Engaging consumers using a brand experience can be an incredibly valuable tool for building trust, trial and dialogue. Market reports over the past few years have proved that well-conceived experiences have the power to stimulate real conversations between consumers and brands, driving understanding and advocacy. Whilst there aren’t set ways to create a brand experience, here are a few common starting points that brands can use to create valued campaigns.
1. Embrace a current trend
People often love to feel “in” with the latest trends, this especially applies to influencers/key opinion leaders. Not only is it fun discovering new things, it gives us something fresh and interesting to talk about with friends. Brands that help consumers find and understand new trends will always be welcomed.
Great example: eBay Window Shopping eBay’s pop-up experience in New York capitalised on interest in QR codes to give new meaning to the term “window shopping”.
2. Surprise and delight
Creating a surprising, off-beat brand experience is a brilliant way to generate positive, brand connections that are memorable and talked about. By making consumers feel that they are part of something special you can turn a one-off campaign into long-term relationship.
Great example: Coca-Cola Open Happiness campaign Since 2009 Coca-Cola has run the “Open Happiness” campaign that has consisted of dozens of experiential stunts, all over the world, that play with the idea of bringing a little happiness into people’s lives. Here is a good example of a Coca-Cola Happiness vending machine in action.
3. Provide a service at a time of need
Being on-hand to satisfy a need can be a highly effective way to get people to engage with your brand. Having a go-to stand at festivals and events providing phone charging or toiletries is one way. But you don’t have to limit it to events, the Sprite campaign below is a brilliant example of a brand creating a novel experience at just the right time.
Great example: Sprite Showers As part of Sprit Brazil’s long-running “Refresh Your Ideas” campaign the brand put a shower that looked like a giant drinks dispenser on a beach in Rio de Janeiro. After a sweltering day on the beach the showers were much appreciated and surely got people thinking about how refreshing a Sprite would be.
4. Create something to share
Generating an experience that people want to share, either online or in the real world, is a sure fire way to add value to campaign. In fact, in a survey released by Nielsen earlier in the year, 92% consumers asked said they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising.
Great example: T-Mobile – Welcome Back Part of a wider campaign called “Life is for Sharing”; Welcome Back teamed humour with a heart-warming theme to encourage people to talk about and share the campaign. The official YouTube view count is now over 12 million and, if asked, I expect most people in the UK would be able to not only recall the stunt but also the brand.
5. Build an immersive environment
Examples of permanent immersive environments include LEGOLAND, Android World, Nissan’s Innovation Station at the O2 and the famous Guinness Storehouse. By creating a walk-in immersive environment, a carefully branded space can be transformed from a destination to a sensory experience that can leave a lasting impression.
Great example: Heineken concept club In May this year Heineken unveiled its “club concept” at the Milan Design Fair, which celebrated the brand’s connection with the world of design in a 360 degree brand experience.
6. Give something back
Sponsorship can be a great platform for integrated brand experiences. But rather than just focusing on big sports or music events, brands can also stand out by supporting localised, community projects in order to “give something back”. By adopting this strategy, brands can develop strong local ties with consumers, building reputations through positive association at relevant local levels.
Great example: Sky Rides Under the creative concept “everyone’s invited” Sky joined forces with British Cycling to provide a full schedule of community cycling events designed to encourage people to get on their bikes. The campaign successfully links Sky to a project hat is about more than the services it supplies as a business.
Here at BEcause, many of our experiential marketing campaigns are built around these kinds of principles. Ultimately, our aim is to get people talking with and about brands they experience. If you want to explore more creative ways that you can connect with consumers then don’t hesitate to get in touch!