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Consumer Experiences

Setting the Stage: Our SXSW Experience and What it Means

By | Ad Industry, Consumer Experiences, Powerhouse News | No Comments

Long before we landed our first big client, we lived for music and design. The trick was to find the intersection between the big brands and our art. From a ramshackle garage near Western Kentucky University, we spent countless nights pulling prints. After distributing our first gig posters, we realized just how powerful the medium could be. We immersed ourselves in the music and found ways to create new and authentic connections between sounds and personas, musicians and fans. Our team began looking at bands and brands through the same cultural lens. We earned the attention of both camps—and their fans.

Every spring since 2006, we’ve made the pilgrimage down to South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. It’s the site of Flatstock, a colorful and inspiring exhibition of rock posters where we show and sell fresh-pulled prints. As our capabilities have expanded, so too has our presence. This year, we sent down a whole crew of business developers, event marketing pros, and word-of-mouth specialists. It was part of a grander effort culminating in our two-day open door music showcase: BAM! The Future of Rock and Roll. Check out the video below of our SXSW experience and read more after the jump.

SXSW 2015 Wrap Up from Powerhouse Factories on Vimeo.

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Best-In-Class Social Era Activations at SXSW

By | Consumer Experiences, Powerhouse News | No Comments

When 700 people showed up at the first South by Southwest (SXSW) music fest in 1987, the organizers couldn’t believe their luck. They’d expected a waaay more modest turnout—150 at most. But those 700 registrants knew then what 51,000 know now: Austin’s eclectic music history and ready-to-party roots make it an ideal stage to showcase the newest and best bands, brands, films and tech.

This year, we sent a special-ops team of social, music and event marketing experts to experience and document how brands connect with social-era millennial consumers through experiential activations. Sure, we’ve set up our poster shop at big music festivals for nearly a decade. But this is the first year that selling gig posters wasn’t the main focus. We also analyzed the success and failure of some big-time brand activations. Read More

A Looming Industry Shift—Evolving Business to Embrace Gen-Y Hacker Mentality

By | Consumer Experiences, Cultural Trends, Powerhouse News | No Comments

It has been a busy fall for Powerhouse Trends! When my colleague Taylor Wiegert, Powerhouse Director of Social and Digital Engagement, and I were recently invited to speak at the D2Cincinnati Conference on Evolving Business to Embrace Gen-Y Hacker Mentality, we decided to take an unconventional approach. Together we created an interactive Tumblr to illuminate the most disruptive changes in the marketing landscape as the vehicle for our presentation. Read More

PHF’s Taylor Wiegert and Emily Worstell Talk Gen-Y Culture and Hacker Mentality at D2Cincinnati

By | Consumer Experiences, Cultural Trends | No Comments

Powerhouse Factories’ consumer experiences expert Taylor Wiegert and trends expert Emily Worstell are talking the Gen-Y consumer’s growing influence in the global economy at the D2Cincinnati Conference September 11th and 12th. During the talk, titled, “Evolving Business to Embrace Gen-Y Culture and Hacker Mentality,” Worstell and Wiegert discuss how Gen-Y’s purchasing power and deeply engrained hacker mentality is helping to redefine the roles brands play in our lives. The duo will detail what this looming industry shift means and why it’s critical for markets to understand the changing expectation, values and behaviors now, not later. Read More

Everyone Calm Down, The VMAs Were Not in Fact the Death of Culture

By | Consumer Experiences, Cultural Trends | No Comments

I am not bothered or unsettled by the MTV VMA performances or what they may or may not say about the state of culture. And least of all I’m not bothered by the Google trending elephant in the room. This post isn’t about the particular VMA performance that blew up the social interwebs Sunday. Instead, it is about the gullible, shallow assessments of something we all—as consumers, marketing professionals, designers and generally sophisticated and sentient beings—should be more aware of: that anything connected to or representative of culture is complex and encoded with multiple layers of meaning. The VMAs, like many cultural activities, are spectacles and unearth a wide spectrum of emotions. They make you feel something, for better or worse; attraction or aversion, allegiance or avoidance, appreciation or appall. The VMAs are also designed to serve as entertainment. All of the performances were designed, truly conceptualized and constructed, to cause a reaction. Inevitably some were better executed than others. To place sole ownership of the performance squarely on the performer is short-sighted, and frankly quaint, given what is known about the level of planning, design and marketing that goes into displays like this. As marketers, designers and social commenters, we, of all people, should be sensitive to products (including people as products) and experiences that are coded with multiple layers of meaning and references. Read More