If you were on social media this weekend you might have noticed it’s time for a new season:
Yup, this weekend was the start of Coachella — in other words, festival attire, body glitter and all of the boho vibes you could imagine in a single, palm-tree studded desert landscape.
Without a doubt Coachella has become one of the most popular music festivals in North America. Not just a music festival, this iconic event is an experience — encompassing beauty, art, lifestyle — the whole nine. Making the trek out to the desert isn’t that easy and if you don’t like crowds then you’re better off staying home and enjoying ‘Couchella’ (YouTube is my BFF during festival season!).
For brands Coachella is an opportunity to set up shop and engage with social media influencers, bloggers and thousands of fans during the two weekends the festival takes place.
Coachella + Beauty Trends
Though this year the hype seemed to be a bit more muted than in the past, there was still a strong showing for the first weekend of the music festival.
YSL Beauty’s Pop-up was the first stop for concert attendees. Located in Cathedral City, YSL Beauty created a gas station all decked out in beauty products and some exclusive launches – the first brand experience created for the general public.
While the YSL Beauty Pop-up is high on the list of must-see stops on the way to Coachella there’s been a noticeable decline in brands participating in the two-weekend event. In some cases, a different approach entirely was made by brands – both fashion + beauty – at the music festival. Some might remember the expansive presence of Sephora at Coachella, complete with air conditioned tents and complimentary makeup or hair styling, but this year it’s presence was much smaller. H&M also changed things up by creating an ambassador squad instead of hosting an event as it had in years past.
Does this have a big impact on marketing the brands? Some say not really – in fact, many of the major brands that experienced success at the music festival did so because the brand was being showcased organically – meaning worn and shared on social media by attendees – more than by gaining exposure through special events.
If you think about it, what do you see more of on social media – the brand experiences or the range in looks and experiences straight from the attendees themselves? Shoppers are more likely going to be interested in something their favorite IG influencers are wearing rather than the major brand holding a pop-up for festival guests.
Even though the lineup to Coachella is often pretty spectacular it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that a good portion of the hype surrounding the event is the vibe. It’s fun to wear glittery looks, bohemian outfits and take a million and one pictures for Instagram – I wouldn’t even be surprised if the music itself was taken away that it would still draw a large crowd simply because of the atmosphere!
The influencer vibe is an attractive one for brands because they know that there are going to be a lot of eyes on the content – but it could cause a decline in engagement before or after Coachella, too. For example, popular influencers are often paid LOTS of money by brands to represent them as ambassadors during Coachella but then they don’t really post much about the brand after that. As a brand, it’s a better investment to work with influencers who fit your image overall than just going with a popular influencer for singular events.
With the changing landscape for music festivals like Coachella it’s about working within your means to get the exposure you want whether that’s through creating unique, omnichannel experiences like YSL Beauty’s Pop-Up or scaling back and knowing that most of your exposure will be made through social media in an organic way.
How do you keep the momentum going? Once you build up new fans through exposure during Coachella, you’re going to want to keep providing them with good content. A blog on your website is a great way to stay connected and share information about your brand and products, as well as creating an email list where you send out newsletters.
Don’t let the potential of Coachella (or any other major event) pass you by — take advantage of the spike in attention and use it to boost sales for the rest of the year by attracting your audience and keeping them!