealth Games right around the corner (28 July – 8 August), there will be many retailers keen to capitalise on the celebration of sport. And it’s nothing new. From Kings Day in Holland to the current UEFA Women’s EURO - large national events and retail campaigns often go hand in hand.

It’s not unusual during any large event for retailers to plan promotional events and even develop new brand ranges to coincide with the buzz of national pride. But, if you’re planning to venture into eventailing, it’s important you consider the role every aspect of your omnichannel experience will play in the promotion of your campaign – whether it’s a standalone event or one that’s linked to a bigger, national event.

Think big
Organising a campaign based around a big event shouldn’t be a slapdash approach. You’ll need to consider multiple elements of your campaign and plan well in advance.

Marketing expert, Mark Ritson, advises that any marketing plan should be done in 12 month increments. And planning to coincide a marketing campaign with a national event, if you want to do it well, should be considered as a marketing plan within a marketing plan – especially if you’re weaving it into your omnichannel approach.

You’ll need to consider all the customer touch points and assets for your campaign and what that will look like on each platform you’re reaching out to customers on across both digital and face to face channels.

You also need to be mindful of the branding restrictions in place for large, national events. If you want a close association with something like the World Cup or the Commonwealth Games, and to be able to use logos and promotional materials, then you need to start these conversations early with event organisers. If you are marketing your event as associated with a larger event, but you don’t have permission to use branding materials, you’ll need to carefully consider your messaging to your customers.

Create the perfect partnership
Creating an omnichannel experience that matches the buzz of the national feel and entices people in an authentic way means focussing on making rich and immersive experiences for customers – no matter what platform you’re promoting it on.

Just like strawberries and cream, Häagen-Dazs and Wimbledon created the perfect partnership when it came to eventailing. In 2017, Häagen-Dazs teamed up with Wimbledon for the launch of its new strawberries and cream flavoured ice cream. Synonymous with strawberries and cream, Wimbledon is the pinnacle of the British sporting calendar every year. What better event for Häagen-Dazs to use to promote its new flavour?

Häagen-Dazs created a GIF photo booth (complete with a swing) at the Wimbledon Championships, encouraging tennis players, celebrities and fashion stars to share their experiences on Instagram. it also ran a TV ad campaign combining tennis and the new flavour ice cream.

The Häagen-Dazs parlours and kiosks at Wimbledon had in-store promos and décor to match the ad campaign and in various cities across the UK, ‘ball boys and girls’ handed out free ice cream to people on the streets to whip up the buzz around the new flavour and the championship.

In another twist, the company teamed up with Bjorn Börg sportswear and launched a tennis-themed pop up that gave customers the chance to buy sportswear and enjoy giveaways of the ice cream.

Häagen-Dazs created experiences for its various audiences across different platforms. On the street, in-store, digital and temporary – and this is key for bringing events into your omnichannel approach.

Bring it to life
However you’re approaching your entrance into eventailing, focussing on the experience will help you to bring it to life for your customers.

As Häagen-Dazs demonstrated, sometimes it’s not just about your product or products but looking at the bigger picture of what that event means to people. Wimbledon is tennis, champagne, strawberries and cream, fashion and style and indulgence.

It’s worth taking some time to focus on what the experience you’re trying to create really means to your customers.

Here are some key points to consider:

•    What other brands or associations could you draw into your event experience?
•    Where do your customers find those experiences and associations that will align with your event?
•    How does your event make people feel? What feelings does it draw on most? National pride? Sport? Sun? Fun? Aligning your event with these feelings will help you to accurately recreate these feelings for your customers through the whole omnichannel experience.
•    How can you mix those associations effectively without losing sight of your brand focus? (e.g., don’t team up with other brands that don’t align with your values or your marketing goals)
•    Where will you be targeting people? And how will that look and feel different? One size doesn’t fit all in omnichannel. Grabbing people in-store may be easier than driving online engagement – how will you make the experience immersive for both audiences?

Staying focussed on the experience, across all platforms will ensure that you recreate an eventailing experience for customers that not only is a resounding success but is a firm favourite in their memories, which is a key component for your brand DNA success for the long-term.

If you need help planning, creating or sourcing items for your event or experience, speak with one of our account managers today +31(0) 88 494 20 80 or email

David Mines
Business Development Director

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