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Experiential Marketing. We hear the word tossed around at marketing conferences, in PR pitches, and in Adweek articles, but what is it exactly? Our VP of Experiential PR, Noelle Guerin, is here to explain the ins and outs of experiential marketing, a strategy that engages an audience with a real-life invitation to experience a brand and everything it represents. And not to mention, something CBC has been doing since before it became a buzzword.

 

Charleston Experience in Charleston, South Carolina

The Power of Experience

The travel industry was built on experience – just look at the print publications that are surviving and thriving (Travel & Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Coastal Living). Across their glossy pages, these publications offer a promise of experience, highlighting companies such Airbnb, a company that has made travel more accessible and affordable. The younger the generation, the more desire there is to be seamlessly integrated into the fabric of a destination and “travel like a local.”

Millennials are savvy consumers and have found out how to go where they want to go in an easy and affordable way. What does this have to do with experiential marketing? Everything. It’s the exact ideology we tapped into in the first place when designing our approach. How do we create events that bring a brand to life? How do we give press, and eventually consumers, an emotional connection to a brand that they can touch, feel, and interact with in an authentic way?

 

Fall House in Santa Barbara, California

 

That Electric Feeling

I have thrown the word “experiential” out there in more new business pitches than I can count. When I started my career over fifteen years ago, I would see brand heads go wide-eyed as soon as I mentioned it, because it was new and innovative. In a lot of ways, “experiential” became the philosophy of Cercone Brown Company.

Our HOUSE programs are often referred to as “experiential” – I mean it’s part of my job title for goodness sakes – but the truth is, it’s not JUST the HOUSE programs. Everything we do within the agency is seen through an experiential lens. It’s how we think and create.

 

FIT House in Palm Springs, California

 

Summer House in Nantucket, MA

 

I have often been accused of actively drinking the Kool-Aid (insert eye roll over industry cliché here) in client meetings. You’d think I’d be jaded at this point by people speaking with passion about their brand but it’s quite the opposite. I couldn’t continue to do this job if I didn’t have a burning desire to bring a brand’s story and vision to life. I firmly believe that the only way to do that – the ONLY way for media and consumers to understand your brand fully – is to give them an authentic experience with it. Believe it or not, this isn’t just limited to consumer brands.

I’ve worked on everything from broadcast technology platforms to healthcare companies (and everything in between) and the only way to create a loyal consumer is to give them a deeper understanding (i.e. experience) of the brand. It doesn’t have to be the physical (tasting, testing, feeling; though it helps), but it could just be the emotional expression of the brand. Every brand has a competitive space and the ones that are creating experiences for their audience stand out and thrive in this landscape.

 

Derby House in Louisville, Kentucky

 

Bringing Brands to Life: What’s Your Lightning in a Bottle?

As an agency, we always thought in an experiential way – we were doing in-market retailer summits for Timberland long before “experiential” was a thing. When we first started our HOUSE Programs with Summer House, we were working to fit outdoor lifestyle and fitness brands into the beautiful setting of Martha’s Vineyard. Now, we bring a variety of brands, from General Motors to New Balance, to the island of Nantucket as well as 30+ press and influencers to experience these brands in a real and authentic way. It works. They get it. They leave the island as brand believers, which is so much more than just one piece of coverage.

Over the past twelve years we have expanded our HOUSE programs and currently provide fourteen per year, each with their own “theme” and set against beautiful backdrops such as Palm Springs, Napa Valley, Aspen, Charleston and many more. This formula works and we have perfected it over the years to ensure that our brands are receiving maximum exposure and amazing content.

 

Aspen Experience in Aspen, Colorado

 

After fifteen years, I’m not sure I can be 100% objective but when I see what we bring to life for brands like Ocean Spray, Buick, Omaha Steaks (on the client side) or the incredible content that we create all over the United States, I feel fairly certain that not many do it better. The energy you feel between staff, crew, brands, media, and influencers is a clear indication that we’re doing something right. The on-site EXPERIENCE is electric and it makes all the hard work that goes into it worth it. To me, that is why experiential marketing is essential for all brands. When your brand can incite a feeling – an electricity in another person – that becomes your lightning in a bottle.

