Brand Experience: Why It Matters More Than Ever in 2021

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.

Immediate Impact

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.

Authentic Impression

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.

Social Engagement

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

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.

Want To Throw A Memorable Event? These Hacks That Will Leave Your Guests Talking

Want To Throw A Memorable Event? These Hacks That Will Leave Your Guests Talking

The difference between a memorable event and a forgettable one always comes down to the details. And no, we aren’t talking about expensive floral arrangements or the type of ceviche you chose for passed hors d’oeuvres. Those things are nice, but they aren’t necessarily the things that will resonate with your guests at the events’ conclusion.Instead, they will primarily remember the conversations and engagements they had, along with the emotion they were left with when it was time to depart.

Let me say that again….
Your guests will primarily remember the conversations and engagements they had, along with the emotion they were left with when it was time to depart.

Ok, so let’s unpack this for the ones that don’t believe us. You could hand select every guest to optimize conversations – we suppose. But let’s focus on the other aspect that is most in control for event producers and designers, and that’s the way guests feel once the party ends. How can we positively influence their experience while on-site?

An analogy first! Porsche has been making sought after luxury vehicles for over 70 years, and they understand that the driver experience is much more than just a powerful engine. Last year, our agency launched the Porsche Taycan – the first all electric Porsche to hit the market. A significant challenge presented to Porsche engineers was how to give Taycan owners the feeling of “power” when there was no combustion engine providing feedback to the driver. In other words, the feeling of an engine vibrating and the sound of the exhaust when you push the throttle to the floor wasn’t quite as exhilarating when it was…. well… silent! The Porsche Taycan was wicked fast, but they couldn’t allow their drivers to step out of the car underwhelmed with the whole experience. Just like we don’t want guests leaving one of our events underwhelmed.

What was the solution?

Porsche built an intake-noise amplifier called a Sound Symposer. This Sport Sound device recreates the revving noise and pumps the sound and vibrations into the cabin of the vehicle creating a much more authentic experience. Boom, problem solved!

Ok, so why did we tell you that story? Because guests are sizing up your event on more than one level, and they are doing it without thinking about it. Most Porsche drivers aren’t aware of this car’s feature, but they step out of the vehicle throttled by the experience! Most guests at an event aren’t aware of the details event producers put into play – but at the end of the party they need to be left with good memories and an affinity for the experience.
How can event planners and producers do this? Here are three hacks that can significantly elevate the guest experience for your next event.

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Aroma

No one wants to walk into a party that smells musty and stale. Our noses are constantly sizing up the rooms we enter and exit. Sure, we could light a thousand candles… but we would recommend keeping things a little more subtle and nuanced. At King Sixteen events, we run essential oil diffusers in various locations.

For example, at our 2019 Kentucky Derby event with Esquire Magazine and Rabbit Hole Bourbon – we designed a rooftop lounge that was adorned with live herbs suspended above the bar. Guests could choose their spirit of choice as we snipped rosemary, thyme, and fresh basil from above. Our bartenders (Death & Co.) dipped these into liquid nitrogen and then served inside guest glasses for an elevated aroma alongside their cocktails. In this room, we countered the fresh and earthy scent of the herbs with diffusers that pumped lemon, bergamot, and tangerine into the air. This room became a sensory experience, not just a bar.

At your next event, think about aromas you can add to the space that tie into the theme or location. Have an event overlooking the ocean? Cedarwood and Ylang Ylang might go nice with some of those views.

Sound

Normal conversations happen at about 60 decibels. A decibel is a standard unit of measurement for loudness. In contrast, a blowdryer is about 90 decibels and a trombone player can reach 110 decibels fairly easily. Remember when we said your guests will remember the conversations? Well it’s a little difficult to hear a conversation if you’re trying to shout over a swing band that’s being amplified into a room at levels above 110 decibels. Understanding the type of environment you are trying to create is very important. If it’s a wedding reception or corporate cocktail mixer, you might want to make sure that the music is no more than 5-10 decibels louder than the speaking volume. If it’s a late night party with dancing and a live band, anything over 105 db will start to become quite fatiguing to the ears. You can measure this with a device called a ‘digital sound level reader’ – something you can easily obtain for under $25 on Amazon or other retailers.

Don’t give your guests a reason to escape a room or the event all together. Monitor your sound levels and guests will leave happy, not fatigued.

