Friday, 18 January 2013

Experiential Marketing: Brand Experience for Brand Awareness

Experiential Marketing: Brand Experience for Brand Awareness: by Jason Li 2013 ©

Ever had a brand experience that was awesome?...

So good you HAD to tell a friend?... (like your first school yard kiss)

And it created a lasting feel good memory?... (like when you won something)

That’s why experiential marketing is a great way to convert prospective customers and gain referrals. (Just one marketing differentiation tactic and value creation method in the practical ebook guide The Goose Bump Effect)

Let’s kick off with a case study that highlights this straight away to prove this.

Experiential Marketing Case study: Lego

Lego has been around for ages.

I used to love Lego. When I was a kid I was inspired by battery motored vehicles I could build as seen on the television adverts.

In fact, I was a dab hand at it – after 90 days of trying.

The funny thing is, if you just ask me to build a quick card pyramid - I can’t be bothered these days; I’ve no energy, or patience. Sometimes the TV runs and if the programme is not terrible, I’ll let it run... yes I’m a LAZY GIT!

But bring out the Lego, and I’m ready for the challenge.

Lego is just a special brand experience. You can even visit Lego Land and get really inspired.
Each Lego set can be recreated by any visitor who is willing to have a go. It just takes seeing and liking one Lego set for a prospect to get ‘that urge’ to want to ‘have a go’ at recreating a master piece... and then BAM... before they know it they are at the Lego shop, box under the arm, and debit card flicking out to the smiley person on the till – as cool as the Fonz – a knowingly fleeced Fonz!

That’s another sale, with no objection handling, no hard selling, or multiple questions or having to wince everytime that person you like on the phone is calling you. (I’ve been there on a call back with people in the past life, and you know you and them are wasting each other’s time, even though they are interested and talk to you... otherwise they would buy from me already.)

PITCHED AND CLOSED in one smooth Lego Land marketing and sales environment. Thank you.

And just when you are getting good at Lego, Average Joe or Josephine make that incredible Lego set as seen in the newspapers, and it gets ‘those urges’ going again.

Experiencial Marketing Brand Engagement is Selling

Ever been in a sales process when you are just about to close a prospect? (Or they tell you they are ready to buy?)

If you get lucky, a prospect starts to waffle about how they like your product and other ways they can use it, and of course their objections and why that’s not a problem because it does such a thing to make it worthwhile.

Of course, when you are selling, you have to go through this one prospect at a time. It’s pretty time consuming to go from an initial cold contact, questioning and education, and the rest of the sales process with the many twists and turns of involving other directors and more.

If you are paying for ten telesales, or ten retail sales advisors or ten field sales consultants with cars, then logically your business is closing and hearing the same set of objections from ten prospects at a time, over-and-over again. And that’s a lot of time and cost when you add it all up together.

(So park this time and cost problem as we go through this article.)

Part of selling is building a relationship. If they like you then they are comfortable disclosing company or personal details to your questions. Most sales people are likeable with clients and ask decent questions, and so can build good rapport. (Or else the sales person has to pay for expensive lunches and steep discounts to keep prospects engaged.)

But at the end of the day, what if after all this, the prospect just does not like the product or service your business offers and buys from another business offering a similar but better value package, or think your business is not focussed enough on creating value for the prospect, today or a year down the road?

This is where brand engagement and relationship advertising allows you to showcase your product, service, and company, and is one great way to differentiate your business from competitors.

A lot of people don’t like being sold to. I know sales people that make other telesales cold callers lives hell where I’ve worked when a call comes in, or when I’m shopping with them they give the shop assistant a curt: “I’m fine, I’m just browsing.” (So you’re not the only sales person who hates fob offs themselves, but angrily tells a cold caller to go away with abusive language that’s just short of psychologically stripping someone down, and you won’t help Mr Cold Caller in anyway. Yes, you’ve witnessed it too. And cruelly laughed your head off at that particular time. Wink.)

Experiential Marketing Case study: Nissan

Nissan is not the number one selling car in the UK. In fact they’re not in the top three either, but they are gaining popularity.

I’ve seen a steady rise on the roads in Nissan owners, and it’s not by accident.

Here’s one of the ways Nissan used a brand marketing method to get prospective car owners to try owning a Nissan.

In the 02 Arena, which has over 7 million visitors a year and one of the highest footfalls in the UK, there is a Nissan experience centre. The O2 is the world’s number one venue for live music events. 

