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Making your Brand Mean More with Experiential Marketing

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Making your Brand Mean More with Experiential Marketing

By Natalia Ashton-Togher

The world has changed and the ‘traditional shopper’ no longer exists. Gone are the days of brand loyalty based on location and impulse – the digital era has created savvy shoppers who have become much more astute.

These shoppers have also developed a lack of trust in brands – instead they look for recommendations and word of mouth from friends and family. They also dip in and out of the sales cycle more than ever before.

Consumers are demanding more from their brands and have become more averse to marketing tactics, so communications need to feel more genuine and meaningful if you want to land your brand message.

Brands in the know are looking at new and innovative ways to deliver ‘conversational campaigns’, which are still rooted in big idea thinking but deployed through channels that mean more to their customers. This doesn’t mean all channels, but the ones where their audience is truly ‘hanging out’ and where they get to ‘spend time’ with them.

Campaigns that create a more sensory experience are helping brands mean more to their customers and colleagues by building really deep connections that not only work, but that audiences are willing to talk about on social (a modern word-of-mouth you might call it).

Utilising all the senses (sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste), more experiential campaigns allow brands to engage with their audience in a really authentic and meaningful way. More personal experiences can convey a brand message to an established audience, or it can be a strong mechanic to change perceptions of a brand.

They can be deployed through all communication channels, but the very foundation needs to be creating dialogue and interaction with your brand that is memorable and immersive – encouraging the audience to do something or get involved. The more senses that are awoken, the more consumers remember.

It can also, but doesn’t have to be, a one-off activity. It can be your main campaign, which you might deploy across your entire estate and marketing channels, but it has to be something that creates a genuine emotional tie to your brand.

And experiences bring your brand’s message to life for both external and internal audiences too. Remember, in many instances your colleagues are as big a part of your campaign as the campaign itself!

By observing how your audience engages with your brand experiences, it allows you to be seen as more ‘likeable’ but, by being there for your audience at the right time, it also allows you to be seen as much more intuitive and genuine.

So, if at the moment you aren’t putting a brand experience at the heart of your marketing and communications strategy, then ask yourself why.

Audiences are putting out all the right signals to say that they want to engage with brands that are more aligned to their personalities, you just need to take the time to listen to them and let them know why your brand matters to them.