 

Culinary House in Sonoma, California

 

Interested in exploring one of our Experiential Marketing programs? Head on over to our website for a deeper dive into what we do.

As consumers continue to favor the convenience of online shopping, brands are turning to experiential retail as a way to repurpose their store’s space.

And we’re happy to report that brands have really taken the concept of experiential retail and run with it. Particularly, beloved department store Nordstrom.

On October 4, Nordstrom opened its first concept store in West Hollywood, California called “Nordstrom Local”. The store will employ retail experiential tactics tailored to the customer including individual consultations, styling sessions, and alterations – even a fully-stocked bar and beauty salon. Even more interesting, instead of merchandise, the store will sell to consumers via personal stylists who will order inventory for clients based on his/her personal taste.
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This streamlined experiential retail strategy is a response to the growing demand for convenience. 50 years ago, department stores were valued for offering a one-stop shop; however, the times have changed, and today’s consumers seek more efficient alternatives to digging through a 140,000 sq ft department store.

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Other retailers have experimented with experiential retail tricks too. Target recently opened small format stores that cater specifically to their respective locations and demographics (i.e. college campuses and urban communities). Instead of stocking all of the customary Target product, these small format stores stock specific items such as extra dorm room accessories and school supplies.

CBC has been an advocate of experiential retail for a while now. In August 2016, we launched apparel brand Garnet Hill’s mobile boutique, an 880 sq ft converted shipping container that showcased Garnet Hill products and hosted lifestyle events.

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Another CBC client, Stonewall Kitchen, prides itself on experiential retail as a way to ensure that its York, Maine flagship location is more than just a shop. In the Stonewall Kitchen Company Store you are able to taste any of the brand’s jams before buying, and it even has a one-of-a-kind cooking school onsite intended to inspire customers with confidence in the kitchen.

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The road has not been easy for brands. Today’s consumers expect the best of both world: a fusion of the convenience of online and the tangible experience of in-store. For apparel bands, experiential retail goes a long way.

We’ll just come right out and say it: we LOVE Beantown! As one of the most historic cities in the country, Boston has a lot to offer from unique activities, great food, and lastly, is home to some amazing brands.

Throughout the year, we routinely invite editors and influencers spanning a variety of lifestyle, food, and travel publications to join us for brand excursions to aspirational places like Santa Barbara and Sonoma County. While these locations are breathtaking in their own ways, we decided it was time to take advantage of our own backyard and prove that Boston in fact is a great travel destination.

This is why we invited 10 editors to come experience all of Beantown’s unique qualities in our first Boston Experience, a new program added to our House Program series.

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Take me out to the ball game

It wouldn’t be a trip to Boston without a chance to watch the Sox play at Fenway Park. As soon as the editors landed in Logan Airport, we made our way over to Fenway – in Safr vehicles, a new Boston-born ridesharing app – to watch the Boston team play the Blue Jays (spoiler: they crushed the Jays). Even though some of our New Yorkers were hesitate about sporting those Boston B’s on their caps, everyone enjoyed a Fenway Frank, or two, and were psyched to be able to experience a ball park that has so much history – Green Monster and all.

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Best view in Boston

For their weekend in Boston, the media had the pleasure of staying at one of Boston’s newest boutique hotels, The Envoy Hotel. Situated along the water in one of the city’s fast growing neighborhoods, the Innovation District, the views from this hot spot are unmatched.

After a Red Sox game, we rounded off the evening with a boozy social on the Envoy Hotel’s stunning rooftop, drinking in the city skyline as well as a few signature cocktails.

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Unforgettable brand experiences

The next morning, we were up at the crack of dawn to watch the fishing boats at Boston Fish Pier unload their daily catch. Legal Sea Foods gave us the behind the scenes scoop on how they choose their premium fish and what goes into making sure all their restaurants are getting the best and freshest fish.