Where better to engage an audience where people are open to new happy experiences where they can create facebook posts for friends so they can ‘like’ away.

What’s driving Nissan (Marketing Week) – article opens in a new window.

In a relaxed branded experiential environment, sales people can build rapport, educate, persuade, educate some more, and have decent conversations where there is no pressure and give real value.

People who are at your branded marketing events will have set aside plenty of time to spend there and are willing to disclose all their needs, wants, objections, problems and why they are there.

You see, when selling, if you can get the objections, then your answers are really information to help them justify in making a buying decision... provided you provide the right information.

At your branded marketing experiential event, the prospect can see you are very good and likeable, and as they have relaxed their guard, are more willing to disclose and tell, listen and make a vision of how your product and service can fit well in their life.

And as what you have done to the brand is likeable, they know other decision makers will concur too.

And of course, as you know the target market very well, your company, product and service offer will be extremely strong and very compelling to a prospect that makes an effort to spend time on your site.

Experiential Marketing Case study: Top Shop

Do you remember when Kate Moss launched her own designs for Top Shop?

She posed in the windows as a model as tourists and the fashion world got a buzz at such a unique event.

It worked a treat.

The ‘Supermodel in the window’ really differentiated Top Shop from other clothes shops in London.

Why is this important?

Top Shop don’t claim to offer high end expensive clothing, but the event was memorable and allowed the public to see Top Shop as a leading fashion shop for the general public.

Top Shop became a destination for fashionable girls where the target market required affordable clothing. (The ebook has a section on Marketing Strategy and research techniques to test if new products and innovations have a chance of being accepted by your target market).

Experiential Marketig Builds Brand Loyalty

If you are good at understanding your target market and your product/service offer is genuinely the best in the market, you will have more interested people than you think.

Sales guru Nicholas Read calls this latent needs – a similar idea to market research.

If you introduce your brand in the right way you make it a pleasure for prospects to engage and interact with your product. (Making your product a pleasure is a key secret to success – see the ebook Marketing Strategy section.)

In fact, a great experience has in many studies transformed dull boring brands into life. People learn by doing and experience. (Engaging the sense better than your competitors is another secret – see the ebook Differentiation section.)

This will shift attitudes, beliefs and allow prospects to match yours with their long-term held values. Most importantly the prospect will agree with your offer, which is key in getting a prospect on your side as they move through a sales cycle and convert themselves into becoming a customer.


Ultimately, a happy prospect will tell others about their enjoyable experience.

In this day and age of social media, this form of word-of-mouth allows you to gain free advertising and broad awareness.

Experiential brand marketing allows prospects to align with the way you want them to see your brand positioning.

And so you can expect facebook likes and Tweets galore if you’ve done your homework correctly and provided an added value experience.

Experiential Marketing Case study: Northumberlandia

In the UK there are 1000s of places to go for a walk.

Many of the walks are pretty similar so it’s not worth it most of the time to bother travelling to a destination many miles away.

But if you want a walk that attracts thousands of people from around the country then you need to create something of great value and is absolutely worth doing to compensate for the travel time.

Northumberlandia is just that walk that hits the spot.

At Northumberlandia, you are walking over a lady’s body. When you stand on the head you get a great view of the body and can see all the people winding their way around to the head.

The 19 hectare public park on Cheviot Hill has been shaped so that you can have a great unique experience which you cannot get anywhere else in the UK. You can try a number of walks, or surf the net for a similar walk, but if you want a walk like this then you have no choice but to go to Northumberlandia.

As written on the website:

Northumberlandia is a unique piece of public art set in a 46 acre community park with free public access and 4 miles of footpaths on and around the landform.’

It is a project that has been researched and deliberately created to offer a very different walk.

Would this entice you to walk Northumberlandia if you liked to go on walks? Would you refer others to this without any resistance or much objection? - The Lady of the North.

The Land Trust

7 Birchwood One
Dewhurst Road
WA3 7GB 


How not to engage your prospects. Never, ever do these promotions.

  1. A Gangnam style dance to promote a funeral parlour in the town centre.
  2. Shock machines to prove heart attack tablets are quick at easing pain.
  3. Provide a complement of nasty viruses to promote computer anti-virus software.
  4. Create a dangerous assault course to prove pets will do anything to try to get to your pet food.
Further reading:


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  6. You're welcome and thank you for your comments.

    If you have any subjects you want to see on the blog, or know of any typical marketing issues to write about then I will be happy to consider some new subjects for articles.

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  8. Thank you for your comments and encouragement.