CAN YOU MEASURE BRAND EXPERIENCES?
Yes – and it’s actually easier than you might think. Unlike other media-led forms of marketing, there is no common formula for measuring the success of a brand experience. That’s because each one will have a different shape and role, which requires custom measurement techniques matched to its unique qualities.
That said, there are some basic principles that hold firm across the board. For example, the comparison of people who were exposed to the brand experience against people who weren’t exposed.
Sense has developed a detailed methodology which can be applied to almost any brand experience you care to mention, more on which can be found in our experiential measurement guide – written by us and available for free.
HOW CAN YOU INTEGRATE SOCIAL MEDIA INTO BRAND EXPERIENCES?
Social media and brand experiences go hand in hand – but that doesn’t mean the way to integrate them is always obvious. Too often, square pegs are pushed into round holes when people try to blend them, since they attempt to match their favored social channel with their given experience without considering whether they amplify the effect of one another.
The correct approach should be to first develop the brand experience, and then second see what form of social media would be able to best provide a service to it.
If on the other hand, you know that you are making an experience to support a particular social channel, then the experience should be designed accordingly. There are particular structural qualities to brand experiences that gel with particular social channels – ones which can be learned and replicated with time and practice.
HOW DO YOU PLAN BRAND EXPERIENCES STRATEGICALLY?
Many people think that strategy looks very different in brand experience when compared to other forms of marketing, but in truth, the same principles apply. At the end of the day, experiences are forms of communication, and as with any piece of marketing, you need to identify the correct message that will drive your desired behavior.
The biggest mistake you can make is to confuse tactical decisions (where should we take our experience? What media should we support it with? Who should we partner with?) with truly strategic ones (what are we trying to achieve, and how are we going to do it?).
Brand experiences have traditionally been plagued with tactical thinking masquerading as strategic, creating experiences that often get caught up in the details and lack a “big picture”, approach so be sure to do some high-level thinking before diving in. Get in touch with us for a helping hand – it’s what we do best.
ARE BRAND EXPERIENCES EXPENSIVE?
In general, there is some truth to the perception that brand experiences are a more expensive form of marketing communication than other options. After all, to give someone an “experience” is clearly more valuable than simply telling them something.
That said, its higher value also should lead to greater consumer impact, as they should be far more engaged – and therefore activated carefully, meaning the overall bang for your buck should be equal to or better than other forms of marketing.
There are also now more ways to create great brand experiences cost effectively. Not everything has to be an amazing event for a small amount of people – instead, it could be something mediated through a media channel to millions, or a small moment that is left to run for a long period of time.
The expense of brand experiences doesn’t make them bad value – you just have to know how to apply that expense effectively, which is something we can help you with.
ARE BRAND EXPERIENCES ONLY FOR B2C BRANDS?
It probably appears that brand experiences are more appropriate for B2C brands than B2B. This is because many experiences take place in public forums, and as such require the brand in question to be seeking a relationship with the general public.
While it’s true that B2B brands are less likely to activate a stunt in a city square or to open a pop-up shop, that doesn’t mean that brand experience isn’t for them. In fact, in some cases it can be far more effective than it can be for B2C brands.
B2B brands, since they normally have a narrower customer base, can generally do far more targeted experiences, like small scale events and conferences. They can also get more creative, which carries an extra premium and impact in industries where brand experience is more unusual.
In truth, there is no industry where brand experience can’t play a role – you just have to make sure you don’t employ a one size fits all policy – instead, tailor campaigns to your audience and use your brand to create a memorable and shareable experience.