By Lisa Major
Fans make a marketer’s job a little easier. They are a group of people with a common interest, sometimes in a single location, with the kind of passion and loyalty that most traditional brands crave for themselves. With ever-popular fan experiences, those brands can piggyback on the fandom of one entity to create a new brand connection entirely. Here are four planning tips to help build a fan experience that puts your brand at the center of the larger story.
When going after fans, it’s easy to default to sports fans or music fans. Gamedays and music festivals are HUGE draws for experiential marketers, and rightly so. They have everything a marketer wants: a large group of highly engaged people seeking one-of-a-kind experiences.
These days, the opportunities to find large groups of fans go well beyond stadiums and stages. Pop culture phenomena have produced other occasions to reach crowds of fans – namely, events like Comic Con and other fan expos and conventions. With any campaign strategy, start with the customer. Figure out what they are fans of, and you’ll likely find an event to meet them.
Once you know who you’re targeting, the next strategic step is to align your brand with the object of their affection. For example, several years ago, Wendy’s famously became a fan of Fortnite when the brand created a look-alike avatar and live-streamed its gameplay on Twitch. And while Wendy’s has continued its dominant brand persona in the virtual space, in 2022, it connected to Rick & Morty fans with a live basketball experience.
Finding clever and innovative ways to create an authentic link between two brand personas, where one acts as a fan of the other, makes the next step all the easier.
A successful fan experience honors what fans love about the fantasy and lets them personally experience it in real life. Often we see replicas or simulations made available for audience immersion to bring the story closer. In other cases, it’s a real-life meet and greets with a beloved star. But for a third-party brand to be the catalyst for that experience, it must be built on a solid creative alignment. The results can be powerful because fans recognize and appreciate the effort made on their behalf. Technology and mobile marketing allow for fan activations at a more significant scale. Still, more attention should be paid to the authenticity of the integration and fan immersion for the brand to fit in.
It’s best to have the right people to bring a fan experience to life. There’s no better solution than hiring specialty brand ambassadors or promotional talent that share the same interests and passion as your target audience. In doing so, you’ll bring the perfect balance of professionalism, authenticity, and enthusiasm to ensure the fans have the best experience possible.
ATN Event Staffing delivers professional experiential marketing staff to execute brand activations at high-profile events and high-traffic locations. Our expertise makes the hiring process a seamless part of campaign planning for one or multiple markets. Since 2002, our partners have come to expect high-caliber solutions and exceptional customer service.
When fan experiences are a part of your experiential marketing campaign, ATN Event Staffing will provide you with a team of specialty talent that will earn brand loyalty and engagement.