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  • Writer's pictureChristine Neas

What, Exactly, is Experiential Design?

By Christine Neas

Experiential design is a method of design that uses several different disciplines - graphic design, interactive media, video, augmented or virtual reality, and audio - to create a multi-dimensional environment. While traditional event marketing and trade shows center on pitching and selling, experiential marketing is all about using immersion to spur brand activation and incite brand loyalty. Experiential design isn’t just about your products and services but is about the entirety of your customer’s journey and relationship with your brand. After all, the customer experience is influenced by several touch points, from the initial interactions with a website or salesperson, to the ease of purchasing or contacting customer support. Experiential design works the customer’s entire experience with your brand into the design.

An experiential marketing campaign gives potential customers a chance to imagine exactly how your product could improve their daily lives. By immersing visitors in your product through interaction, storytelling, and multi-sensory design, you can establish a lasting, emotional connection between your brand and your customers. Graphics aren’t just for viewing anymore! The goal now is to bring the design to life. But how exactly do you design an experience rather than just a flat image?  By engaging the customer on multiple sensory levels - sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. By doing so you, will imprint a positive impression of your brand onto the consumer. Essentially, it’s “design gone wild” with a laser focus on customer engagement.

If you’ve been to a tradeshow, corporate event, an airport, or a large shopping center in the last year, it’s extremely likely you’ve already encountered experiential design. Some common examples of Experiential Design Elements are:

  • Immersive Environments: Often created with a projection or a screen and are a great technique to captivate your audience’s attention.

  • Video: Video installations can range from two to thousands of screens with the power to transform ordinary spaces into engaging experiences.

  • Interactive: This type of installation can be large or small and can be displayed in any media format.

  • Graphics: Colorful, oversize graphics can be used to gain attention, tell your story and provide the initial marketing message.

  • Video Mapping: When the element of surprise is needed, it’s a versatile and portable technique that can adapt to any surface. Video mapping can be interactive.

  • Augmented Reality (AR): Augmented reality is used when you want to add to an existing environment. Visitors see the room they’re in while experiencing some altered form of reality - a digital overlay to their environment.

  • Virtual Reality (VR): To be considered VR, visitors need to be fully immersed and usually need to wear a headset.

  • Holographic Installations: When you want to bring animated objects into the real world, holographic techniques are used but are usually very expensive.

It is obvious that, by using the elements listed above, Experiential Design installations are far more engaging than traditional media. It changes the way you experience and perceive products, places, and environments, and it’s driving competition among brands like never before. By using experiential design in your marketing strategy, you will surely be leaving your potential consumers with a dynamic and memorable experience.

Have questions about experiential design or would like help designing an experiential exhibit? Let’s collaborate! Contact Creative Fuel Co. today and we can help you stand-out from the crowd!

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