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Later that evening, our group dined with Legal Sea Foods at their Harborside location in the Seaport. It all began with Executive Chef Rich Vellante’s oyster shucking demo – that you can find live on Food Network’s Facebook page.

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And the night concluded with a true sea-to-table dining experience where the media tasted Legal Sea Food’s freshest seafood dishes. Also at the table, was Legal Seafood’s CEO Roger Berkowitz who dined with the media and chatted about his journey with the brand.

Demarco Williams, Forbes Travel Guide editor, wrote about his experience with Roger Berkowitz. Check it out here.

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After a classic duck tour excursion, the best way to get up to speed on your Boston history, the day peaked with a surprise trip to Ocean Spray’s cranberry bog just outside of the city. Knee-deep in cranberries, the media learned about cranberry harvest and finished off the experience with a bog-side luncheon. Needless to say, the group was berry pleased with the amazing Instagram pics they got from this adventure.

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Feasting, beasting and sight-seeing

The next morning we kicked off the day the right way with a scenic run along the freedom trail in Hoka One One kicks!

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And followed it with a lunch rendezvous to ArtBar in Cambridge where the staff pulled out all the stops – oysters, shrimp, mini tacos, a s’mores bar, and a sorbet bar!Picture1

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And from ArtBar’s patio, a boat picked us up for a little rosè and a cruise around the harbor with 90+ Cellars and Discover Boating.

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We sent off our media with a restful rooftop yoga class, hosted by Boston- born brand Crane & Lion.

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Who knew there was so much to do in our very own backyard? Check out the social chatter from this experience on Instagram at #CBCBostonExperience.

 

As a public relations agency with many experiential marketing campaigns under our belt, we’d like to think we’re in a good position to point out some great work by brands and our colleagues at other PR agencies.

For experiential marketing to work, it has to grab your attention. Think about it: Have you ever done something crazy to get someone’s attention in real life? Sometimes it’s the same in marketing – drastic measures in order to differentiate yourself from the sea of similar brands. It can be risky, scary, and very thrilling to pioneer experiential campaigns.

We get it. Our idea to create a mobile boutique from a shipping container for Garnet Hill raised a few eyebrows when it was first floated. But in the end, the campaign was a huge success.

That’s why the campaigns below – all daring and different – hit close to home for us.

 Apple Orchard in the Big Apple

In June 2016, Strongbow apple cider decided they would bring a taste of nature to NYC with a floating garden. In a barge filled with fruits, vegetables and herbs, people reconnected with nature, foraged for their food, and learned about all of the ingredients found in Strongbow’s Cider.

Why we love it: This took Farmer’s Markets to a new level and imprints visitors with a memory for life.

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Big city, tiny house

In May, NESTEA introduced their own tiny house in Herald Square that emulated relaxation, minimalism, and the perfect place to enjoy a glass of iced tea. Their message to consumers: life today is not easy, but NESTEA’s new line of classic teas can help simplify things.

Why we love it: Minimalism is a coveted lifestyle in busy cities like NYC. Kudos to NESTEA for capitalizing on it!

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NEW YORK, NY - MAY 17: Actress Anna Camp launches the new NESTEA in Herald Square at the NESTEA Tiny House on May 17, 2017 in New York City. Designed in part by bloggers Southern Bite, Inspired by Charm, and Hapa Time, the NESTEA Tiny House is unveiled in Herald Square. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images) (PRNewsfoto/NESTEA)

Refueling with a brew

In a refurbished 1952 GMC Coach bus, now known as the High Brew Liner, High Brew Coffee is embarking on a cross country tour. The goal is to pop up in 31 cities for people to try a cup of High Brew’s cold brewed coffee and refuel.

Why we love it: High Brew transformed the vintage bus to speak to an audience of millennials who, according to their research, go nuts for authentic experiences.

