The live entertainment market in India is thriving with demand and consumption having undergone a sea change in recent years. Today more and more people are planning and attending galas, gigs and extravaganzas to celebrate and entertain.
For brands, the current scenario presents an excellent opportunity to create value for customers and build a lasting relationship, enhance consumer connect and brand experiences. The aim is to bond with the consumer on a level where the brand is associated with a memorable and fun experience. It works on the basic marketing psychology — when a brand evokes positive emotions within a consumer then they are more likely to associate those emotions with that brand.
Through personal experience, live events have immense positive impact on consumer behaviour and have the tendency to mobilise consumers. Brands today have understood the scenario and are sponsoring events, coming up with properties and associating with live events. For instance, traditional publishers and broadcasters have expanded their participation and are introducing unique live events like HT Style Awards, Society Young Achievers and NDTV Gadget Guru Awards, to name a few. Live events are seeking to unlock new sources of revenue growth from brands and fan bases beyond traditional advertising and subscriptions.
Finding the right fit for brands and consumers
A successful live entertainment event and consumer demand lean heavily on the kind of artists on board. Each consumer segment has their own choices and preferences. If the brand creates the right kind of entertainment for its consumers, it will lead to increased brand affinity and stronger relationships.
A kid’s brand will benefit creating a live act with fun artists like a magician on board, whereas a brand targeting the youth can benefit by creating events with standup comedy artists or youth music icons. For example, Sula Wines has its own live entertainment property Sulafest. The cool, weekend festival is a decade old, and has been highly successful in targeting and attracting urbane, cosmopolitan crowd — the brand’s primary target audience. Sulafest has been conceptualised on the lines of a World Music Festival and has over 100 artists onboard.
The key here is to find the right artists for the gig and scout for the perfect talent to represent a brand’s image and the target consumer group. The process here is tedious with many challenges in finding the right kind of entertainers who fit the brand portfolio, approaching multiple middlemen, looking out for talent in various directions, scarce information on the kind of costs/budgets, et al.
Creating a platform to connect with live entertainers
The solution then is to do something truly disruptive within the market which would be a one-stop shop to cater to innovative and customised solutions for the marketer looking to create live experiences.
The idea is for live entertainers and artists — across portfolios to be available for bookings on a unified platform. From the marketing perspective, it is a huge tool to tap artists’ fanbases who are consumers of your brand or hiring artists who match the tastes of the brand’s target audience. The platform or marketplace can feature artists right from mainstream, commercial Bollywood celebrities to offbeat, edgy and unconventional entertainers like magicians, musicians, DJs, comic artists, motivational speakers etc. The aim is not only to save time, but also create a seamless and transparent experience where marketers can tailor-make the live event via an online marketplace.
An average marketing person’s viewpoint will get revolutionised, who in spite of many benefits, view live events as a tedious, time-consuming and over-budget idea. Platforms such as these are highly cost-effective, transparent and are the future of planning events in the country. Though in a relatively nascent stage, the way we see it, live entertainment by brands is sure to surge given the entry of online players in the space.
The author is Anirban Blah, CEO, Gigstart