The old-school rules for measuring success of a branding campaign relied on consistency, but those rules are now meant to be broken.
Companies used to deliver similar experiences across all retailers to ensure brand recognition and reliability, but in today’s diverse and segmented marketplace, brands are turning to disruptive, localized, experience-based promotions and campaigns. Rather than appealing to consumers nationwide, marketers are opting to super-serve local communities in an effort to offer unique, memorable, and impactful experiences.
These disruptions can occur at every level, whether it’s customized packaging or large-scale events. Smart, savvy brands understand the value of an unforgettable – or more important, shareable – experience.
But marketers looking to generate these sorts of shareable brand experiences have an uphill battle, especially those at more established organizations where history and internal systems are often not friendly to big swings and risk taking. At companies looking to cut costs or working with small budgets to begin with, leadership tends to streamline marketing dollars behind measurable, bulletproof marketing activities.
Though there are some challenges in place for marketers looking to implement experiential marketing, it’s not impossible. Remember it’s okay to start small, especially if budget or leadership is a hurdle. Consider sponsoring a booth at a local festival or investing in micro-influencers, both of which are cost-effective and impactful. Determine which metrics matter most in your plans, and use results to drive internal support for continued plans and as a guide to understand what works (and what does not).
Consider acting as if your company was brand new to help generate ideas. Instead of finding room for experiential marketing within your historical marketing mix, imagine how you might approach your overall plan if it was a clean slate. Would experiential marketing take up a quarter of your time and resources? More?
At the end of the day, as with all marketing, find experiences that speak directly to consumers. An authentic interest in customers is one of the best ways to achieve brand loyalty. A great example from recent years is Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign that placed common names on bottles, a low-cost yet highly effective way to excite consumers and drive sales.
It might feel perilous to forgo the tried and tested marketing formulas for innovative brand experiences that may be more difficult to execute and measure. But brands that don’t embrace shareable marketing experiences run the risk of losing consumers to savvy competitors that are willing to take chances