A brand is the sum of all interactions a customers has with it. Instead of looking at your product or services separately, you should consider your whole business as a brand. When you do this, you are dealing with customer experience. Or X as Brian Solis, the customer experience guru calls it. A great experience is relevant, valuable, mutual and respectful. Shaping such great experiences does not happen overnight. Best-in class brands invest in creating experiences around their products and services. The best experiences become memories. And when that happens, customer loyalty increases.
Think about it. What makes Apple and Disney so great? Their product are of outstanding quality, of course, but there is more to it. Both Apple and Disney are recognized for the experiences they shape in line with the way of life of their target groups. Think about the simplicity and user-friendliness of Apple and the mesmerizing world of Disney. Their offered experiences are well designed and thought true. These brands draw story-boards that explain what their experiences will look like. Apple is so methodical in its customer design that it even draws story boards on how its boxes will be opened.
Creating great experiences around your existing products and services is referred to as experiential marketing. Experiential marketing tries to immerse customers within the product by engaging as many other human senses as possible. Brands utilize a variety of marketing strategies in order to achieve this emotional connection with their consumers.
Adidas, for example, organized the “D Rose Jump Store” in London to promote Derrick Rose’s signature Adidas sneakers. Although the concept was simple (use Derrick Rose’s presence to create buzz among fans), Adidas took it to another level by adding depth to their activation. In addition to meeting the famous Chicago Bulls point guard, fans had the opportunity to win a free pair of the signature sneaker if they could jump 3 meters to reach them. By having participants jump the same distance needed to reach a regulation basketball hoop, it gave each consumer perspective into the basketball player’s life. Whether participants walked away empty handed or with a new set of shoes, they all had an experience that they will always remember and associate with Adidas.
A more charming example and one that illustrates a campaign that stands on its own, is one activated by Milka. The chocolate brand made the effort to manufacture 10 million bars that were missing one piece. Puzzled chocolate eaters then learned that the one piece had been set aside for them to choose whether they would want it mailed back to them or mailed, with a personalized message, to a friend or loved one. This campaign helps Milka not only form an emotional connection with its consumers, but also to whomever the consumers decides to send the single piece of chocolate to. Briljant! No? Positive buzz guaranteed, if you ask me.
How about your business? Which amazing experiences do you want your customers to remember?