PepsiCo Beverages, the drinks arm of the fast moving consumer goods manufacturer, is using experiences as a way to build emotional connections with consumers.

Amy Spiridakis, VP/Marketing & Insights at PepsiCo Beverages, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2019 Brand Activation Conference.

“Given the crazy world that we’re all living in, how do we allow these experiences to give people a little bit of an escape, to forget about where they are or what’s on their to-do list for that moment?” she asked. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How PepsiCo focuses on experiences to enhance appeal beyond brand scale.)

“It might just be that sip of the beverage. How do we give people an element of discovery, exploring new and unknown pastures?”

Providing experiences, it is hoped, can deliver moments of consumption that yield “a much more extraordinary memory” for people who are exposed to PepsiCo’s beverage products.

And it requires a deeper understanding of the habits and preferences of its target audience. “It’s looking beyond the data into the lives of people. How do we understand their motivations? Their emotions?” Spiridakis explained.

One example of this approach in action involves PepsiCo taking over as the beverage supplier for the Madison Square Garden Company, and using its slate of entertainment venues to engage consumers in unique ways.

Such experiences, PepsiCo’s research showed, are linked to positive feelings related to anticipation, fleetingness and social connection, and also become part of an individual’s identity.

One of the main rewards of experience-focused marketing, PepsiCo has learned, involves the enhancement of loyalty than can follow on from such engagement.

“When you look at consumers and how they make their choices,” Spiridakis revealed, “nearly two-thirds of gen-pop consumers will say that they’re more likely to choose a brand if it exposes them to a sensation or an experience.

“And that number,” she informed the ANA’s Brand Activation confab, “only grows when you talk to younger generations, like millennials.”

Sourced from WARC