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Experience is the new black

, Issued by: FusionDesign | 8 Aug 2014 10:15
"Brands are verbs," states Koo Govender, CEO of VWV Group at the recent Integrated Marketing Communications Conference held in Cape Town. This is the problem with brands - there are so many brands doing so much, with each and every one of them competing for your attention.
Koo believes she has the answer for us in experiential marketing.

She takes us back to Marketing 101 and shows us the AIDA model:

Where Awareness = Advertising,
Interest = Public Relations,
Desire = Immense Retail Experience, and
Action = Sales and Promotion, how and where does experiential marketing fit in?

Experiential marketing invites and engages consumers into participating and experiencing a brand. Koo explains it as "immersing consumers in an emotional experience." This is done primarily through event marketing, where consumers can interact with and get more information about a particular brand.

Looking at the AIDA model, it seems experiential marketing can fit into every aspect of the model. This once again takes us to the integrated approach. To capture your audience, you have to look at their needs holistically (look out for a new blog on the customer journey - coming soon) and give them what they want. According to Koo, they are not going to ask for an experience, they want it!

She divides experience into three different categories:
  1. Community Experience
    Consumers have a desire to be around like-minded people. Bringing people with similar interests together can massively impact the success of your experiential marketing initiative. Think of a food and wine expo. Having the relevant people experience your brand creates authentic opinion within that community, and if they were blown away, they will tell the story!

  2. Product Experience
    A marketer should always leverage off technology. Technology allows you to create a distinctive opportunity for consumers to interact with your brand in a way in which your competitors are unable to match. Like this, the Coke 'twist cap'.

    Aptly named 'The Friendly Twist', this campaign forces a single consumer to find another person with a Coke to open up the bottle.

  3. Sales Experience
    Consumers need to be engaged. They want to interact. They want a conversation. They want gratification. And they want it now. Experiential marketing allows your consumer to experience and purchase your brand immediately.
In conclusion, these are the brand touch points for experiential marketing:
  • Compelling content is a must. This creates memorability for your campaign.
  • Provoke sharing. If consumers enjoyed your campaign, they will share their experience. This is how they become advocates for your brand.
  • Leverage technology.
  • Make use of innovative brand tools. Use social media.
  • Invite participation.
  • Target the relevant people (age, culture, interests etc.). Create community.
  • Be authentic.
  • Become unpredictable.
  • Leverage trends.

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FusionDesign offers creative branding solutions both online and offline through all key dimensions of marketing.
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