Innovation Heroes: Why businesses need experiential marketing:
How businesses can attract new audiences with creative engagement

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Brand identity thrives on creating meaningful, unique, and emotionally engaging experiences with customers. But in a digital era that often places virtual experiences above real-life interactions, experiential branding is harder and harder to come by. Today’s brands face numerous challenges – from labor shortages to supply chain issues – and there is a growing need for innovative ways to engage audiences and pique customer curiosity.

These challenges are explored in depth on the latest episode of Innovation Heroes, a podcast by SHI, with host Ed McNamara and global creative, Grant Barth. With over 20 years of experience working for brands like Nike and Levi’s, focusing on product innovation and process re-engineering, Barth knows how to elevate a brand’s vision and guide it into the future.

“The last thing a brand wants to be is mediocre,” says Barth.

“Every consumer and brand fan wants to feel special and wants to be introduced to something new and exciting that you’re bringing to life, whatever that might be,” he continued. “Brands need to be memorable, and those emotional memories and experiences are determined by what you create for your audience. Creating engaging experiences using live mediums helps brands to get the kind of devotion they’re looking for in the long run.”

Barth is the founder of ThenWhat, a “transformative brand lab” for ideas to help brands develop creative strategies and find solutions for creating engagement, building brand equity, and increasing shareholder value.

Central to Barth’s vision for brand engagement is the “theatre methodology” – a creative approach to developing immersive, in-person experiences that blend the technical and creative elements of theatre, technology, and branding.

“Technology amplifies the creativity, the story, and the strategy,” says Barth. “But it should always be something that fits in and not something that you kind of jump into and chase or retrofit. It should really be an enhancer to every story you’re trying to tell your consumer – not the main event.”

To hear more insights from Grant on experiential branding and how to craft engaging experiences for business, listen to the full conversation here.