Articles

Next Level Brand Experiences

In Campaigns, Strategy, Tools on April 2, 2012 by Jox Tagged: , , , , , ,

Experiential Marketing is about bringing the brand to life. It can build awareness and induce trial at the same time. Moreover, actual consumer reactions are captured in an instant. There is clutter in traditional media channels and messages are cut to fit into 30 seconds while advertisers are hoping for positive reactions that will be captured and reported a month later by research agencies.

Experiential marketing is a fully customizable medium that brands can take advantage of in talking to the consumers. It is not enough to just go out there and start plastering logos on random available spaces. Or worse, placing annoying mascots or spokespersons in busy places interrupting people with skits and flyers. Brands must create memories with consumers through exciting experiences…experiences they are willing to witness and take part of.

Based on my experience with activation and events marketing, consumers just don’t need to try your products via free tasting or service but they must get the brand message upon leaving the venue. The best experiential campaigns are those that become viral and sustainable.

Next-level experiential marketing makes use of technology and revolutionary techniques in order to strategically enhance consumer impressions. The most common trend lately is linking online interactions with offline experiences. These holistic experiences allow consumers to be excited about brands which is usually not induced by commercials.

Below are some examples that take sampling, events, and retail marketing to the next level.

TARGETED SAMPLING: TEMPTATIONS BY JELL-O

A vending machine that dispenses a free sample accurately detects target consumers via age recognition technology. Much to their dismay, kids were politely refused to be given any. I believe this technology effectively eliminates manpower training and implementation risks. I just wish that aside from dispensing products, the machine could have been more interactive in capturing information about consumers and their reactions which is an advantage of experiential marketing.

ONLINE TO OFFLINE EVENTS: T-MOBILE BARCELONA

Angry Birds has taken over the virtual world by storm such that T-mobile brought the experience in real life for passersby to witness. I like how subtle the company approached the opportunity by placing the game in the forefront rather than the brand. The event achieved 100% excitement but it always boils down to subscriptions.

“SOCIAL RETAILING”: MACY’S FITTING ROOM

Convenience is essential in experiential marketing. If it is such a hassle for consumers to participate, they easily lose interest and they eventually leave. Fitting clothes can be tedious and shoppers remain skeptic in buying clothes that they see on skinny mannequins or models. They can get disappointed once they have gone through the ordeal of fitting only to find out they look worse than usual. The magic fitting room answers convenience and the proverbial question, “Will I look good in this?” I wonder how the technology facilitated “impulse buying”.

Over-all, I think these are just some important points in crafting experiential campaigns for today’s fickle consumers:

1. Excite then inform: Hype is important to scale how much participation is going to be captured before the launch. Buzz can go viral but craft the communication points such that consumers know where to witness the reveal. For campaigns that involve “never-been-done” activities, set the “be-the-first-to-experience” bait.

2. Make the information accessible: People are always inquisitive especially if the information is relevant to them. Make sure that it is your company or agency that provides the know-how to inquirers for accuracy and credibility. It’s good when others are talking about it but messages always evolve through a long chain. Just be present wherever the questions will pop out.

3. Convenience is key: As said in the example above, consumers lose interest when it is such a hassle for them to go through your gimmick. Make the experience simple but impactful. Present incentives right away but never bribe them. It is an automatic turn-off and credibility is flushed down the drain. Present the incentives yet make the consumers earn them conveniently.

4. Strike consumers at the right time and place: This part is always tricky but research provides guide in contact planning. Engage consumers when they want to. It is in the quality of interactions and not in the number of hits that make an event effective.

5. Create a string of experiences: Also as said earlier, successful campaigns are viral and sustainable. One experience can be intense and memorable while there are some that require a holistic approach to reinforce the message. Whichever it is, never stop communicating with the consumer. This doesn’t mean to be intrusive and annoying but be present in the most significant venues and times. What’s good with experiential marketing is that it can connect with other media for it to continue e.g. TV coverage, online presence, radio promo components, etc.

To reiterate, experiential marketing is customizable and adjustable with the needs of the brand and the availability of the consumers. It should be viewed as an independently effective tool and not just a support in extending TV-driven campaigns.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: