If a brand is a glimpse into who you are as a company, your brand experience is how your customers interact with it.
Typically, a brand experience is first encountered as a digital experience or virtual experience designed to highlight your brand in engaging, innovative ways that drives interest towards your product and ultimately creates customers.
Especially in the shopper marketing industry, this has become an essential component of eCommerce, where websites are not only there to sell a product, but to provide an experience. Through brand storytelling, it can convey the company’s values and identity. Launching an all-encompassing experience like this is known as brand activation.
Cliffedge Marketing is a shopper marketing agency that has been providing brand experience services for decades. While working alongside some of the biggest retail brands, we’ve identified six fundamental ways to do it successfully.
6 Experiential Marketing Tips to Create a Brand Experience
When creating the best digital experience possible, stick with the following principles to succeed in brand activation and increase the effectiveness of your promotional marketing. Essentially, you can consider this your cheat sheet for shopper engagement.
1. Start with Purpose
What is your purpose in experiential marketing? It should drive sales and engagement, but you must identify the organizing principle or the “why” behind this. Think of this as a brand’s values and identity. How do you want it to be seen?
Brand activation should communicate the company’s ideas which will align the consumer with the brand. What does your brand stand for and how will your virtual experience reflect that?
2. Craft Your Story
How does your brand experience reflect your branding initiative? How does it reflect your overall story? Humans are driven to connect with stories, and by weaving that storytelling throughout your experiential marketing, you’re setting a foundation for that connection.
You can tell this story across your omnichannel marketing strategy and your audience will create stronger associations between your brand and the values and ideals you’re representing. This is how your brand can come to life.
3. Stay Consistent
Like we mentioned with your omnichannel storytelling, your brand activation’s messaging, values, look and feel, etc. must remain consistent and on-brand. Too often, brands get overexcited and fire up a new initiative or push in a direction that disrupts their existing brand experience which comes off as more confusing than innovative for their audience.
Everything from your brand guidelines to your brand voice to your social media posts help set the foundation for your brand experience. Any sudden change may confuse rather than inspire, so take gradual or incremental steps to develop consistency when turning in a new direction.
4. Engage in Smart Ways
Recognizing the opportunities and channels and messages to engage consumers with your brand activation is all part of your overall brand experience strategy. It’s about identifying creative and appropriate ways for your consumers to engage with your brand. This can range from leveraging old standbys, such as QR Codes and surveys, to recognizing innovative new technology such as the VR, AR and the metaverse.
All of this, of course, depends on your purpose and audience. Your promotional marketing, especially when taking advantage of new opportunities, should be working with the brand rather than against it. Recognize opportunity, but use experience and testing to ensure the latest thing isn’t more trouble than it’s worth.
5. Smooth Out the Experience
While the end goal is to drive sales of a product or adoptions of service in any digital marketing push, creating a unique brand experience is just as important. Does your experiential marketing strategy provide a pleasurable or exciting experience from beginning to end that naturally leads the consumer on a path to purchase? If not, you’re missing the point of virtual experiences.
Find innovative ways to display or experience your product online. Give consumers a fun way to explore, and they’ll beat a path to your door. Remove the hurdles of painful navigation and make the process from product to checkout as smooth as possible. Then, after purchase, deliver a world-class support experience and they will never forget you.
6. Keep it Fresh
In business, we must adapt and evolve. Ecommerce is constantly changing, and the last couple years have catapulted the shopper marketing industry’s digital presence. Now, consumers are constantly seeking out virtual environments to connect with brands. Customer reviews and social media provide the feedback and social proof that the modern consumer is looking for.
Any brand that can’t adapt to changes in tech and user expectations is destined to fall short on an engaging, successful brand experience.
Need more help creating a brand experience?
Are you succeeding on all six fronts? Creating a brand experience that features innovative marketing strategies across a digital landscape is no easy task.
To help bring your brand to life, bring our experts onboard. Cliffedge Marketing is a dedicated brand experience agency that understands your audience and embraces the latest digital marketing tech and shopper engagement tactics necessary to achieve a successful brand activation.