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Are brand experiences the strongest marketing tool? And what could that mean for brands?

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April 3, 2018

Marketing is about two things. It’s about being remembered and about creating positive associations to that memory. I believe meaningful brand experiences are the strongest marketing tool to achieve that. But why? And what could that mean for brands?

Because experiences create memories and memories create desire. That’s why I’ve made it my personal tagline. Let me explain this.

I head over to the field of psychology for a minute (eventually, marketing and psychology don’t differ that much). People encounter a ton of activities during their lives, what makes it impossible to remember them all. But those that will stay in our memory are those activities that were unforgettable and those we will tell our relatives for years.

Research has shown that experiences are valued over possessions in the current economy. Experiences would bring more happiness than possessions and they tend to stay in people’s memory for a much longer period. Exceptional memories only become even more exceptional with the time they stay in our mind. The memory becomes a desire for more. This is exactly what I’ve encountered myself after my USA road trip that I’ve mentioned in my previous post.

That road trip was the best time of my life so far. Never before had I seen such beautiful nature, never before had I experienced such cool things. And in the 5 years that have passed I’ve lived through those experiences over and over again, thanks to my incredible memories that are stocked in my mind forever. Those memories led me to a desire to learn more and more about the country that I’ve visited. I’ve bought books and I watch programs about American culture and history, I keep reading travel guides, I’ve followed elections from up close and I have developed a deep interest in American sports and their way of sports marketing. My travel experience has opened doors to a much deeper desire than I had before. And this is exactly what meaningful experiences can offer to brands that are looking for consumer bonding mechanisms.

What’s important to include in this text is that every exceptional experience starts from a so called passion point. First you need to grab people’s attention and this goes a lot easier when they have a passion for your activity. I would have never payed that amount of dollars to my trip if I wasn’t interested in what the world has to offer.

Therefore I would like to inspire brands to do the following:

  • Invest in b-2-c marketing staff that is focused on creating meaningful brand experiences
  • Investigate your consumers’ passion points, interests and hot topics
  • Gather as much consumer data as possible in a central CRM system
  • Activate your brand and create meaningful experiences for your consumers based on that information
  • Build targeted loyalty programs with exclusive experiences for your best customers

Your clients will have the (customer) journey of their lifetime, just as I had.

 

 

To inspire even more I would like to show one of the brand activations that I found very appealing:

Race to Dubai golf sponsorship activation from Fly Emirates – A beautiful example of creating preference for your core product through assets of the sponsored sport

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JEFF VAN THIELEN
Tessenderlo, BEL

Hello my name is Jeff. Good to see you are visiting my blog on sports marketing! I will use this platform to share my views on sports sponsoring, events, social media, fan engagement, brand activations and strategy & structure. Don't hesitate to hit me up if you want to discuss opinions. You can reach out to me on my social media.

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