In today’s commercial landscape, your brand is a competitive advantage. How people interact with it, talk about it and experience it is more powerful than any ad campaign you could run.
But while brand experiences deliver great returns in terms of lead generation, sales and brand awareness, they’re often a hard sell.
How to get a better return on your brand experiences
If you want your brand experience to drive leads, boost sales, increase awareness or encourage product trials, you need to:
1. Guide your thinking with a customer-centric framework
You can’t pull a great experience out of thin air. To design, curate and execute an experience that engages your audience, you need a customer-centric framework.
A good example framework is Think // Feel // Do - what do you want your customers to think, feel or do during your experience? Asking yourself these questions helps flesh out assumptions and outline your goals for the experience you’re designing.
2. Design for a reaction
It’s helpful to think of an experience as a film or a theatre production. It needs to have the right setting, the right scenes and the right ‘moments’ to hook people in, hold their attention and leave them feeling a certain way.
This is why it’s important to consider how you design and make use of space.
Refinery29’s 29Rooms is a great example of how spaces can be designed to stimulate emotions and reactions. As the name suggests, the experience is made up of 29 unique installations built in collaboration with the brand’s partners. Each one encourages people to create or do something, and capture it on their phones in the process.
3. Create a content strategy
Your experience should be filmed, shot and shared with people all over the world for maximum reach. But to do this, you need a content strategy.
A content strategy outlines what content you’ll capture yourself, and what you want your audience to capture. It also outlines the formats and channels on which you’ll distribute that content, and makes sure you’re capturing and sharing content that aligns with your key messages and objectives.
4. Capture your experience
It’s important to keep a few things in mind when capturing and documenting your experience. You should, for example, capture how people respond and react to things - footage and images of them experiencing emotions and interacting with products is really powerful.
It’s also important to make sure your space is easy for people to photograph themselves. When Bravo took over a parking lot in Austin to launch season 2 of Imposters, it created three ‘sets’ that people could use as backdrops for social media photos.
A good experience is worth every cent
A well-designed, carefully executed brand experience is an excellent tool for driving leads, sales and brand awareness. Done right, its returns far outweigh the costs.