By Lisa Major
As consumer expectations and purchasing habits shift, the outlook on big brands has become more cynical and distrusting. Over the past few years, there has been an overarching cultural shift away from materialism to a stronger focus on ethical awareness. Consequently, today’s consumers demand authenticity and transparency from brands. And not just with products and services being offered, but also in how brands connect with them.
In this day and age, it is vital for brands to form relationships with consumers that are built on trust. And like in life, trust is not won overnight, and it can be broken in an instant. More than ever, consumers are looking at brands under a microscope and weighing their credentials and values. And with a wealth of information at our fingertips, consumers are quick to check out a product or service before making a purchase. When you combine the desire for authenticity with the power of peer-to-peer recommendations, it’s easy to see why there is an obvious need for brands to create genuine relationships with consumers.
Experiential marketing is a powerful strategy that brands of all shapes and sizes can take advantage of. It offers brands the chance to interact with consumers in-person while catering to their expectations. These interactions build trust, increase brand loyalty, and help gain new customers while retaining old ones.
Brands are much more than the products and/or services that they offer. Wally Olins, a well-known brand expert, said that in order to create and sustain consumer trust, brands must “deliver on promises.” To be successful as a brand, you need to build your brand around the relationships that your customers have with you. According to EventTrack, 74% of consumers have a better opinion about a brand after an experiential marketing event, and 98% feel more inclined to make a purchase after an event. With numbers like that, it’s clear to see that face-to-face interactions have an impact on consumer perception. When you deliver on your promises by showing that you care about what you’re offering and that you value the relationships you have with your customers, you’ll create trust and loyalty.
Tip: Don’t miss a single detail. When designing a brand experience, remain consistent in brand style, messaging, and experiences so that your consumers’ trust will grow stronger with every interaction and touchpoint.
Being authentic and transparent is crucial to building trust with consumers. In fact, 39% of consumers say they will switch to a new brand in pursuit of brand transparency. Customers want to hear from brands, they want to know their story and their values. Traditional marketing can’t meet any of those expectations. With traditional marketing strategies, consumers are lost in the masses, not to mention they are flooded with gimmicks and messaging that goes in one ear and out the other. Experiential marketing, on the other hand, allows brands to engage one-on-one with consumers and create two-way conversations. As a result, consumers feel heard and included, and those interactions lead to memorable moments that stick with them.
Tip: Brands earn loyal customers for displaying honesty and being genuine. Make authenticity and transparency a top priority.
Experiential marketing revolves around the entire consumer experience from start to finish. The key focus is to make every element, interaction, and touchpoint memorable. As a result of keeping consumers at the heart and core of every decision, you will see success. When consumers feel seen and empowered by brands, they will remain connected to those brands and will bring them along on their own individual journeys.
Tip: Deliver experiences that connect with consumers, but continue to strengthen those relationships and continue conversations long after they are created through social media networking, email, ETC.
We are all trying to connect and feel seen in our everyday lives. Connection with peers, partners and family members is a common source of joy and meaning. Those same desires can also have an impact on brand perception. When brands create customized and personalized experiences, they make consumers feel like they are a part of the story instead of a face in the crowd. When the consumer is the center of attention, it opens the door for brands to build relationships. And, in the process, it builds trust and loyalty.
Tip: Create customized content for your target consumers. They will feel like you are talking to them, rather than at them.
Experiential marketing offers a unique opportunity for brands to meet with their audience face-to-face. This is significant because no other form of marketing can offer that. Thus, one of the many reasons that experiential is so successful.
As attention spans grow shorter and digital platforms become noisier, there is something to be said about stepping away from the screen and interacting with consumers in person. When a consumer can put a face and personality to a brand, something magical happens – an emotional tie is automatically triggered. And when a consumer associates their experience with those memorable and fun emotions, they are more likely to become customers.
Tip: Work closely with your event staffing agency to ensure that brand ambassadors have everything they need to become the face and voice of your brand. From brand history to targeted messaging, training your brand ambassadors is essential to forming valuable connections with consumers.
Experiential marketing offers a unique opportunity to create bonds with consumers through engaging and immersive experiences. And when consumers associate a brand with those fun and memorable experiences, they are more likely to become customers and stay loyal to the brand.
Designing a consistent brand experience is only half the battle when it comes to building trust in your brand. The people who are interacting with potential customers play a critical role in brand perception. Therefore, it is important that you partner with an experienced event staffing agency. One that understands the importance of hiring the right people who will represent your brand and your values in a positive and authentic way.