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When the journey becomes the experience

Our Managing Director Laura reflects on a luxurious trip aboard the Orient Express.  

I recently had the incredible opportunity to travel aboard the Orient Express with the Belmond Group. This train is iconic, and rightly so. The panoramic views along the way were stunning, and the tracks winding through Europe added to the overall charm. But what really blew me away was the experience. From the elegant interiors to the incredible food, it was pure luxury from start to finish.   

Here at Yellow Fish, we’re all about finding ways to make travel part of the experience or integrating the journey into the flow of a campaign. On the Orient Express, the journey is the experience! It got me thinking about how we can use this in our experience brand planning. Here are some of my main takeaways:  

Create a space to truly capture your audience if you want to educate them on your brand.  

Once on board, the carriages are meticulously designed, leaving you completely absorbed in the experience. Your mind can’t wander, and you are immersed in the details. Thoughtful experience clues like writing a postcard to my children stamped by the steward or the smell of freshly squeezed peaches in Italy for the signature Bellini all added to the brand immersion. I became an expert on the brand because my mind was focused.   

As we create experiences for our clients, I’ll be thinking about how we can build an environment that captures the audience’s attention and allows them time to truly focus on the details and intricacies of the brand. 

Making memories and transformative experiences  

This train journey was about more than just getting from A to B. I was transported back in time, through stories and adventures from the past that had taken place within these very same carriages. 

photo of a mountain taken from a carriage on the Orient Express

Brand experiences must be memorable, or they can’t live beyond the four walls they exist in. It’s not just about engaging the audience; it’s about creating emotional connections. We need to leave a lasting impression, something that lingers in minds long after the experience is over. It’s about changing perspectives.

True escapism  

When brands ask experiential marketeers to help their audiences to escape the mundane or take a break from reality, we naturally signpost them to activating somewhere that transports them from their everyday lives. 
A remote haven like no other, for those 24 hours on the Orient Express, I completely forgot about my everyday worries. I was fully present yet, lost in the experience of being on that train. And that’s what we should aim for when creating brand experiences – genuine escapism.

image of multiple polaroid snaps taken on the Orient Express

 It’s really got me thinking about how we create brand experiences that transport and excite the audience and imprint memories in minds long past the actual experience.   

As an agency, we strive to go beyond the ordinary. We are uniquely placed to help brands identify and work with iconic destinations or experiences and weave their own story around them to make them truly own-able and unique.  Whether it’s intimate or on a larger scale, speak to us about how we can collaborate to create a memorable experience that you set your brand apart. 

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