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It’s Experiential, but Not as You Know It

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Experiential Marketing has long been the thorn in a marketers’ side. It’s logistically complicated, time-consuming and expensive. At the same time, when done right, experiential remains unmatched in its effectiveness — especially in reaching Millenials and Gen Z.

For any brand wanting to survive in this digitally saturated market, experiential is non-negotiable. Until now, this has meant many CMOs doling out hundreds of thousands to agencies in the hopes they can get all the benefits of experiential, without the headaches of managing it themselves. But that could all be changing.

In November 2019, following a gangbusters 12 months of growth in Australia, an innovative MarTech start-up entered the US market. Introducing Brandcrush: an end-to-end physical media booking platform for Experiential Marketing activations.

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What Is It?

Brandcrush is the brainchild of Teresa Aprile, a marketing expert with more than 15 years of experience developing and executing business growth strategies in both FMCG and B2B industries. Witnessing first-hand the power of Experiential Marketing, she saw an opportunity to create a tech-enabled booking solution to make finding, booking and running activations simpler, less logistically complex, and more affordable. A solution that would take a 100B dollar offline industry online, and make it scalable.

“Now, instead of relying on agencies to run your experiential campaigns, instead of battling logistical headaches, and instead of co-ordinating major efforts with brand ambassadors, Brandcrush offers you an easy way to connect with hyper-targeted consumer groups in just a few simple clicks,” Teresa says.

Want to have your new wellness product sampled through yoga studios across the country? Want to host a branded pop-up in a co-working space to engage with young creatives? Want to have your food product featured “on the menu” on cafe menus across New York? Brandcrush can make this happen. What’s more, it’ll cost you less than a Facebook ad campaign.

Everyday Businesses: A New Media Channel

Brandcrush connects brands with everyday businesses and events (called Activation Hosts) for real-world activations like sampling, product placements, popups, events and unique real-world influencer experiences via “on the trainer” and “on the menu” activations. Rather than mass sampling through untargeted hit-and-miss locations, Brandcrush enables brands to leverage the existing touchpoint that established businesses have with key target market groups.

But it’s not just the brands that benefit from this relationship.

“Brandcrush is also giving these businesses a new stream of revenue by becoming a bookable media channel. From retailers, cafes and gyms to events, universities, and co-working spaces — any space with foot traffic can become an Activation Host on Brandcrush and get paid to activate for like-minded brands.” Teresa says.

Who’s Using It?

Since launching into the US market, Brandcrush has made significant headway in health and wellness, hospitality and corporate markets, with a number of premier businesses already listed Activation Hosts on the platform including Bluestone Lane Cafes, Project by Equinox, SLT, Row House and Y7. Globally, Brandcrush has already been used by a number of multinational brands like Mondelez, Ferrero, Garnier, Asahi, Coty, Uncle Toby’s, L’Oreal, Red Bull and Covergirl.

2020 and Beyond

Teresa’s vision is for Brandcrush to be the Airbnb of Experiential Marketing.

“Within a few years, we hope to see Brandcrush used by thousands of brand marketers to discover and book scalable, targeted real-world activations via a massive network of premium businesses and events around the world, ” she says.

By 2022, Teresa aims to have 160,000 activation spaces listed on Brandcrush as the platform expands further into the US market. By 2025, Brandcrush will be a global MarTech solution, having expanded its reach into new markets in Europe and India.

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