How Brands Can Profit From Consumer Experiences

It’s 3:00 PM and you’re on your third cup of coffee. For some reason, no matter how hard you try, you can’t escape the exhaustion. Worse still, you can’t leave for the day because you have to finalize your presentation for the board meeting tomorrow. Wouldn’t a nap be ideal right about now?

As you read this, you’re probably nodding your head in agreement, thinking about the last time you needed a nap while at work. So, how much would you be willing to pay for that nap?

Casper, the nascent mattress manufacturer, seems to think $25 for 45 minutes of shuteye is just right. And, in their latest marketing campaign, they’re offering inhabitants – and visitors – of the city that never sleeps the chance to chase some dreams. Dubbed “The Dreamery,” nap-seekers have their own pod, complete with a Casper mattress, pajamas, and dental hygiene products.


(Image Credit: Business Insider)


The intent of this is to have consumers complete their nap and go next door to buy a Casper mattress. However, where this differs from the traditional marketing campaign is that Casper is asking for consumers to pay for the experience. Not only does this provide a revenue stream (or at least subsidize the cost of the project), it gives consumers a real opportunity to experience the brand.

Casper isn’t the only brand that has asked consumers to pay for a branded experience. Kellogg’s has, too. At Kellogg’s NYC, consumers in the heart of NYC can pay to eat cereals, play a variety of games, and Instagram their own DIY culinary creations. Cheetos, too, elected to have consumers pay for their experience at The Spotted Cheetah last year, a pop-up restaurant featuring scaled-up dishes with Cheetos as an ingredient.

If Casper, Kellogg’s, and Cheetos can do it, the question becomes, what makes a branded experience worth paying for? There’s no simple answer to that question. However, if you’re providing real, tangible value that can’t be emulated elsewhere, then why not charge for it?

Oftentimes, we as marketers think that campaigns need to be “free” for the consumer. The reality, though, is that in today’s experience-based economy, consumers are willing to pay to play as long as it’s worth their while. Therefore, the next time you elect to create an experience for your brand, ask yourself this simple question: is this something that I’d be willing to pay for? 

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