Paul Simonet, Creative Strategy Director at Imagination, discusses the power of experiential marketing.
1) Experiences build brands when the brand commits to them wholeheartedly.
Nike, Coca Cola, Land Rover and Shell are all businesses which have committed the investment and the time to create unique experiences which their competitors cannot copy. They are not ‘events’ - they are living, breathing experiences of the culture, purpose and performance of the brands that stage them.
2) Brand experiences can be the action that drive the story of a brand forward.
From Flug Tag to Air Race to Space Jumping, the Red Bull ‘Gives You Wings’ story is progressively enhanced. As the IPA’s The Long and the Short of It describes, short term experience activation drives long term brand story.
3) Experiences are more powerful than messages.
Experiences impact on the more emotional and intuitive parts of our brain so they leave more lasting memories. Work with BrainJuicer Labs has demonstrated how powerfully experiences perform, particularly when those experiences are surprising.
4) Personalised experiences are sticky and people return to them.
When brands make experiences that can be personalised or even ‘collected’ then customers are happy to revisit and re-engage for extended periods of time
5) Content generated from experiences is far more shareable and viral than content from messages.
I have seen what Miley Cyrus does. I have no idea what she says. When a brand such as Lloyds or Land Rover creates content around its experiences it has far-reaching earned media power at hugely efficient cost.
6) Experiences can work at any point in a customer purchase journey.
Historically, brand experience was considered close to point of purchase but little else. Emerging technology, passion for customisation and participation mean customers will engage before, during and after purchase with extended experiences of the brand.
7) None of the above are really clever, new thoughts.
None of them are really controversial either. So the marketing challenge is to be able to measure and demonstrate these effects more eloquently so that the brands and indeed the customers who might benefit from them are attracting the right levels of investment from the businesses they represent.
Last updated 23/10/2013