Top Brand Executives Testify to the Value of Live Brand Events (The White Board)

Key Takeaways:

  • From gathering valuable consumer feedback to making “seeing believing,” brand executives from the world’s largest companies see live brand events as a key component of consumer engagement.
  • Live experiences, social media, and content marketing are a few impactful ways for brands to connect with consumers. But, by connecting these elements into a larger ecosystem, brands are better able to communicate messaging and increase brand engagement.
  • As more brands seek to broaden their appeal cross-culturally, they must also ensure that inclusive messaging appears sincere to ensure consumer buy-in.

 

The Power of Experiential: 10 Brand Executives Sound off on the Value of Live Events

VR tech at a live brand experience.Experiential marketing is not new; however, it has evolved over the past few decades. A live brand event allows consumers to experience a brand face-to-face. But the modern iterations we now see are not the same as we’ve experienced in the past. This is in large part due to shifting expectations from both the C-suite and Main street. To keep up with changing consumer needs and increased ROI demands from leadership, marketers are creating brand activations that engage, inspire, and show measurable value.

Success in experiential marketing is not limited to any one metric or approach. It is also not limited to certain sectors, markets, or demographics. From financial institutions to liquor and television production, bringing brand experiences to diverse groups is how modern-day brands create meaningful (and profitable) relationships with consumers.

 

Connecting Every Touchpoint to Deliver a More Personalized Experience

Experiential product samplingExperiential marketing has grown in popularity, in many cases because brands see it as a way to demonstrate transparency and the company’s core values. Yet despite the increased investment in brand activation and other means of engagement, only 41% of US consumers believe brands are living up to their promises, according to Jack Morton’s Experience Brand index.

To better deliver on promises, brands need to create more touch points, or as this post explains, “connect the dots.” The article argues that, by connecting touch points, brands can take consumers on a shared journey, complete with live experiences. Through these journeys, brands can better deliver on their promises, helping them make the consumer experience a part of the brand narrative.

 

Busy Bees: How Bumble Events Went from Dates to Deal Making

Dating app Bumble goes all in on live brand activationTechnology has changed basic human interaction, most notably by allowing people to meet and engage with each other outside of a shared physical space. Brands like Tinder and Bumble have improved upon this concept by introducing apps that have revolutionized the dating space. These platforms have become fully-mainstream, with “swiping right (or left)” becoming a common pop culture reference. But for female-driven brand Bumble, keeping things entirely online has had its limitations.

While Bumble began as a dating app, it has since expanded as a “meeting spot” with the launch of two new platforms. Bumble BFF focuses on meeting new friends, while Bumble Biz connects people interested in networking for business. To celebrate the launch of these new offerings, the brand created pop-ups and live brand events to allow their users an opportunity to move app-based meetings irl (in real life). And with nearly half of Americans still preferring to meet in person, Bumble has found increased success in hosting these live events, with more on the way.

 

Consumers are Wary of Brands Who Seem to be Trying to Check Off a Diversity Box

Diversity in marketing must be authentic.For many decades, the cry for increased diversity and multicultural representation in marketing has been resounding. In fact, 88% of recently surveyed marketers in the US agreed that using more diverse images helps with a brand’s reputation. In recent years, consumers have looked to brands to understand that diversity is not limited to race and ethnicity. And while they seek to answer, it is important for brands to present diversity in a way that doesn’t seem forced or contrived. Consumers can and will call out brands when they sense they are disingenuous.

As with any marketing campaign, authenticity is key. AdWeek recently published an article that outlines tips for setting the right tone when seeking to promote an inclusive brand message. As the author points out, companies can’t only talk the talk. They need to speak and take action, as well as include consumers in the conversation. Check out the full article here.

 

How to Make Your Small Wins Work for You

In a world obsessed with followers and likes, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of online life. Social media has made it easier than ever for everyday individuals and organizations to get an unprecedented amount of attention. Almost everyone in the online sphere has “going viral” on their to-do list, an accomplishment that often happens due to circumstance, not strategy. Yet, when we see others “score big” when it comes to social traction, it’s easy for us to set high expectations for ourselves and our work teams. These online marketing BHAGs make it difficult to celebrate small brand achievements.

Despite the ease in which we can find disappointment, it’s important to retrain ourselves to celebrate the smaller wins, both in our personal and work lives. As this article points out, there are changes that we can make to celebrate every victory, acknowledging that each one gets us closer to our most lofty goals.

 

Why Consumers Choose One Brand Over Another

Coca-cola has found brand loyalty for years.With the advent of ecommerce, the barriers to entry for starting a business shrank. Both entrepreneurs and consumers have benefited, but companies are challenged to differentiate themselves. While many brands embrace community engagement or experiential to help combat these issues, companies that understand the process by which consumers choose a specific brand will no doubt have an advantage.

In a recent blog post, Branding Strategy Insider published three key points that a majority of consumers consider when selecting a brand. These are relevance, coherence, and participation. In looking to these elements as a guide, companies can build more effective marketing strategies.

 

Experiential Marketing Budgets Expected to Grow, Study States

Experiential marketing budgets continue to grow.Experiential marketing’s popularity is showing no signs of slowing. In fact, more brands are noticing the efficacy of brand activation, particularly its ability to make a measurable impact on consumers – more so than traditional forms of marketing. In fact, according to the second annual State of Experiential Study by AgencyEA, 92% of brand-side marketers feel that integrating events and experiences is imperative. And with the increase in live brand experiences, it’s only natural that a significant rise in budget follows.

The AgencyEA study also found that brands are becoming increasingly aware that they will not be the only ones executing brand activations. They are also looking to leverage the impact of activations by designing traditional and digital campaigns centered around experiences.

 

Brands Come to the Aid of Federal Workers Affected by Shutdown

Brands stepped up during the government shutdown.A few weeks ago, the United States government partially closed for 35 days, the longest shutdown in U.S. history. Listed among the most negatively impacted were national parks, government contractors, and hundreds of thousands federal workers, many of whom were still expected to work without pay. But even in the midst of governmental disfunction, individuals and brands alike came together, putting aside politics to aid their fellow citizens.

Several CPG brands and restaurants took notable measures to ensure that those affected wouldn’t go hungry. Kraft for example, created a pop-up store in Washington D.C that provided federal workers with an opportunity to fill grocery bags with their products. Meanwhile, Nestle, in partnership with Keep America Beautiful, organized a team to clean up public spaces that were piling up waste.

 

Author: Kelly Springs-Kelley

Kelly Springs-Kelley is the Marketing Director at Elevate Staffing. When she's not creating content or pondering the future of in-person consumer engagement, Kelly can be found hiking the mountains of Arizona with her 2 kids and 3 dogs.

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