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The Bootmobile is a rolling shoe created by L.L. Bean to commemorate it’s 100th anniversary, created for new store openings and promotional events. The bootmobile has been so successful that a new one was made and sent to Japan for their stores.

Why we love it: L.L.Bean took it global and didn’t just section it off for convenience.

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Sweat, hydrate, repeat

In the summer 2016, Propel hosted fitness events to roll out their updated electrolyte rich flavored water. The campaign went viral with the hashtag #LetsGetUgly, in the attempt to negate the glamorous and often unrealistic social media portrayal of people working out. From yoga to boxing, Propel got consumers active and hydrated them with their water.

Why we love it: Propel provided an environment where it’s okay to get sweaty and work hard.

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Touch and Feel

The Garnet Hill Mobile Boutique supported by our PR and creative services team here at Cercone Brown Company, transformed a shipping container into a moveable, shop-able, pop up shop. The revamped shipping container was a unique place for consumers to touch and feel all of the products before buying them.

Why we love it: Garnet Hill allowed their consumers to get to know the Garnet Hill products in a more natural, homelike setting.

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Gone are the days of blanket advertising via commercials and print ads. People want to touch, taste, feel and smell the brand. In other words, an experience.

 

Experiential marketing is changing how brands interact with consumers by allowing for the opportunity to introduce them to products in an authentic, tactile and memorable way. In turn, this fosters lifelong relationships between brands and their consumers.

At CerconeBrownCompany, we believe that an experience can be a brand’s most valuable offering and has the power to convert a person from a one-time customer into a brand advocate.

Hiring an agency is a wise investment, as one that is successful will create, deliver and share a positive experience on behalf of your brand. But before you sign on the dotted line, review the qualities below to make sure you are selecting the ideal partnership.

Consider your company’s values

Read between the lines of the mission statement and opt for an agency with similar values to your own. Collaborating is more successful when both parties genuinely enjoy working together.

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You can’t do experiential without “experience”

Every agency will admit to spaces that are more in their areas of expertise than others. A quality agency will host a kick-off or strategy session when you first begin work together. It’s not always a deal-breaker if the agency hasn’t worked in your industry before – sometimes a group of people with a proactive, go-getter attitude with experience in getting their hands dirty for their clients is more efficient than anything else.

Creativity is a skill

You wouldn’t buy a car without reading about the reviews and expert opinions, right? It’s no different when selecting an agency. Peruse the agency’s portfolio and see how they’ve brought other brands’ creative visions to life.

For example, CBC hosts a variety of unique House Programs – an opportunity for influential journalists to immerse themselves in unforgettable brand experiences in idyllic settings.

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Communication and accessibility

We totally get it, you are passionate about your brand. The right agency will understand that and do everything they can to keep you in the loop. It is important that you work with a team that is responsive, the direct point of contact, and collaborative.

One way an agency will communicate is through consistent and formalized reporting. At CBC, we report with two different platforms: TrendKite for public relations and Brandwatch for social and digital.

 What are your goals?

If you’re looking into experiential marketing, it’s likely you have specific business objectives in mind. Whether it’s growth or overall brand amplification, make sure the agency understands your goals and is proactive about addressing them in their proposal. If you are upfront and direct about your goals, you will better identify the agency that will best fit your needs.

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Inhouse vs outsource

Why look somewhere else for an asset you might have right in front of you? An agency with a photographer, designer, and creative director in-house is a bonus because it means they have the all of the essential tools readily available. Agencies who want to outsource talent require extra time, money and resources.

Stalk on social

You know the old adage “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”? Check out how the agency presents itself on their own social posts – if you see a strategy or unique quality in their digital presence, that’s a good indication they will power up their client’s channels too.

For example, we at CBC are strategic in our social approach, pumping up our Twitter feed with daily industry news and coloring our Instagram feed with the happenings in our House Programs.

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There are certainly many other traits to take into consideration when picking the best experiential marketing agency. What are the qualities you look for in an agency?

