skirt around embarrassing issues when dealing with something as important as
recently read an interesting article on The Marketer’s fantastic new website
that got us talking. The piece, by Philip Graves titled Marketing
the Unmentionable, looked at the psychology of embarrassment and how
marketers could use that to drive home important messages.
our perspective sometimes it’s essential that marketing approaches don’t skirt
round embarrassing issues – especially where health products and services are
recent months we have been talking to hundreds of people a day on the street
about “blood in their poo” for a Department of Health campaign. The
approach is designed to encourage the public to think and act when they spot
the symptoms of bowel cancer.
tactic may seem little uneasy on the eyes and could be seen as something that
would make the public turn and flee, but at the route of it blood in poo is
actually a telling symptom of bowel cancer. So why avoid saying it?
interesting is just how receptive the general public has been to this honest,
straight-talking face-to-face campaign. Often taking the first step
to facing embarrassing problems is the biggest barrier. Providing people
with a friendly, knowledgeable ear during their daily routine makes it
easier for people to ask questions and address concerns – either for themselves
or a friend and family member.
an age where consumers are increasingly sceptical of organisations that paint
over real issues, a little honest face to face conversation can go a
very long way in building consumer trust.
When planning a campaign that uses brand ambassadors to encourage consumers to try a product or trust a service, we make sure we are working with the very best. Charlie Kneen, BEcause Field Services Executive, looks at why it’s important to hire the right people to do the talking.
At BEcause we see the recruitment and retention of effective brand ambassadors as essential to delivering great brand experiences. When preparing a brand experience all the ideas, planning and training comes down to one moment; the moment a brand ambassador engages with a consumer. So it is imperative we make that moment count.
are the key attributes we look for in brand ambassadors?
Every passing consumer matters. Our brand ambassadors are selected based on
their willingness to approach people and ability to deliver the key brand
messages. There is a fine line between
being proactive and being a nuisance. We
look for engagement, not bombardment and brand ambassadors who are proactive
but also find a way to connect with each consumer individually will help build
trust and drive consumer engagement.
We are very aware that brand ambassadors are
representing the brand so they need to handle themselves
professionally at all times. Recruiting brand ambassadors who take real pride
in every job and are professional, yet approachable, will enable them to
contribute fully to a live campaign.
It is important that brand ambassadors fully
understand the key messages, the product and the broader campaign so they can
promote the brand through conversation.
We arm brand ambassadors with the confidence to deal with varied positive
and negative questions from consumers by making sure they know the product or
service inside out. Beyond training we profile brand ambassadors on every
campaign to ensure that they have the right background, experience and passion
for the brand they are working for.
Our brand ambassadors have to be able make a
strong positive impression and this is achieved by saying the right things
clearly and concisely. Brand ambassadors
should be natural communicators who understand how to build rapport quickly
with each consumer they encounter.
Selecting brand ambassadors who, quite simply, know how to talk and when
to listen will help ensure that consumers walk away from the experience with a
positive feeling. This in turn will
massage the desire to purchase and potentially lead to the consumer being a
true advocate of the brand and product.
A recent survey from Keller Fay suggested that
92% of respondents would trust a brand recommendation from a friend. We think it is important to tap into that by
recruiting and training personable, professional, proactive and plugged-in
brand ambassadors who will create real connections with consumers in order to
drive trust and advocacy.
Joss Davidge, New Business Director here at BEcause, suggests why NPS will help the NHS and why you should use it too.
health of a brand is one of the most important metrics any company can measure,
as it indicates not only current performance but helps project future value.
it was no surprise to me to hear recently that the government is again
talking about introducing a well tried and tested methodology from big business
to measure the health of the NHS, the Net Promoter Score (NPS).
April the NHS will be introducing 'friends and family' surveys to all hospital
patients to determine how likely they are to refer their place of treatment. Mr.
Cameron described this as a 'flashing light' of sentiment, an equivalent of
"Huston, we've got a problem".
What is surprising is that so few businesses (and their
agencies) in the UK
seem to be using NPS. It is a very
simple, but powerful, metric to gauge consumers/respondents sentiment with the
brand or service on offer. Particularly
when one considers how easy it is to start measuring and how it can be tracked
over time and against other companies/competitors.
is based on asking respondents a single question that is predictive of both
repurchase and referral:
a scale of zero to 10, how likely are you to refer a friend of colleague?”
The answers that are given place respondents in one of three
categories: Detractors (0-6), Passives
(7-8) and Promoters (9-10). The NPS is then calculated by subtracting the
percentage of “Detractors" from the percentage of “Promoters".
It seems like more US companies have more readily adopted this
methodology than UK
businesses and frequently track weekly scores for their brands/services.
