RETHINKING BRAND EXPERIENCES IN THE REDWOODS
14 SEPTEMBER 2017
PARTNER | CEO
In a digitally dominated age, you’ve got to truly go back to your roots to find yourself — in this case quite literally. This past weekend, 500 social tastemakers including artists, designers, entrepreneurs, and brand marketers descended on Camp Navarro seeking respite from the world and a unique opportunity to blend culture, brands, and experience in a potent cocktail mixed among the towering Redwoods of Northern California.
For 3 days, Camp Navarro was taken over by OUTPOST, a new breed of tradeshow meant to entice and excite the senses through bespoke brand experiences. It’s part festival, part tradeshow and part adult summer camp.
From fireside cooking classes with a celebrity chef to a Teva-sponsored s’mores event in partnership with Nineteen27 S’mores, brands created an authentic way to experience their products — in the environment they were designed for.
An impromptu Trading Post treated guests to product demos and gifts — a welcome break from the buzzing florescent lights of a typical trade show floor. Mountain Hardware challenged guests to climb a giant redwood or join them for a bouldering workshop at nearby Navarro Beach.
Chaco teamed up with Chillbo to create a beach lounge and river float experience inviting participants to explore their inner zen while watching osprey dive at sea otters as the tide came in.
Bulleit Bourbon served up hand-crafted cocktails from their Teardrop Trailer Bar while Annie’s served up a DJ set and piles of bacon mac and cheese for those late-night snackers. Fly fishing demos, falconry, forage forest dying classes, and a Sip and Sketch workshop were among a few of my favorites.
At every turn, attendees were invited to participate alongside brands to experience products in a social, hands-on environment. There was no selling — just experiencing. Contrary to a long sales and adoption cycle for consumers, this kind of brand experience can create instant conversion and advocacy. Seeding products to influencers is one way to create social amplification by allowing your target customers and tastemakers to step into a world that you’ve created, curated for them and populated by them.
At Manifesto, “We believe in the immutable power of story and those who create it.” Events like OUTPOST are the tip of the spear experiences that can build brand loyalty by telling authentic brand stories that create converts overnight — even when sleeping in a tent.
For more details on OUTPOST, check out their upcoming events.
photo credits: @outposttrade