Amazon has arrived in Australia and major retailers are scrambling, looking for ways to counter their arrival with all sorts of activities that include feel good stories about grassroots sponsorships. While this will certainly help, I think they're missing the point. Amazon will of course have a significant impact on how people shop but there's one thing people will always pay for – no matter how much it costs.
Brands who understand the value and importance of delivering a consumer experience will not only survive but flourish no matter how much technology takes over. Buying a head of broccoli and 200 grams of cashews online and having them home delivered an hour later is great for convenience but there's something in all of us that values the shopping experience.
In the same way, and despite the lower net income of many Australian families, we will still spend on experiences that create memories, that entertain, that fascinate and produce story-telling moments. We need these experiences because they help to shape the view of ourselves and others. Brands that can tap into this basic human need to experience and connect with other through shared experiences in the real world, will continue to do well.
It's for this reason that major Australian events such as the Australian Open and the Melbourne Cup are must-attend events as much for all the entertainment they offer as they are for tennis and horse racing. You can spend a whole day at the Australian Open and not even be courtside because there's so much activity and distraction created by brand names delivering unforgettable experiences that make people feel good.
To reiterate the point because it's a really important one – brands need to make people feel good. Loreal do a terrific job of this at the Australian Open with their pamper salon. Girls can line up to have their hair and make-up touched-up so they feel good about themselves and so they can continue to enjoy the event experience with confidence. In the same way, ANZ has offered an interactive music activation that allows fans to enjoy performing alongside a digital impression of Keith Urban. It's interactive, it's fun and of course it's shareable content because the video you make is downloadable (in exchange for your contact details).
Experiences that move us by creating some kind of emotional response will always counter the technology take over and brands that do it well will always have a place in the hearts and minds of consumers. The future for events and event sponsorship is brighter than ever because sponsorship gives brands the opportunity to reach consumers in ways that online never will.Want to create a consumer experience at your next sponsored event? Not enough time to manage your sponsorships for a return on investment? We can manage your sponsorship portfolio for you. Contact Caroline at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1300 366 306.