Can you believe it? CBC just wrapped up its 11th annual Winter House. And if we do say so ourselves, it gets better with age!

As communication methods evolve, so do the creative ways that we as marketers collaborate with brands. For those who don’t know, the CBC House Programs bring some of the nation’s most coveted top tier media to some incredible locations. For Winter House, Park City, UT was the perfect setting to experience brands and their products the way they were intended.

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19 editors from top-tier outlets like Esquire, Fox News, and Women’s Health joined us in Park City to ski the slopes at Deer Valley, sip cocktails by the fire at Wyndham Vacation Rentals, and experience a Rocky Mountain winter firsthand.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the brands and experiences that were showcased at the 2017 Winter House:

Miraclesuit hosted a playful hot tub cocktail hour and dinner hosted by a private chef. The perfect ending to a day on the slopes.

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Deer Valley is home to some of the best skiing in the country. Here, editors skied on perfectly powdered runs while outfitted with gear from Obermeyer, Rossignol, and the Rudy Project.

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After skiing, yoga was the perfect way to unwind and stretch out those tired muscles. Kleenex hosted a relaxing yoga class at one of Deer Valley’s most elegant resorts, The Montage.

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And the fun didn’t stop there. Media guests were wined and dined with POM-perfect cocktails, while bundling up in Ugg boots and Stance socks.

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To close the experience, Ester-C hosted a breakfast on the last day where they concocted juices and smoothies that included their immune boosting products. After the healthy meal, editors boarded their planes energized and fully equipped to fight off the winter cold season.

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Through the experiences provided by CBC Winter House, editors naturally connected with brands and products as a way to craft genuine stories to share with their readers. But don’t take it from us, check out the full story of #CBCWinterHouse on Instagram.

All advertisers strive to produce great work that goes beyond selling and becomes viral entertainment that consumers talk about for weeks. But then what?

Many have gotten into the habit of cranking out one campaign after the other, without too much diversity in-between. But in the pursuit of staying fresh, they lose the longevity of their brand identity.

This is where Transmedia storytelling comes into play.

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source: Wise Geek http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-mass-production.htm#

Transmedia storytelling is simply defined as “telling a story across multiple media” and thrives off audience engagement. Different media forms work together to create a larger, more engaging story that immerses the consumer in the brand.

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Traditionally, media franchises (like Harry Potter and Star Wars) have brought this technique to life by building off the original content with related games, toys, theme parks, etc. This results in a natural build of brand awareness and loyalty.

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Perhaps the best example of a brand using transmedia storytelling happened in 2008 when car insurance company Progressive brought out Flo, the quirky saleswoman who has since become the face of the brand.

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Over the last nine years, Flo has appeared in over 100 commercials, has her own bobble head, a Halloween costume, and even has a role in the racing video game ModNation Racers.

Flo’s ability to transcend traditional marketing mediums has helped Progressive appeal to the elusive younger audience.

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Melbourne Metro

PSAs have a bad reputation. So when Melbourne Metro had to release a PSA for train safety, they seized the opportunity to break the monotony usually associated with PSAs by using transmedia storytelling.

The campaign started with a catchy jingle but has since expanded to an iPhone game, plush toys, and figurines.

 

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When executed well, transmedia storytelling can extend the lifetime of a campaign and strengthen brand identity.

For brands that want to have a lasting impact, one thing is important to know: people remember experiences, not products.

Why it’s Important

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Experiential marketing and branded entertainment immerse consumers into brands, forming positive associations and sometimes inspiring them to become brand influencers.

Through events and other branded entertainment, you give the consumer a tangible experience so that they will remember your brand. When they go to make a purchase in your category, they’ll remember that experience.

