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Insights

What can experiential marketing do for your brand?

21 October, 2015 - Source: Bray Leino

In the complex marketing and comms mix we have at our disposal today, face-to-face is still one of the most effective ways of getting a message across. An effective experiential activation can get your product directly into people’s hands in a relevant, memorable context. It can immerse them in a brand moment that they’ll feel like sharing.

By Tamsin Ackerman, Brand Activation Specialist, Bray Leino

  • bassetts rainbowpark before and after
    bassetts rainbowpark before and after

We know that a positive live brand experience has a viral quality. People are likely to tell around three or four people directly following a quality live interaction with a brand, and this number increases dramatically if we can motivate them to spread the word via social media.

It’s a long accepted rule that in the 48 hours after a brand experience, people will remember:

  • 5% of what they heard
  • 25% of what they saw and heard
  • 50% of what was demonstrated
  • 95% of what they interacted with
  • 100% of what they passed on to someone else

Experiential marketing is flexible and adaptable; you can choose the environment in which you engage. Brand ambassadors use body language and tone to convey a message, and you should read the mood and reaction of those you talk to and adapt conversations accordingly.

There’s a lot of noise out there, but the right experience conducted in the right space, at the right time with the right engagement, will inspire action; especially when overlaid with a promotional marketing technique such as coupons. Experiential can achieve cut-through in ways that can’t always be accomplish through digital or TV alone.

Bassetts Vitamins #RainbowPark

People often choose brands which they feel reflect their own principles and beliefs. The Bassetts Vitamins Rainbow Park reflects the brand’s principles of family health and fun. It’s a great example of a recent experiential roadshow we ran in five locations around the country, giving thousands of families the chance to get creative and hands on with all sorts of paints and colours.

The activity tied Bassetts Vitamins’ re-launched brand and product range into the tagline ‘Family Life with More Colour’. The Rainbow Park, a 3D blank canvas featuring trees, animals and other familiar objects allowed children to add their own splash of pain, while parents collected product samples and vouchers for swimming and soft play sessions.

The activity was also amplified through partnership; samples were placed at over 200 swimming pools and soft play areas nationwide, plus a partnership with Mumsnet. Users were also encouraged to share their Rainbow Park experiences via social media.

Over September, October and November the campaign reached over 1.5m people, with 40,000 families participating directly in the experiential element.

Experiential in the mix

Experiences like this can live at the heart of a creative idea, generating content for other channels. Or they can work the other way, amplifying an above-the-line (ATL) creative mass-media campaign below-the-line (BTL), giving people a chance to touch, try and get involved in something they may have only seen on TV.

Media can be used to promote a live event and generate buzz; for instance, radio can be used to invite people to get involved; PR and social to invite people and amplify the content generated by engaging with the public face-to-face.

Designing an experiential activity, reach vs experience is always a key decision; how many people versus the type and quality of experience you’re able to deliver. Objectives need to be clearly understood to deliver the right experiential campaign and the correct support channels.

Digital and experiential can work seamlessly together. Everyone loves to share an experience, so make it easy for them and this will increase your brand reach in an organic way. Giving consumers a reason to share will help to increase reach.

Brands are also looking for ways to stand out in the crowd. Your experiential idea needs to show a true and deep understanding of the target audience and the mind-set they will be in when they encounter this engagement.

Setting objectives

Objectives vary depending on what the Client is trying to achieve (trial/reappraisal of a brand/education of an issue/amplification of a ATL creative concept/leveraging a sponsorship), but at the end of the day it’s all about creating an experience which is remembered and enjoyed without the core brand message being lost amongst the noise.

Exit interviews are a great way to ascertain if the desired take out has been achieved.

Reach is one measurement, but action is also very important when it comes to experiential marketing, how many people trialled your new product? How many people went on to use the coupon provided? How many people gave their data?

Results will vary, but the most critical thing is to stand out from the crowd. Do something which brings your brand personality to life and ultimately offers something which customers want to engage in. They should walk away wanting to tell people about what they’ve just experienced.

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