Are you struggling for a way to stand out from your competition? Maybe you’re lacking a loyal following for your brand. If so, you should look into providing experiences for your ideal customer.

78% of millennials (people born between 1981 – 2000) prefer to spend money on experiences or events versus things. If you sell things and you’re trying to target the younger generation, this could put you at a disadvantage.

But contrary to what the studies may show, Millennials will buy things but they want an experience, a memory, or an interaction to do so. That’s part of the reason why beauty care companies are partnering with YouTube sensations to create videos on their products. Millennials like to see people interacting and demonstrating different uses for products. They want experts and personalities associated with items.

So how do you begin to offer more experiences for your customers and potential customers? What if your budget doesn’t allow you to spend thousands of dollars partnering up with a well-known celebrity? You can still offer memorable experiences on a small budget. Here are a few ideas on how you can do that:

 

4 Ways to Offer Memorable Experiences on a Small Budget

 You can create experiences for customers and potential customers without spending a lot of money but it’s likely you’ll have to spend some. So look for areas in your budget that you may be able to rework. For instance, are those radio ads paying off for you? If you fail to see the return on investment that you currently have in your budget for radio ads (or some other markerting), consider allocating that money to creating experiences instead.

 

Live Music 

If you have a brick-and-mortar business, bring in some musicians for live music. If you don’t know someone who will play as a favor to you, you can look to local colleges or high schools for amateur musicians. Some may agree to work for a lower hourly rate if you allow them to have a tip jar or you may be able to barter your goods and services for theirs.

Live music will bring people in, kick up the energy, and make people stay longer. This is why a lot of restaurants use live music but the tactic works outside of the food industry as well. 

 

Fun Photo Ops

Lots of people enjoy getting their pictures taken these days. They’re always looking for Instagram material. You can provide some fun photo ops at your business through inexpensive props or bringing in something novel like a giant beach chair.

You’ll get the most marketing bang if you brand your photo op. For instance, if you have a giant moose in front of your store add your store name somewhere on that moose. Ideally, you would place your branding where it would be in every picture people took with it.  The moose could wear a hat with your name on it.

 

Classes and Expertise

Some products and services lend themselves to classes. If you sell cookware, for instance, offering a monthly cooking class or Saturday demos on advanced cooking techniques is an easy way to sell more product.

But if you sell something that’s not so obvious likes plumbing services, you have to think outside the box. In that case, it’s likely most of your business never comes to your office. They probably call you on the phone when they have an issue. In that case, to create an experience for your customers you might provide videos on DIY drain unclogging techniques. Perhaps you can focus on the experience provided by your service tech. When they show up to fix the problem you may gift your customers with something they’re not expecting like a hair catcher to help them keep their drains running well. Surprising and delighting them is a way to stay top-of-mind and get more referrals.

 

Freebies 

Have you ever been to Costco on a Saturday? There are dozens of people going to the Costco “mobile restaurant” of tastings. While it costs Costco money to put on those tastings and give away the free food, they also sell quite a bit of product that way. If you sell food or beverages you might want to consider samples even if you only do that once a month.

If you don’t sell food, think about what you can give away to help make the buying decision faster. This could be swag representing your business so that you stay top-of-mind or it could be a sample of your product or service.

If you want to beat the competition you need to find a way to get your audience to notice you. Providing an experience and elevating doing business with you above the mundane will get you more Millennial customers and begin to build a much more loyal fan base.