Branded experiences is key to marketing success

by Tony Fannin, president, BE Branded

It has been said that advertising has lost its effectiveness. To some, this could be true. I don’t think advertising is dying, but I do think what you advertise has changed. Typically, marketers advertise their services and products. The stuff they do or make. This is what’s becoming bland and very forgettable. I believe you should advertise what experiences your customers will have by engaging with your brand instead. This is far more appealing. By being able to “touch their dreams”, your brand becomes more than just the commodity you provide. Your brand can become the unique experience that they can only get from your company. Experiences is where a brand can become unique. It’s not in the actual stuff you do or make.

This is true online as well as offline. Experiences is not a technology play, but it’s about what intrinsic value you provide in my daily life and when I interact with your brand. It’s beyond what I get, it’s what I feel when I engage with your brand. Apple has become one of the kings when it comes to experiencing a brand. Nike is also a master at providing wonderful experiences. So too is Google and Amazon. Concepts such as the Victoria’s Secret online runway show, Red Bull Flugtag events, Nike’s Nike+ online running community, and Leggo’s building tours, are all examples of providing great experiences beyond the actual stuff they sell.

Now is the time to get beyond safe thinking and to embrace big ideas. Now is the time to be creative in how you can engage your customers and provide them with an experience that is more than “stuff deep”. Those who understand what and how to deliver these experiences will be the ones who will have an advantage in the new economy. The online world has shown how true this concept is. Experiences reach out and engage customers in more meaningful ways which encourage “trial purchases” as well as reinforce repeat buys.

When it comes to advertising, marketers need to use it differently. Turn your marketing and advertising into formats that communicate what experiences await your customers. This is the same for online and offline; traditional and new media. Instead of telling me the specs on your widget, tell me the cool things that are possible. Don’t advertise what it does, but describe to me the feeling I’ll have as a result of using it. Let me know there’s a new world that awaits me for “joining” your community of widgets. What experiences will I be able to participate in that’s beyond the commodity I just bought? We’ve used the term “Branded Experiences” from day one at our agency. (that’s where the letters BE comes from). In today’s market space, that’s what we all should be selling, branded experiences that connects our company to our customers on an emotional level. This kind of marketing and advertising extends the brand beyond the tactics and allows it to become a living entity.

Advertising isn’t dead. Advertising your product or service is. What your marketing needs to do is communicate the experiences that awaits your customers. Then, you better be sure that your products and services can live up to the experiences you advertise.


About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

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