This morning we hosted a consumer breakfast with a number of exciting brands in the experiential consumerism space.
In a world where customers don’t want the same tried and tested formulae when socialising, they want new, bold and exciting concepts, Livingbridge welcomed founders and entrepreneurs at the forefront of this emerging consumer trend towards more immersive and out-of-the-box experiences. We discussed the inherent challenges that young businesses face when scaling whilst still offering new experiences to keep customers returning.
Some key themes that came out of the discussion were:
1) The need to take advantage of the market opportunity as quickly as possible. As well as to ensure maximum impact in press and word of mouth exposure, this is essential to prevent old incumbents attempting poor imitations, turning off potential customers.
2) The pros and cons of finding space. Many experiential businesses take advantage of disused urban spaces such as old industrial units, transforming them into new and mesmerising locations. However, the short term nature of rental agreements in these locations leaves many operators having to plan for a sudden change in location: finding suitable permanent sites is a challenge!
3) Creating customer loyalty is key. Successful brands will strike a fine balance in ensuring the concept is adaptable enough to drive return visits whilst not being too time-consuming or expensive to change.
4) In novelty there is opportunity. Immersive experiences take time, effort and upfront cost to get right, however compared to traditional hospitality advanced ticket sales can de-risk new concepts to a certain extent. A significant benefit is that customers will often spend the same once they’ve arrived as they would have without the upfront cost – repeating customers with high average spend is a powerful combination.