Texture & Touch

At this point, it should be no surprise we have moved from smell, to sound, and now to touch. As event designers we are often hyper focused on what things look like, and our guests’ eyes are doing the heavy lifting. But if you really want to provide a memorable and lasting experience to your guests, do not overlook the way things feel against skin. If you have rented out a concrete warehouse for your next product launch or pop-up concert series, you may want to consider the things you have lots of so you can create some juxtaposition. Our agency launched a timepiece for Fossil Watches, and the venue we chose had lots of flat concrete areas, with black iron fencing, and stone walls. We brought in cream colored jute rugs and suede couches to liven up some areas of the facility. Lush green plants adorned those areas with marble coffee tables and hammered bronze side tables. We also laser printed brand illustrations on 8×4 planks of baltic birch, and lined a concrete entryway for some warmth. We ordered satin black cocktail napkins with foil embossed logos, and served curated cocktails in copper hammered mugs. A custom built airstream trailer with wood floors and leather couches provided a refuge from the cavernous concrete venue area.

The things your guests will interact with will leave an impression on them. Suede, wood, concrete, paper, copper, etc. The variety in material is important, and should not be overlooked. Use these hacks on your next event, and we promise your guests will remember the details.

King Sixteen is a turn-key event design and management agency specializing in brand launches, talent buying, product sourcing and more.

Partnerships that matter. Experiences that last.

We are a collective of event producers that work directly with national brands seeking to activate in unique markets across the United States.

Clients

Brands we have worked with

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Email: info@kingsixteen.com

Phone: +1 707 653 KING

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Branded Gifts Your Customers Will Keep: And Ones They Will Trash…

Branded Gifts Your Customers Will Keep: And Ones They Will Trash…

Custom Products

Custom gift bags and branded items are a great way to thank your staff, customers, or clients. In conjunction with an event or product launch, branded swag is a great way to create some brand awareness through thoughtful product sourcing. But don’t be fooled into thinking a t-shirt or coffee mug is the best option for your next order. There are three things that matter most to consumers; and with some thoughtful ideating on fresh product ideas – you can keep your new loot out of the trash.

A cursory search of Amazon’s best selling products over the last few years, and you will find something quite interesting. From lip balms and silk pillowcases to yoga pants and Squatty Potties… three things are certain! Function, Frequency, and Comfort reign supreme. And it’s not difficult to understand why that’s the case. The items and tools we interact with on a daily basis must be functional to make our tasks easier. If there is little reason for the item to be functional… there is little reason to keep the item or use it often.

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Give them something they will use often

In addition, the higher the potential frequency of an item matters! And sometimes the frequency and your customers location matters. For example, a branded umbrella and custom Miir coffee mug might be an excellent combo for Vancouver or Seattle customers. But we wouldn’t recommend a branded beach towel and koozie in Wisconsin… as it’s likely heading for a lonely cupboard or junk drawer. It’s important to think about how your recipient of custom gifts will use your items, and how frequently. The higher the frequency, the longer these items stick around and can create some organic brand awareness wherever they go.

Quality and feel

Comfort and textures also play an important role in what items are retained, and what items are tossed. Silk is often a comforting texture, whereas canvas has been known to elicit more masculine and resilient properties. Clinical Psychologist (Daniel Graham) says:

“Texture is ubiquitous. It contains important visual information about an object and allows us to distinguish between animals, plants, foods, and fabrics. This makes texture a significant part of the sensory input that we receive every day. In the visual arts, texture is the perceived surface quality of a work of art.”.

This is why it’s important to think about how the comfort of your product will translate via texture.  Promoting an in-store shopping experience or pop-up shop? A sturdy and reliable canvas tote bag might be the perfect choice for your customers. Selling a CBD infused sleep tincture? Perhaps a silk sleep mask would go nicely with your product. Releasing a new distilled spirit into the wild? A laser-etched glass tumbler might stick around longer than a t-shirt that feels like sandpaper. Comfort matters!

No matter what you choose to design and create… always be sure that function, frequency, and comfort are a part of the conversation. Check out these amazing gift items that can be branded for your company:

King Sixteen is a turn-key product manufacturing and design agency specializing in product launches, experiential marketing campaigns, and event management.

Partnerships that matter. Experiences that last.

We are a collective of event producers that work directly with national brands seeking to activate in unique markets across the United States.

Clients

Brands we have worked with

Let’s do something amazing together…

Email: info@kingsixteen.com

Phone: +1 707 653 KING

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.