Consumers are experiencing brand messages more than ever. And in more tactical, more technological and apparently more efficient ways than we ever have.
As leaders shaping the landscape for new experiences, how can we ensure engagement and certify that our brand messages reach the people that we’re trying to talk to?
Data can help with justifying spend and getting projects and budgets over the line and off the ground, but how reliable is the data? It can often drive us to make compromises that dilute campaigns in the trade-off for hitting the maximum number of people.
In a very noisy and competitive market, making an emotional connection creates real impact. Emotional impact.
As makers of great creative work, we must think human. Meaning we need to put the person first, not the numbers.
People don’t sit around rationalising platforms or where they sit in the demographic matrix; that’s left to the marketers trying to connect (sell) to them.
People will be receptive across platforms if the experience connects with them. But Where?
The truth is: Everything is experiential.
Sometimes it’s an event, on social, an ad on TV, on stage, in a private gallery, a pop-up store, on an App, on a stand in a mall, in a vehicle, on a station concourse, in an office, an exhibition, on a street in a brightly coloured uniform, at a stadium, in a shop, at a festival…
This is how people think = That’s how we MUST think
We all want to experience something personal that connects with us; make us think or feel something new.
To ensure reach, as an agency we consider three basic pillars that underpin every creative execution that leaves our agency, from a consumer standpoint:
– relevancy; how does this matter to me?
– convenience; do I have to go out of my way to experience it?
– shareability; how can I share this experience with the people that matter to me, and why would I?
Every experience touchpoint, whether it’s physical or digital is scrutinised to ensure that our brand message / objective / reason for engaging is felt.
And more than felt. Inspired.
I believe that we are programmed to be receptive to inspiration; the much quoted, (and true) Maya Angelou concept of, when we feel something we never forget it.
Scott Bedbury, ex-Nike and Starbucks branding guru and current CEO of Brandstream is quoted:
“A great brand taps into emotions. Emotions drive most, if not all our decisions. A brand reaches out with a powerful connecting experience. It’s an emotional connecting point that transcends the product.”
Tapping into the power of the emotional connection is where true inspiration lives.
If you were one of the 45 million+ that caught the perfectly executed Westjet Christmas Miracle on YouTube or the epic Red Bull Stratos stunt that captured 52 million live stream views to a global audience across multiple platforms, like us you will recognise and feel the power of inspirational experiential. Activations that affect us make us think and wonder; a strategy that yields an emotional response, levitating the brand message to partnership.
As an agency, we believe that experiences are the gateway to inspiration; we cultivate, grow and develop our thinking to ensure that people, from every background and status feel inspired when engaging with our brand experiences, whichever platform they’re brought to life on.
When we fully encapsulate the reason for someone engaging with a product or service, (the benefit / the Why) then our responsibility is to bring it to life through an inspirational action. Trends, fads and crazes provide instant spikes, but resonate in the short-term; genuinely inspirational experiences are much more powerful and connect deeper.
Of course, we must be aware of the real world and how scarce spare time is for people to engage; so, make it count. Make the experience live where people feel comfortable engaging, not an inconvenience – and consider multi-touchpoint platforms for remote engagers. Enable people to feel value when they spend their time with us.
When we inspire someone, we break through the sales pitch; we’ve truly connected with that person.
And if it’s nurtured, that feeling lasts a lifetime.
Sam Moqbel, Mars Events