How you can implement it

The types of events and branded entertainment you host can range from strictly informative to wildly creative. Many brands set up booths at trade shows and other events to give consumers a more personal, in depth interaction with their brand.

image courtesy of Krista K. Catian, NAVFAC Pacific Public Affairs https://www.flickr.com/photos/navfac/10461564004

image courtesy of Krista K. Catian, NAVFAC Pacific Public Affairs https://www.flickr.com/photos/navfac/10461564004

photo courtesy of Nick Gray https://www.flickr.com/photos/nickgray/358452789

photo courtesy of Nick Gray https://www.flickr.com/photos/nickgray/358452789

Some brands try to reimagine the way consumers engage with their product by putting on interactive experiences.

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It’s also important to leverage social media. Posting builds buzz and creates an online community to share the great experiences they had with your brand.

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Follow Our Lead

We at CerconeBrown know just how important experiential marketing and branded entertainment can be. That’s why we frequently help hold pop up shops, mobile boutiques, and special events for our clients. Additionally, we host our House Programs multiple times a year, where influencers get mini vacations at locations across the country, allowing them the opportunity to engage with our clients’ products. We know that they may forget an ad, but they’re sure to remember an experience.

It’s official – Garnet Hill has packed up a collection of its most beautiful home and apparel products and set its sights on the open road! Their mission? To connect with their customer in a tangible way and provide a unique touch-and-feel experience in the comfort of her own backyard

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This August, we’re celebrating the launch of Garnet Hill’s Mobile Boutique – a pop-up store that truly takes the concept of “experiential marketing” to a whole new level.

Built to feel like a tiny, natural home where you can literally touch, feel, and shop all of the beautiful Garnet Hill products, the boutique is equipped with all of the homey essentials – kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, closet, and a roof deck.

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The pop-up is an homage to the brand’s Beautiful, Naturally mantra and was stunningly designed by ModEco Founder and HGTV Container Home personality Drake Boroja from a converted shipping container. It showcases an array of the most beloved Garnet Hill products, and serves as a venue for community events including wine tastings, farm-to-table meals, and other demonstrations.

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The mobile store began its pilgrimage in Franconia, New Hampshire, is currently moving south through the state via Exeter, and will end in New York City.

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Join the journey! Follow along with #GHmobileboutique or visit their Events Page on Facebook for information on how to experience the boutique yourself.

There’s something to be said about a weekend getaway to America’s wine region, Sonoma County. Breathtaking countryside, endless vineyards, the finest farm-to-table cuisine, all tucked into the rolling hills of Northern California. It’s the perfect spot to unwind and unplug – or to simply indulge in amazing food and a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

For 24 editors spanning a variety of lifestyle publications, this blissful vacation daydream became a reality during CBC’s Cooking Cottage experience from April 29-May 4.

The CBC Cooking Cottage is part of our House Program series and was born from the desire to provide editors and bloggers the opportunity to engage with a variety of brands in a tangible, meaningful way. Representatives from publications like Good Housekeeping, Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Women’s Health, and more attended the organized oasis and left with a weekend experience they won’t forget.

Each day featured a new set of socially-engaging activities, each hosted by a different brand. The agenda included events like a wine and cheese at Arrowood Vineyard with President Cheese, an exclusive poolside yoga class with Clif Bar, tours of two Jackson Family Wines vineyards, a Pinot and Potatoes Paint Night with Alexia, and many delicious meals in between.

The Cooking Cottage experience gave participants an enchanting taste of the rich Sonoma culture, as well as an insider’s look at highly-coveted brands like Omaha SteaksSambazonStonewall Kitchen, and Simply Organic.

But don’t just take our word for it. Scroll through the amazing photos posted by our guests on the hashtag #CBCcottage on Instagram.

Until next year, Cooking Cottage!

There’s something to be said about a weekend getaway to America’s wine region, Sonoma County. Breathtaking countryside, endless vineyards, the finest farm-to-table cuisine, all tucked into the rolling hills of Northern California. It’s the perfect spot to unwind and unplug – or to simply indulge in amazing food and a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

For 24 editors spanning a variety of lifestyle publications, this blissful vacation daydream became a reality during CBC’s Cooking Cottage experience from April 29-May 4.

