The prestigious Bavarian beer festival ‘Oktoberfest’ is over for another year, with 7.5 million litres of alcohol being consumed by a whopping 7.2 million people who have now conceded to their week-long hangover.
But what can brands learn from an event that remains successful by doing pretty much the same thing every year for over 200 years?
“Wiesn Bekanntschaft” is a phrase used between locals and tourists visiting the festival and means “Oktoberfest acquaintance.” Visitors understand that meeting new people from different countries and backgrounds over a refreshing beverage at the world-renowned festival is a unique experience. Strong bonds can form among people who would have never been likely to meet each other without attending the festival.
These bonding factors of Oktoberfest can be used as inspiration to marketers for any campaign. Knowing there will be a wide variety of people talking about and engaging with the product or event is great for any brand.
Lowering prices isn’t always the best solution
The average cost of a stein at Oktoberfest is €11. However, this does not deter people from flocking to the event. Every year for the past 25 years, more people are attending the beer festival. Consequently, this leads to more beer being consumed. What does this mean? Lowering prices doesn’t always translate to more customers.
Be creative with your positioning and branding
Beer has been around for a long time in Bavaria. The oldest beer at Oktoberfest is Augustiner-Bräu. This brand rarely changes its label and never exports its beer. The brand didn’t change the shape of its bottle when it was popular to do so and is the only brewery at the festival to serve from traditional, wooden barrels. Unsurprisingly, this beer is the most popular and is noted by the locals as the best beer at Oktoberfest. This shows that producing a high-quality product and sticking to it can often be the best way to build a brand.
Sell an experience
Oktoberfest succeeds in giving its visitors an experience they will never forget, which brands should look at doing every time. Visitors of Oktoberfest attend for many different reasons. Some may go to a specific tent for its unique menu, or because they like the band or the décor. Individually, these are all great, but when you add them up, they create an experience that is hard to replicate. Every small detail contributes to the experience.
Brands should also come up with a clever name or tagline to define and brand their experience. At Oktoberfest, it’s called gemütlichkeit which conveys the state of friendliness and good cheer. Whenever gemütlichkeit is mentioned in the famous Oktoberfest song, it’s custom that people toast. Obviously, whenever people toast, they drink. Unsurprisingley, the song is played often, and the tents profit.
Don’t stop when the event ends
Releasing positive information, interviews, and post-event feedback is crucial for events to strengthen their brand year on year. On the Oktoberfest website, they present the measurements from the previous year. Measuring the success of an events marketing campaign is crucial in adapting to changing consumer desires and demands.
Over the years Oktoberfest has refined these 5 simple techniques, and by doing the basics right, can produce a consistently successful event annually. Something other brands should look at and take note.
Have a look at how we teamed up with Allied London to deliver a pop-up attraction and bar to create a memorable experience on the streets of Manchester.
Read more: https://holdens.agency/work/allied-london/