Marketing With Experiential Consumption

Experiential consumption can be defined as ‘the experiences consumers have while using, consuming, and possessing market offerings’ (Lofman, 1991).

‘Experiential marketers view consumers as rational and emotional human beings who are concerned with achieving pleasurable experiences’ and when this experience is associated with a brand it creates a positive image of that brand responsible for the experience (Schmitt, 1999).

Schmitt (1999) breaks down the experiences we have into modules labelled as Sense, Feel, Think, Act and Relate, which provides the grounds to analyse how experiential consumption has been used today. It is up to brands to creatively capture these modules when creating an experience that embodies their brand or product because the stronger the experience is, the stronger the positive brand association is that follows.

Red Bull – Stratos

Red Bull launched one of the most extravagant examples of examples of experiential marketing when the launched Felix Baumgartner into space for the record-breaking free-fall on October 14, 2012 (Red Bull Stratos, 2018). This stunt reflects the extreme sports and adrenaline rush that Red Bull has built their following from (Red Bull, 2018).

(Giphy, 2018)

Initially, you may think it would be hard to experience something from the edge of space however, Red Bull with their Social Media prowess ensured this would not be a problem. 80 TV stations in 50 countries along with 280 digital partners that accumulated 52million live views globally allowed Red Bull think and feel the significance of the event as it occurred (Zmuda, 2013) (Schmitt, 1999).

As for the success of Red Bull implementing their experiential campaign, sales increased by 13% from the previous year which can be attributed to allowing the world to experience the extraordinary feats of Baumgartner (Zmuda, 2013).

Virgin Atlantic – Park Bench

(PlusPNG, 2018)

The ingenious method of experiential consumption for Virgin Atlantic came in the form of a park Bench (Gianatasio, 2013). They incorporated all of Schmitt’s (1999) modules for very effective use of the consumer behaviour concept (YouTube, 2013)

For the individual who sat on the bench, they got a first-hand experience of the Virgin Atlantic service but the marketing campaign became much bigger than this, drawing in dozens of passers-by with the use of a flash-mob and actors (YouTube, 2013).

On varying levels, the crowd along with the individual could sense, feel, think, act or relate to this event making it a creative and effective example of experiential consumption, all that reflects the larger than life service that Virgin Atlantic provide.  

Refinery29 – 29Rooms

(Merito Group, 2018)

Refinery 29 is a global media company that now, for 3 consecutive years has created an experience for their audience through their 29Rooms exhibit (Refinery29, 2017) (psfk, 2017). As the name suggests, Refinery29 turned a warehouse into 29 interactive rooms (Refinery29, 2017).

Working off Schmitt’s (1999) framework of modern experiential marketing, Refinery29 capture many of the sensory modules that enhance an experience which makes their 29Rooms a very effective campaign for their consumers (psfk, 2017). This year’s exhibit aimed to speak to their audience of young women, for the 20,000 people that visited the warehouse it created a positive experience which they will now associate with the brand Refinery29.  

This captures the fact that experiential consumption cannot only be used to create a positive association with a brand but more significantly, make a positive impact on individual’s lives through positive experiences (psfk, 2017) (Grundey, 2008).


Addis, B. & Holbrook B, 2001, ‘On the Conceptual Link Between Mass Customisation and Experiential Consumption: An Explosion of Subjectivity’ Journal of Consumer Behavior, Vol. 1 Issue: 1, pp.50-66.

Andy Hanselman, 2013, Virgin Atlantic’s Dramatically And Demonstrably Different Park Bench!, Viewed 30 April 2018 <>

DigiMapps, 2017, 29 Rooms Is Coming Back To Brooklyn In September, Viewed 30 April 2018 <>

Duct Tape Marketing, 2018, A Simple Approach to the Customer Journey, Viewed 30 April 2018 <>

Experiential Marketing News, 2017, A Look at refinery29’s 29 Rooms, Viewed 30 April 2018 <>

Gianatasio, D. 2013, ‘Virgin Atlantic Turns NYC Park Bench Into the Lap of Luxury’, Ad Week, Viewed 30 April 2018 <>

Giphy, 2018, PARTY DISCO GIF BY ADWEEK, Viewed 30 April 2018 <>

Giphy, 2018, “GREGOR SCHLIERENZAUER DOSE STICKER BY RED BULL” viewed 10th April 2018 <>

Grundey, D. 2008. ‘Experiential Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: Creating Rational and Emotional Liaisons with Consumers’, The Romanian Economic Journal, Year XI, no. 29.

Lofman, B. 1991, ‘Elements of Experiential Consumption: an Exploratory Study’, Advances in Consumer Research, Volume 18 pp.729-735

Merito Group, 2018, ‘REFINERY29-LOGO’, Viewed 31 January 2019 <>

New Atlas, 2010, Red Bull Stratos Team Gets Closer to Supersonic Freefall Attempt, Viewed 30 April 2018<>

PlusPNG, 2018, Virgin Atlantic Logo PNGViewed 30 April 2018 <>

psfk, 2017, Refinery29 Takes Experiential Marketing to Another Level, Viewed 30 April 2018 <>

Red Bull, 2018, Home, Viewed 30 April 2018, <>

Red Bull Stratos, 2018, Home, viewed 30 April 2018, <>

Red Bull Stratos, 2018, Scientific Data Review, Viewed 30 April 2018<>

Refinery 29, 2018, Home, Viewed 30 April 2018 <>

Schmitt, B. 1999, ‘Experiential Marketing’, Journal of Marketing Management, Volume 15, Issue: 1-3

YouTube, 2013, No ordinary park bench, Viewed 30 April 2018 <>



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