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Extreme Experiences

Experiences Make Happy and Loyal Customers

Posted by andrew.mockridge | 08 April

At TLC Marketing we understand the value of experiences. We see first-hand the long term emotional connection they encourage, and we also understand the science behind the success.

An article by Fast Company Exist explores the psychology of the long term effects experiences have, drawing from research of Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University. His studies around the happiness economics of the Easterlin Paradox, find that money does buy happiness, but only up to a point.* When we begin to adapt to the purchase and it is no longer new and exciting, from this point, experiences are the key to happiness.

"You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences."*

The thought that we will be happier for longer with tangible products, has been disproved. Gilovich believes that one-off experiences such as going to concerts, participating in outdoor activities, learning new skills or taking vacations are what really make us happy. “While the happiness from material purchases diminishes over time, experiences become an ingrained part of our identity”.* For brands, this means creating experiences with consumers is an opportunity to foster a long term relationship, one that leaves a lasting impression.

Q: What is more effective than offering experiences? A: Experiences that can be shared. Shared experiences connect us more to other people than shared consumption.* People are much more likely to bond over a festival, a day out or an extreme sport than they are a product. TLC’s work with Ray-Ban is a perfect example; the campaign replaced the typical ‘gift with purchase’ product, with a concert ticket to a dream festival with every $155 spent online. Not only do experiences like these create more memories than your typical USB ever could, but they also encourage customers to share the experience, - making it simple for brands to amplify their campaigns.

“You don't have infinite money. Spend it on stuff that research says makes you happy.”*

Globally, brands such as Tooheys Extra Dry, Banfi, Mars and L’Oreal have seen success with TLC’s ‘Extreme Days Out’ promotions. By re-allocating budgets for dull coupons and cash backs to everyone-wins camapigns with experiences and days out, brands create experiences that customers love, can share, and bond over. These experiences become a part of them, and in the long run will make them happier and more loyal than any physical product could. Happy customer, happy brand!

*FastComapanyExist- The science of why you should spend your money on experiences, not things.

By Amy Robson