Connecting with your audience where they are
Brands are clamoring to jump in on the experiential world of music festivals. Everyone knows that Coachella, Lollapalooza, and amazingly/ironically even Burning Man, are big events on the calendars of millennial-targeted brands. But unless you were smart or lucky enough to jump in on the first wave of brand sponsorship for these events, you’re probably just going to fall in among the noise of many, many other brands fighting for space and influence at these super popular festivals. The smarter move? Be the most important brand at a smaller, more relevant event. Bud Light snapped up Buku festival in NOLA and Miller Lite has a top-level presence at Bunbury in Cincinnati, but it’s not too late to find the festival that attracts your prime demographic.Here are some great examples:
This Boise, ID music festival is also a Bcorp- meaning that they’re right in line with the altruistic millennial ideology. You can feel pretty good about giving your money to this fest.
free-form non-commercial community radio station Radio Boise KRBX 89.9 This festival is still a grassroots effort with mostly local sponsorship. This might be one that is ready for the perfect national brand sponsor. Here are a few of their current supporters:
- Boise State University- as university marketing reaches competitive new highs, it’s smart for the school to sponsor a large millennial gathering that brings people from all over the surrounding states right to the heart of the city (and campus).
- Local and statewide tourism groups-- like Boise convention and Visitors’ Bureau and Visit Idaho. These organizations are working hard to change Boise’s national image to appeal to the young, urban, hip crowd and attract future residents.
Each year the artistic community gathers in Knoxville TN for a very unique experience involving fine art, film and modern classical music. Described as “ a weekend of world-class musical performances in beautiful historic theaters, clubs, galleries, and museums, combined with talks and discussions, interactive workshops, installations, exhibitions, film screenings, surprise collaborations and unexpected connections.” This festival is a thoughtful and thought-provoking exploration of the nature of creativity. It is about listening, as the name implies.
This festival is another example of community sponsors. It may be the perfect fit for a national brand partnership.
- The sponsor list includes local theaters, a local marketing firm and groups like The Aslan Foundation-- a local foundation dedicated to funding arts initiatives in the area, founded in 1994 by a former coal exec and philanthropist.
This 100% non-profit music festival held in Phoenix, AZ has charity as one of its core pillars. Smart brands know that millennials care about two things: experiences and CSR. This festival offers an opportunity for brands to hit two birds with one stone. The festival draws big time acts to their lineup and the sponsor list is rapidly growing.
- Oskar Blues-- creators of American millennials’ favorite drinks, this craft brewery is arguably responsible for the good beer in cans phenomenon. This gathering is a smart brand fit
- Renaissance Hotels-- the Phoenix location of this national chain ponied up to sponsor this festival and no doubt their vacancy rates dip when the event is going on. But it is also a smart move for gaining trust and brand loyalty with a population segment that wants to snap Instagrams around the world.
- LTB Concepts-- this regional chain of restaurants (LTB stands for Lettuce Turnip Beets) has 13 locations in AZ and CO. Along with craft beer, millennials really love their local food movements.
Just like every brand has a brilliant influencer match out there in the internet, we also believe that there are smart experiential pairings for almost every brand. Do your research to find which events attract your target demographic and then dream up a dazzling experience for them. Many brands choose to send influencers to document and broadcast their experiences at these events. This is a great way to amplify your efforts.