Experiential marketing is increasingly getting companies’ attention as a strategy to interact with consumers and engage them to better convey their brand image and positioning. However, its effects are still unclear both at the aggregate and individual levels. This paper addresses this topic and presents a field experiment investigating the effects of experiential marketing on brand image in retailing. Two similar consumer electronics stores with different strategies – traditional vs. experiential – constitute the setting in which a field experiment has been run. Two similar samples of consumers took part in our study by visiting one of these two stores, and answering a questionnaire before and after the visit with the primary goal to investigate the brand image and its changes due to the shopping visit. Brand image was measured as the overall brand attitude – via four items – and five specific desired brand claims that the company wanted to convey to consumers. Findings show that engaged consumers through the multisensory and interactive event arranged in the experiential store register higher levels of both brand attitude and all brand claims than those visiting the traditional store, and that the increase in both the dependent variables after the visit of the experiential store is higher than the increase in the traditional store. Thus, experiential stores are not only able to entertain consumers, but they are also able to educate them, by conveying them a set of brand claims more effectively than the traditional store.
Key words: Events, experiential marketing, field experiment, brand management, brand image, multisensoriality.
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