Experiential marketing is fairly well-known among high-level marketing circles, and so is the tactical effectiveness of it. However, beyond the marketing value of these live brand experiences, experiential marketing is also a remarkable force in building brands and creating specific perceptions of brand. This, then, extends past the short-term ROI that is boosted by tactically executed experiential activations.
Brand-building, of course, can be a daunting challenge even for companies and organizations skilled at marketing communications; thus, adding experiential marketing to the core mix of a communications strategy can help accomplish branding objectives. Consider, for a moment, the following ways that sustained live brand experiences can fulfill particular branding goals.
Branding Goal: Reinforcing a Brand’s Personality
How Experiential Marketing Makes This Happen: Since interactive brand experiences appeal to the core emotions, aspirations, and feelings of a target audiences, they can create a very specific brand personality in the minds of attendees. For instance, if a brand wishes to be perceived as sportier or associated with an active lifestyle, then a sports-themed live experience can be created that puts attendees through the gauntlet of a variety of athletic challenges. These event-goers will then spread their perception of the brand to their network through word-of-mouth, effectively reinforcing the brand’s intended personality.
Branding Goal: Become More Memorable
How Experiential Marketing Makes This Happen: To have any hope of rising above the noise of competing brand images, a brand must become thoroughly memorable in the minds of its target audience. To that end, experiential marketing is often more effective than repeated ad runs that attempt to set the brand apart (though, of course, an integrated marketing communications strategy – incorporating both experiential and other marketing channels – is always more powerful than a single approach). Because live brand experiences are far more memorable than advertisements seen on TV, heard on the radio, or viewed in print or on the web, they are a savvy way to creating lasting memories in a target audience.
Branding Goal: Communicate a Complicated Marketing Message
How Experiential Marketing Makes This Happen: Some brands have a more or less complex marketing message that must be conveyed to consumers. A makeup brand, for example, may wish to communicate to consumers the advantages of a multi-step facial cleansing product. These advantages – seen most clearly in light of all the required steps needed to effectively use the product – are often best communicated through amazing brand ambassadors and experiential marketing approaches. An event could be designed, for instance, where consumers can try the facial cleansing product in a creative way that both practically and symbolically bolsters the product’s advantages in their minds – something that is certainly more difficult to accomplish through advertising channels like TV and radio, as actual lived experiences will have a significantly greater impact on consumer understanding of a product’s advantages than orthodox advertising will.