What does it mean to create an experience, and why is it so important for brands to frame their events this way?
Events have been a tool that strategic marketers have used for as long as humans have exchanged goods and services. Harnessing the influential power of events is strategic and impactful when approaching business and marketing goals.
It’s important to note that an event can be defined as a gathering of people with a purpose and is not limited to physical or “in-person” gatherings. This generalized definition is significant when specifying the difference between an event and the concept of an “experience.” The notion of a “brand experience” is really the ultimate marketing investment for any brand.
When you think of an event – it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. An experience lingers in your memory as an impression or a feeling you get to revisit over and over again. So why wouldn’t anyone want to put together a brand experience that leaves a positive lasting impression?
Elements of a “brand experience”:
1. It has a vibe – a voice, a tone, a feel, a personality of sorts. You know the brands that stand out like a really interesting person you met at a party or like a friend you think of every time you see or hear something specific. That’s the impact you want your brand to have – it’s a vibe. You know the ones… When you think of Vogue or Nike or Apple – you don’t require the brand in front of you to know the vibe of it. You’ve experienced it so you know what it is. This solid and impactful brand identity isn’t based on a colour palette or a single tag line, but on a holistic brand identity that is curated and defined in every facet of the business so there is rarely (if ever) a single interaction you will have that feels “off-brand” – it’s a whole vibe.
2. It is consistent – each time someone interacts with your brand, the experience your audience has come to expect is upheld. It’s important here that the experience is from their perspective. If they have come to know your brand as a sassy voice with clever clapbacks that makes them feel cheeky and in-on-the-joke – the climate of world events and the tone and topic of your comedy matter. Understanding what feeling your audience gets from you and delivering that consistently even if how you deliver it changes with time is key. If empowerment is your space, the expectations around what is and isn’t empowering to whom can shift – so even if you’re being consistent, the important thing is that your audience feels that consistency. Some jokes and taglines from 15 years ago just don’t hit with the same hilarity today.
3. It is lasting – a consistent brand experience will empower your core audience to have a relationship with the brand itself. The best brands become part of our identity – like if we’re a combination of the five people we spend the most time with, we’re also a combination of the top five brands we associate with and buy into. That kind of relationship lingers and as long as you continue to serve a consistent experience from your audience’s perspective, you’ll continue to win them over. Marketing win!
Takeaway: Where the Venn diagram realm of branding crosses over the realm of events – you get “brand experiences” and when you are able to create those on a regular basis, it’s the best marketing initiative you can invest in for your business.
Get Inviting is an event and marketing strategy company operating out of Toronto, Canada with nationwide and international clients. With a focus on brand magnetism and organic community engagement, Get Inviting is a one-stop consultancy for brand outreach, public relations, and both digital and in-person event marketing initiatives.