Customers are moving from collecting products to collecting experiences: Siddhartha Bhutalia, CMO, AirAsia

Bhutalia was speaking at the 3rd edition of BW Applause and Marketing Summit and Awards in New Delhi.


At the recently concluded 3rd edition of BW Applause and Marketing Summit and Awards, Siddhartha Bhutalia, CMO, AirAsia delivered a keynote on “Growing relevance of experiential marketing in the travel industry.”

He began by underling that travel is very intrisnically experiential and the overall approach to marketing has evolved from being product and scale to being exprience and personality.

“What I have learned in travel is that it is very intrinsically experiential. One of the reasons why we all are here today is because of the experience of connecting, whether that be connecting people or connecting to different places. It is the experiences that you collect which makes your identity, and it is the travel that you do that allow you to feel those new experiences”, said Bhutalia.

The AirAsia CMO also spoke about why brands still spend big on digital than experiential despite the latter having more impact.

“I believe that there is a dichotomy between digital and experiential and with majority of spends going towards digital across brands today. The consumer touch points today have also moved towards digital, so as experiential marketers it is important for us to think that how we can continue to build an experiential tangible connect with individuals as brands where entire customer journey is moving from digital touch-points to physical touch-points.”

Bhutalia also spoke about how customers are slowly moving from collecting products/goods to collecting experiences. 

He said, “If you map the journey of airline travel across time, the price of it has gone inversely down. The experience it used to be is no longer the same and has turned more into being a commodity. And that has an impact on the margins in the airline industry. When we look for experiences, they are nothing but memories. Experiences are essentially made up of time and micro-moments and all of that defines how you interact with different brands and engagements throughout that journey.”

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