Companies such as Apple, Hilton, Marriot, American Express, E.ON, Philips, GE
use NPS as a core metric.
brand experience agency it can be a hugely significant indicator for us of the impact
of an activation. Asking people “how
likely are you to refer this activity to a friend or colleague?” seems to me to
be quite a pure and honest way to understand how they actually felt about their
This provides a very immediate measure of the impact of
the engagement and the important potential word of mouth amplification. Additionally it
also gives a quantifiable 'score' to share with the business internally and
help guide future activations.
course, NPS is just one metric that can be used but I think it is quite an
important one. According to a recent
Nielsen report on Global Trust, 92% of respondents said that they trust earned
media, such as word-of-mouth or recommendations from friends and family, above
all other forms of advertising. That is
an impressive increase of 18% since 2007. So it may be worth checking with the people
that matter whether your brand, activation or experience is in rude health in
order to push forward in the right direction.
We often come across marketing campaigns that tap into latest trends to extend their reach, impact and get people talking. Some of these fall short of expectations because the devised activity is not genuinely relevant to the brand or the trend. Others are propelled into the stratosphere (and we don’t just mean Red Bull) by fusing a current trend with clear brand positioning. If marketing is done right, brands can leave a lasting impression that people will undoubtedly share in conversations with friends and on social networks.
Here are some interesting examples of brands that have found novel ways to embrace trends; and successfully packaged brand experiences around these trends to amplify key brand messages:
Nokia – Lumia 800 launch
In November last year Nokia launched its Lumia 800 by transforming the Millbank Tower in London into a giant canvas for a spectacular “4D” projection show. The brand teamed up with popular DJ Deadmau5 and gave the crowd an experience that was memorable, unique and certainly a conversation starter.
Anthon Berg – Generous Store
Danish chocolate brand Anthon Berg opened a pop-up store that was stocked with an array of gift boxes. Yet, customers couldn't pay for the chocolates with cash instead they paid with the promise of a good deed. They were asked to post their pledge to their Facebook page. This extended the reach beyond the store in Copenhagen and created a global buzz for the chocolatiers.
Nike - Catch the Flash
Nike combined real world action with ARG (alternate reality gaming) to deliver a fun and fresh campaign in Vienna, Austria. Catch the Flash used real runners, wearing GPS tracking devices and special reflective jackets, for a city-wide game of tag. Players could track the Nike runners on their mobiles and then had to chase after them and tag them by taking a photo.
Paddy Power – Ahem, London France…
The Olympics, gifted marketers with a theme on which to build relevant activity. Bookmaker Paddy Power was not an official sponsor and so was not able to use the Olympic brand to its advantage. Instead the marketing team came up with this clever campaign. Billboards appeared in major train stations in London, just before the Olympics, claiming that Paddy Power was the “official sponsor of the largest athletics event in London this year”. In fact the billboards referred to an egg and spoon race in London, France not the Olympics. LOCOG attempted to have the billboards removed but as Paddy Power didn’t refer specifically to the Olympics all legal proceedings were very short-lived and the billboards remained in situ. Very clever.
The use of digital tags such as QR codes, NFC and RFID technology has been growing in recent years and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Brands keep coming up with innovate ways to integrate digital tags into campaigns to deliver personalised, time relevant and tailored content at the tap of a button.
Tesco – Underground Shopping
Tesco came up with this ingenious idea to help increase its market share in South Korea. The retailer provided “underground shopping” for commuting customers using QR code technology.
OK so this is just a prototype, but it demonstrates just how far marketers are pushing boundaries with the use of new technology. To launch its new premium brand Strongbow is developing a RFID bottle top. When opened, the bottle emits a radio signal that can activate anything the brand wants. It can be set up to trigger lights, play music or set off streamers - the possibilities are seemingly endless!
We’ve started to come across more and more faux brand experiences. To all of us living in the real world, our view is that this is a seriously missed experiential opportunity. Experiential events designed for online chatter could quickly lose credibility, becoming just another form of broadcast advertising. Why don’t the digital/ad boys & girls do these sorts of experiences for real? A collective brand experience where people are linked together by each other’s actions or common interests can be very powerful for the right brands. Doing something great offline is a natural starting point for people to get talking with one another online.
So what’s going to be the next big thing? Well, we’re always on the look out for what consumers are responding to in order to devise brand experiences for our clients that get people talking. Our creative team have plenty of ideas up their sleeves and if you’d like to find out what might be relevant for your brand, we’d love to hear from you.
Recently we blogged about 6 ways to engage consumers by creating a brand experience, click the link if you want to see some other great examples.
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!