For effective tavern activations, know your environment. This seems like an obvious statement, but certainly one to be reiterated if brands are to effectively reach their desired consumer.
Taverns, pubs and clubs are an integral part of our communities and for brands wanting to tap into this market, the key lies in creating experiences that are not only memorable but fit seamlessly and in a relevant manner with both the environment and patron profile. This is key.
Many activations consider either one or the other, without taking all factors into consideration. For example, branded fridges are sleek and eye-catching, but are of no use if power supply is expensive or unreliable. Furthermore, when they are not in operation, the fridge does a brand a disservice, rather than soliciting the desire to consume that product.
In some activations, a campaign idea is excellent but no one has taken the time to do a diligent reconnaissance of the locale and surrounding area. For example is there a carwash nearby where further branding can be applied? What other retail outlets are in the area? Is there a taxi rank or train station nearby where the product can be featured on transit.tv? When implementing campaigns in tavern, pub and club environments all factors need to be considered if a campaign is to be a resounding and memorable success.
The key insights
With this in mind we recently undertook a research initiative to garner insights and learn about trends across all of these environments. The research reflected a distinct change in landscape and consumer habits:
1. For starters, many taverns are being upgraded. With franchises entering townships, coupled with the demands of the urban visitor; taverns are being enhanced with formal seating, ATMs and refurbished bars. Sport is becoming more of an attraction with live screening of games, especially soccer, on large screens.
2. There is an ever-growing product range. Patrons want premium products as well as ciders, mixes, champagne and whiskey.
3. Patrons want entertainment value. As a result, taverns have introduced live music, DJs and pool tables to meet customer demands and ensure their loyalty.
4. With malls being built in townships and outlying areas, franchises are impacting on local pubs and taverns. However, research shows that they service different needs. A franchise pub environment is visited on special occasions or at month end, as there is a cost consideration. People are still loyal to their local “watering hole” for weekly visits.
Part of the consumer’s daily journey
Taverns, pubs and clubs are part of the consumer’s daily journey and thus form part of a greater network of touch points. Taking a brand message to the consumer by means of various OOH elements that they connect and interact with throughout the day makes for extremely powerful campaigns. From branding and activations in stations and ranks to communication on transit.tv and then in taverns; brands can become an integral part of a consumer’s life. And this is what ultimately drives sales and loyalty.
- Taverns are 67% male dominated with an average patron age of 37 years.
- Patrons fall into an LSM 4-8 group with an average household income of R7 354.
- They visit taverns three to four times per week and stay for approximately one hour and 35 minutes.
- Nationally, 1,5 million consumers visit taverns every week.
For all marketers, the consumer journey from prospect to trialist through to advocate remains the ‘Holy Grail’. Brand recall is optimally increased when activations form part of the marketing mix. Talking to these prospective consumers in a memorable and meaningful manner shifts brand perception and ultimately the impact is seen on the bottom line.
Vaughan Barry is a director of Provantage.