The key to selling your product is all about experience says Opera Australia’s marketing boss

Consumers want experiences not products, Opera Australia head of marketing & tourism John Quertermous has said with this insight key to Sydney Opera’s rebrand.


John Quertermous: Consumers want an experience

Yesterday, at the Mumbrella Entertainment Marketing Summit, Quertermous told the audience how he had to change the way the opera was sold.

Instead of selling the opera as an event you go and see, Quertermous began to sell it as an experience: “the best night that you can possibly have in Sydney”.

“When creating an advertisement or re-branding campaigns it’s about making the audience the star and addressing a need that your target audience may have” he said.

Speaking during a session on how to grow community followers, he said your product has to offer “something that’s going to make you feel deeply” and you must “actually [address] the need that people in 2016 have, to say this is going to help you impress other people”.

Quertermous asked marketers to change the way they advertise their product, instead of showing literal images of the product to display an idea and “show people what they’re going to feel” when the product is purchased.

“It is a risk and we need the expertise of our agencies and partners like Foundation” he said.

Rachael Lonergan, Foundation head of strategy, shared the three opportunities she seized when helping re-brand Opera Australia.

Rachael Lonergan:

Rachael Lonergan: If you see people like you enjoying the opera, chances are you might also enjoy opera

Opera Australia needed “to begin acting as an entertainment brand rather than an arts company” and in order to deliver higher value performances they needed to “make them as accessible as possible” ensuring the “celebration of audiences and [showing] people who those audiences are”, she said.

“Because we are people who gravitate towards people who look like us and if you see people like you enjoying the opera, chances are you might also enjoy opera.”

In the new Opera Australia campaign, “the audience and the experience is highlighted just as much, if not more than, what’s going on on stage and it’s not about any one particular opera,” said Quertermous.

Before concluding his talk Quertermous shared the best piece of advice he has ever been given: “drink with your customers, drink with your customers frequently and often because when you do that, you can find out why they’re there”.


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