The CBC Cooking Cottage is part of our House Program series and was born from the desire to provide editors and bloggers the opportunity to engage with a variety of brands in a tangible, meaningful way. Representatives from publications like Good Housekeeping, Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Women’s Health, and more attended the organized oasis and left with a weekend experience they won’t forget.

Each day featured a new set of socially-engaging activities, each hosted by a different brand. The agenda included events like a wine and cheese at Arrowood Vineyard with President Cheese, an exclusive poolside yoga class with Clif Bar, tours of two Jackson Family Wines vineyards, a Pinot and Potatoes Paint Night with Alexia, and many delicious meals in between.

The Cooking Cottage experience gave participants an enchanting taste of the rich Sonoma culture, as well as an insider’s look at highly-coveted brands like Omaha Steaks, Sambazon, Stonewall Kitchen, and Simply Organic.

But don’t just take our word for it. Scroll through the amazing photos posted by our guests on the hashtag #CBCcottage on Instagram.

Until next year, Cooking Cottage!

The average millennial’s attention span is… oh look, a text message! Thanks to technology and their addictive multi-tasking behavior, millennials’ attention span is about eight seconds, which is just one second less than that of your pet goldfish. Needless to say, it’s going to take a lot more than a catchy song and a flashy ad to connect with these consumers.

 

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If you are a marketer who is reading this right now—don’t fret.   Here are some inspiring tips and tactics from the pros to help you rock this target audience.

  • Millennials prefer quality over quantity

 

Due to their constant intake of knowledge and information, this generation is full of skeptics and cynics. They trust their ‘squad fam’ and respectable social media stars more than any prominent brand or company.

 

What does this mean for us as marketers? It means you should spend more money on higher-quality experiences that connect with fewer but more effective influencers.   These experiences will, in turn, create bigger opportunities for online influencer strategies. It’s kind of like the domino effect—start small by connecting with a few, and before you know it you’ll be influencing many.

 

  • Create unique brand experiences by fusing physical sensations with creative technology

 

Think 360-degree videos at events and virtual reality at home. These innovations help consumers become immersed in brands and their marketing strategies. They make the overall experience memorable and impactful by allowing individuals to interact with the brand before, during, and after the main event.

 

  • Keepin’ it real

 

Millennials are stubborn; chances are if you aggressively try to sell something to them, they ain’t buying it. As a marketer, it’s important that you complement, rather than try to change their lifestyles and habits. Let them experience your brand personality firsthand. Hey, if you’re really killin’ it they might even give you a shout out on one of their 9,652,567,234,820 social media handles.

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Virtual reality, a fairly new thing for most, is a 3D reality of an environment that imitates physical presence in places that exist elsewhere in the world or in an imaginary place. Mostly known as a new platform for video games, virtual realities are also becoming very popular in marketing and journalism, with the potential to be the new form of storytelling. You can experience virtual realities with a pair of Oculus glasses or with something as simple as a Google Cardboard. With this technology, you can watch videos to see, connect and experience life elsewhere in the world on a completely different level.

Can you imagine what life is like as a nine-year-old in South Sudan, displaced by warfare? Well, now you can – thanks to the New York Times Virtual Reality app, which shares the stories of three children in eastern Ukraine, Syria and South Sudan.

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Can you imagine what the life of a ballerina is like? Or what about an experiential virtual reality where you walk into a store, try on a winter jacket and take a quick trip to the South Pole? A North Face store in South Korea created a virtual experience for its shoppers to experience what it would be like to wear the jacket on a dog sledding ride.

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With these novel uses of a just-as-novel technology, consumers have the opportunity to be completely transported. If advertising can pull at the heartstrings, virtual realities can impose more literal experiences – be they emotional, tactile, or the like – on people. Point of purchase tactics have immense potential for growth with VR, as do activations and other brand-to-consumer interactions, something we specialize in here at CBC. With North Face exemplifying the trend of brands using technologies to engage on closer, more intimate levels with consumers, we’re eager (and, honestly, a little wary!) to see what’s to come.

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