2015: The Year of Brand Experience

2015: The Year of Brand Experience


In a previous post for Entrepreneur , we looked at what experiential marketing is and provided some practical examples of how small businesses are “using brand experiences as a memorable ‘platform’ to engage consumers”.

 Related: How do I market my product without having to go through the normal avenues like television and print?

Brand experiences come in various forms and, for the year ahead, we will look to unpack these different strands while showcasing practical examples of how they have been used to assist other SME’s. Given the new world of ‘content marketing’, where applicable, we will also look at what the multinational big boys are doing in this space with not a lot of budget going a long way in terms of reach.

Disclaimer: Fun and sexy case studies will follow in future articles; before this though, we need to get the nuts and bolts right!

Asking Why?

Before we can kick off with examples of various types of experiential marketing campaigns, it’s important we unpack the ‘why’. Too often we get clients asking us for a specific type of execution without questioning what they are actually looking to achieve.

Getting this wrong can potentially be very wasteful as the creative ‘cart’ is placed before the objectives ‘horse,’ so to speak.

Getting The Brief Right

Pete, Stretch’s head of strategy, always maintains that simplicity is key when setting marketing objectives. He proposes 1-3 objectives maximum and rightfully argues that trying to achieve any more will result in clutter and overly-layered messaging that busy consumers are likely to ignore.

While few in number, brief objectives should be sharp in their definition. ‘Increase sales’ or ‘create awareness’ is far too vague and can really form part of every marketing brief. ‘Change a consumer perception about a particular aspect of a product over a specific period’ is far more targeted and specific, ensuring the concept can actually be measured.

Knowing Your Audience

Research, research, research! It doesn’t have to be expensive but please THINK LIKE A CONSUMER. As my former lecturer at Vega would say, think ‘outside in’ and look for those nuggets of insights with which you can work. Great concepts solve problems and make consumers lives better/easier/more fun.

Running a simple survey with the likes of https://www.surveymonkey.com/ might help. From there, a great conceptual opportunity exists. Lastly, people act and think differently in different parts of the country, be sure to be sensitive to this.

So while there is loads more to consider in terms of experiential marketing and writing sound briefs when utilising it, this should provide some food for thought before we begin to explore specific avenues in future pieces.

Live experiences can be incredibly powerful as a marketing medium, but not thought out correctly, they can not only fall flat but even do detriment to your brand.

Related:  5 Ways to Get Unstuck in the Face of Creative Burnout

Mike Silver
Mike Silver is the founder and MD of Stretch Experiential Marketing. Mike has been working in the events, sponsorship and activations arena since 2000. While living in the UK worked in experiential marketing for one of the UK’s largest agencies of its type, RPM, assisting various blue chip clients (including Unilever, Diageo & Yahoo!) with experiential strategies and campaigns. He returned to SA to start Stretch; specialising in developing experiential concepts for national execution. Mike is regarded as a thought leader in experiential marketing & festival sponsorship.