In the connected world we live in today with ever-present technology, it has changed the way customers think about engaging with brands.
In general, customers are continuously looking for a way to be wowed. With that in mind, it’s for companies to create a memorable experience to build and maintain brand loyalty.
What is brand loyalty?
The concept behind brand loyalty involves stimulating as many of the customer’s five senses as possible. Most importantly, it’s about creating an experience that sticks with them and associates positive emotions with the brand.
Traditionally, marketing focused on ads and commercials that were verbal and would visually communicate to the customer. Today however, that is not enough. A valuable component that is proven to broaden campaign reach and build brand loyalty is missing. That component is experiential marketing.
What is Experiential Marketing?
Experiential marketing allows brands to go a step further, as it directly engages customers by encouraging and inviting them to participate. The purpose of experiential marketing is to create a positive association between a brand and an experience, with the most important aspect of the campaign being the actual experience the customer has.
By incorporating experiential marketing, brands can create an emotional connection with the customer. In turn, this stimulates loyalty and influences their purchasing decisions further down the line.
Maybe you’re thinking ‘but I don’t have a huge budget’. Well, guess what, not all experiential campaigns rely on a huge budget to achieve the benefits of loyalty. Something as simple as a livestream, exhibiting at a tradeshow or using a crowd of people to spread awareness can illuminate your brand on a much lower budget.
When participants attend your event, they leave with a newfound affinity for your products and an emotional connection to your brand.
96% of customers said that attending an event makes them more likely to purchase the promoted products, and 74% of event participants leave with more positive opinions of the brand.
So, what should companies be thinking about when implementing an experiential marketing campaign?
The end goals
The ability to visualise what a successful experiential marketing campaign would look like for your business will always give you a head start.
Being able to envision an ideal event allows for those results to be replicated in real life. Knowing what you want to achieve is key.
It’s important that you know your audience.
Audiences have become used to brands shouting at them to pay attention. As a result, they now crave a more organic approach. People like to feel as though they’ve discovered the brand themselves, which in turn, can result in stronger consumer advocacy and brand loyalty.
An event is the perfect way to provide customers with a memorable experience that can lead to a long-term commitment and increased ROI.
Knowing your target demographic is important as you can choose an activation that appeals to them. If you understand your audience and position your brand activation accordingly, people are more likely to pay attention.
Storytelling is key.
Your brand should always tell a story. Not any story – one that demonstrates the value customers receive when engaging with your products or services. With that in mind it’s important to utilise your company ethos and roll with it.
Companies are given the opportunity to strengthen their brand and provide customers with a clear understanding of the products / services, whilst simultaneously clarifying the customers role within the brand.
Technology is the key to communicating a message. Whether you’re demonstrating the use of your product through VR headsets or projecting an interactive survey in a trade show booth, there are endless opportunities to engage your customers in a creative and tech-savvy way.
Ensure your experience is shareable through social media platforms. Clearly displaying handles and tags to ensure the interaction is captured and shared. You want your experience to stick with people. If it does, they will talk about you and your name will spread further.
No matter what you call it – experiential marketing, brand loyalty or something entirely different, this is the future.
In today’s world, you are competing with an infinite number of brands. If you want to stand out, regardless of your size, you need to create bonds and create experiences for your customers.