It’s been quite sometime since we started talking about ‘experiential’, first it was just a few specialist agencies talking about it and now it seems like the whole world has a brand experience offering.
Brand experience is now fully embraced by brands and agencies alike, and as a result, the benchmark for a great brand experience has been significantly raised.
Consumers are expecting more from brands and brands are expecting agencies to be more creative with their offering. Social media and technology has played a significant part in this, but the basic principles still remain the same. With this in mind, we give you this ‘The 7 Rules of Brand Experience’:
1. Move with the times, try new things!
Get creative, it’s the only way you’re going to entertain your consumer and hold their ever-dwindling attention span. Social platforms like FourSquare, Facebook Places and Twitter lend themselves to brand experience particularly well and it’s rare to see a campaign today that doesn’t embrace at least one of these. Using a new platform to take a fresh approach will get people talking about your brand and make it stand out.
Marks & Spencer did this particularly well when it recently teamed up with O2 to give customers location-based food and drink freebies.
2. Think like your target audience
Take the time to get to know your audience, it’ll make or break your campaign. Talking to the right person, at the right time and with the right message requires great insight. Do your homework and find out who your influencers are.
Look at Eurostar’s ‘high-speed theatre experience’ at last summer’s Start Festival for a great example of giving a specific audience a hugely relevant experience.
3. Think social
Getting people talking online requires them to have something interesting to talk about, a brand experience that has gone above and beyond a single product sample in their hand. Involve, interact with and entertain your audience. Consumers are bored of one-way brand broadcasts, now they want to talk with brands. Generate positive two-way conversation online and the rewards will be endless for both parties.
Just look at how Porsche thanked its million Facebook fans for their support last month.
4. Put yourself in the client’s shoes
Understand what the client wants and, most importantly, why they want it. Keep asking yourself ‘How will their brief deliver against the businesses objectives?’, ‘What will be the success measures?’ Show business acumen by putting yourself in their shoes, if it was your money what would you want in return?
Take this US-based games retailer that extended the visibility of a recent brand experience by staging it away from the usual choice of a shop into a public car park with high-volumes of footfall.
5. Get the basics right
A great brand experience is more than a big boardroom idea. Concepts that look great on paper can very quickly become ‘un-big’ in reality. You need to work with the specialists to get this right and get your idea translated into something manageable and deliverable in the real world.
6. Pick the perfect team
Knowing new stuff is important, but experience really does matter. Fill your agency with people who are not only passionate about creating fantastic experiences for your brands, but also have the experience to efficiently deliver the program. We have a long history creating brand experiences including our recent award-winning work for Pampers. An element of our success here is down to the selection of Brand Ambassadors - all mums chosen for their ability to relate to Pampers' target audience.
7. Measure, measure, measure!
It’s vital to understand how to measure effectiveness, if you don't understand the metrics you can't plan. Planning is the beginning of the brand experience journey, without it, who knows where you’ll end up! Do you agree with our rules? Perhaps you have some great examples of them in action? If so, we’d love you to share them with us.
With nearly 30 years of marketing experience, both client and agency side, I’ve acquired a rare perspective on brands and business: I believe you have to challenge things creatively if you want to grow sales. Consumer technology is reshaping our world, and it’s only the great brands that stay on the crest.