Stop for a moment and think about which kind of memory sticks out the most – tasting a food sample or looking at an ad on social media? If you answered food sample, then you already understand the power and impact of brand experiences. Creating a real experience with a brand can cement the brand’s identity, product, and culture into the mind of consumers, so is it any wonder that more and more brands are turning to this marketing strategy to stand out from the competition?
Brand Experience: Why It Matters More Than Ever in 2021
After the lockdown restrictions that kept everyone inside throughout 2020, 2021 has been a year where many people are catching up on experiences they lost the year before. With lighter restrictions and new hope for the future, people are eager to attend safe events – including brand experience events. In 2021, the ability of a brand to create a unique experience to snag consumers is more important than ever, particularly because a new experience is something people have been missing for the last year.
But there are other reasons why brand experience is picking up speed in 2021. Even with the popularity of digital marketing soaring, companies are still investing in brick-and-mortar events to find new audiences and consumers. In fact, it might be because of the popularity of digital marketing that in-person experiences with brands are also falling into the mainstream. As much as digital marketing is cheaper and casts a wider net, brand experiences foster closer relationships between the people and the product.
Create Deeper Connections
The goal of any marketing technique is to create a deeper connection between the brand or the product and the consumer. Forging a deep connection is the best way to make sure your product stands out when compared to the competition. Connections from in-person events give consumers a memory about a product, as well as allow consumers to form an impression about your brand.
A deeper connection may even create a sense of loyalty from the consumer. When there is an experience about a brand that the consumer can recall, they are more likely to have positive connections to the brand or the product, and ultimately that may mean they are more likely to stick with your product instead of your competition.
Inspire Audiences and Consumers
Inspiring your audience is one of the main benefits of creating an experience with your brand. There are various ways events can be built around your product that can inspire your audience to buy your product or even use your product in a unique way. You can even use events to create trends with your brand to inspire larger audients or sub-cultures.
In fact, when consumers have a positive experience and are inspired by your product, you may be able to benefit from word-of-mouth advertising. With a positive experience, inspired audiences will be eager to share their experience with others and encourage new consumers to try your product. And if a trend picks up because of your product, more and more people will be inspired to stay connected with your brand.
Build Brand Identity and Product Reputation
Finally, experiences help you build your brand identity and product reputation. Your brand identity is essentially the culture and mission statement of your brand rolled into a neat package. In digital marketing, consumers should be able to look at your brand’s website and have a clear picture of your brand; for in-person experiences, the event itself should represent the ideals of your brand, such as by using eco-friendly event planning.
Building a reputation for your product is also important. As much as online reviews can be useful, many people prefer to experience a product themselves before deciding whether or not the product is right for them. Allowing consumers to experience your product will create a real-time impression that will instantly build the reputation of your product and your brand.
Experiential Knowledge and Why It Benefits You
Experiential knowledge is the knowledge you gain through experience. This type of hands-on knowledge is one of the best ways to create a concrete memory of how to perform a task, the types of sensory inputs you prefer, and even lays the foundation for trust in similar stimuli. For example, it’s only through experiential knowledge a consumer might understand they like pudding, and with this knowledge, they can then try other types of pudding and form a preference.
Experiential knowledge is the backbone of brand experiences. Through events, product sampling, and other strategies, consumers can create an experiential memory that will stand out among other types of knowledge, such as the information gleaned from online reviews or social media ads. The benefit of creating an experience is the ability to make long-lasting memories about your brand that the consumer can use to spread a positive impression about your product.
After a brand event, whether this is through an in-person gala or another type of product sampling, your band will benefit from the immediate impact of the event. Consumers will form an instant opinion about your product after an event. If the sample of your product creates a positive impression, consumers are likely to purchase your product. This also opens the door for repeat consumers in the future.
Digital strategies are a good way to get your product or service in front of the eyes of many, but this doesn’t always lead through high click-through rates – especially if your product is new or doesn’t have many reviews. After all, many consumers place trust in online reviews to assess whether or not a product is a good match for them. But just as many consumers don’t trust online reviews at all and are wary of trying new products, which can cause problems when it’s time to reach new consumers.
This is where creating an authentic experience becomes so vital. With an authentic experience with your brand or product, new consumers will have valuable first-hand knowledge they can use to decide whether your product is ideal for their needs. A successful authentic impression can forge loyalty to your brand or product.
Right now, social media marketing is one of the best ways for your brand to zero in on likely consumers. But any digital advertising is a gamble; some ads are just as likely to alienate consumers are they are to entice consumers to your brand. But social media engagement is different – and usually more useful. Similar to word-of-mouth advertisement, social media engagement is a way to spread positive impressions about your product organically.
Many consumers will turn to social media after forming an authentic impression of your product, usually to catalog their own experience at your event. This free engagement will create buzz about your product that crafty brands can then use to reach new consumers.
Common Types of Experiences
There are many in-person experiences you can host so consumers have the opportunity to form positive experiences about your brand and your product. These experiences don’t necessarily need to be geared toward brand new consumers. After all, loyal consumers are just as likely to spread the positive reputation of your brand and may even have more credibility. Some of the most successful types of experiences to host include:
Showcases, Pop-Ups, and Workshops
Big audiences make big impacts. A product showcase is one of the more classic strategies in experiential marketing. Showcases can display and sample your product, educate consumers on how to use a product, and allow consumers to directly experience your brand. Pop-up events, on the other hand, are spontaneous, full-immersion experiences that create unique experiences about your products and may even give consumers an opportunity to buy your products directly.
Workshops are another way to engage a larger audience and create an experiential memory at the same time. The biggest benefit of a workshop is the ability to capture the full attention of the audience. With a workshop, consumers can have first-hand knowledge of how to use a product and a positive impression of a product.
Direct marketing is a classic strategy that personalizes your marketing strategy to an individual consumer. Things like brochures and catalogs are the most common examples of direct marketing, but modern marketing gives your brand more opportunity to infuse the culture of your company into your strategy.
For example, personalized invitations to workshops or donations to a charity associated with your brand made in the name of the consumer can help the consumer create a positive association with your brand. Bespoke direct marketing makes the individual consumer feel important to your brand, which also inspires loyalty to your products.
Creating an in-person experience for your brand is one of the best ways to stand out among your direct market competitors. Whether you are hosting pop-up experiences or a direct marketing strategy, building an experience for consumers to form a positive connection with is an excellent way to keep your brand relevant. For more information about how you can use experiential knowledge to the fullest advantage, please contact King Sixteen today.