What is Brand Experience Anyways?

March 22, 2016

You’ve probably heard or seen by now agencies redefining themselves as “brand experiences” agencies, but what does this mean? Is it event marketing? Experiential marketing? Does it matter? From a marketer’s perspective, yes it matters and it’s been one of the buzz phrases, along with innovate, for quite some time now. But does it translate into sales? Conversions? Brand love? I’m not going to dive into the research and science behind it, but from a purely anecdotal perspective, I find it fascinating that some brands have some incredible opportunities to engage consumers, yet they fail to deliver a memorable experience. Or worse, the experience is amazing and the consumer walks away thinking you are the competitor brand or doesn’t remember the brand at all. Kind of like those expensive Super Bowl ads everyone talks about…but they don’t remember the brand. It’s great that people love and respond to the ad, but if they cannot remember your brand, that’s a lot of money to spend with nothing in return.

So, how do you ensure your brand experience resonates with the consumer long after they have left?

  1. Create a pre-event campaign. Any awareness you can capture prior to an event can help to drive traffic to your experience and create a more lasting brand impression.
  2. Is the event branded? Seems silly to write this, but I have actually been to events where the experience was in high demand (a cooling station at a hot outdoor concert), but the footprint was minimally branded. As a marketer I am looking for the branding, because I love to see what brands are doing to engage consumers, but if you are a concert goer, I doubt you are on the lookout for branding.
  3. Is it authentic? Does the experience reflect your brand? It should or it could leave the consumer disconnected. There are many ways to incorporate the essence of your brand into the experience; from small details in the design to creating a “vibe”, that reflects the personality of your brand.
  4. Tell an enriching story. Keep the storing simple, yet engage multiple senses.
  5. Incorporate a post event strategy– via social media, email or some other mechanism to follow-up with the consumer. This helps to solidify your brand recognition.