When you have a great experience at a restaurant, you want to tell all your friends about it. The service was impeccable and the décor was on point. And the food? Incredible. That ceviche was dynamite.
Whether you know it or not, when you spread the word about a restaurant, you’ve helped out their brand. Just by suggesting that someone visit, you’ve reinforced the positive image they’ve worked hard to create.
According to a study from Nielson, 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations—way more than the 33% of consumers that trust ads. For brands, there’s incredible potential there. Building those brand fans is incredibly important to their success.
And what better way to build them than through an immersive, experiential event?
What is Brand Advocacy?
This tight friendship between a brand and consumer (or event attendee) is known as “brand advocacy”—and brand advocates are definitely something you want from your event. As this article from Convince and Convert details, a brand advocate is someone who enjoys your product or service so much that they’re eager to tell others about it, whether that’s in real life or online.
When you facilitate a positive brand experience for your audience, you increase the likelihood that they’ll buy your product or service. More than that, they’ll want to tell their friends about it, spreading the message of your company or product like wildfire. These brand advocates need to be identified, praised and nurtured.
So, how do great companies build brand advocates? How do they turn passers-by into passionate fans? They create immersive, interesting events to introduce their product to the world.
Here are some incredible reasons why building brand immersion at your event can help you nurture potential brand advocates—and reach incredible success.
Personalize the Event Experience
Today, events are about the experience. They need to tell a story, create positive memories, build FOMO—it’s not enough to just demonstrate your new product at a product launch. You need to craft a user-driven product launch experience.
In the old days, product launches involved a speech, the unveiling of the new product, some fanfare—and that’s about it. Today, attendees expect the ability to customize their experience by choosing when and what they want to see and hear. A great way to do that, according to MarketingProfs, is to use data to plan more personalized events that appeal to attendees.
Start well before your event doors open—get suggestions from your audience and participants, and let them vote and select the content, layout, meeting space, venue—even the food. When your audience feels empowered to choose, total engagement in your message isn’t far behind.
Make sure you are giving them something to talk about. Create a social presence that’s representative of you as a brand, and make it something that others want to follow and engage with. Provide moments and content the attendees will want to post.
Social media has the ability to humanize your event and your brand—but only if used properly. If you’re not using the right platform, your message will fall on deaf ears.
Make sure you do some research to learn what platform your audience frequents the most. Use language that is appropriate for your event and brand, in addition to the platform itself—what a brand says on LinkedIn isn’t necessarily what it would say on Instagram, for instance.
Keep an eye on what’s trending before and after your event and listen to what they are saying. Take action quickly on any areas that need attention.
Try Before They Buy
Similar to personalizing the experience, allow your participants to touch and feel the new product to influence the desire to buy. If it’s a car, give them the opportunity to kick the tires or sit in it. If it’s a new gadget, let them play with it. If it’s something more intangible, think outside the box to give them the experience of the product.
Provide an easy, comfortable environment. Bring emotion into the event, through sound, lighting and stage design. Then, provide the attendees the ability to purchase your product with ease, without having to go to a store—before any of their friends can.
Bring Emotion Into the Mix
Every product launch has a goal to make a strong emotional connection with its participants. If your event attendees aren’t moved by your brand or product—or if they view it the same way as your competitor’s product—they’ll shrug their shoulders and move on.
When your audience attends your event, the first and likely last things they experience will be your brand. From the first email they get to follow-up communications months down the road, your event brand needs to evoke strong feelings.
The event logo, messaging and color palate are just the start. Imbue these elements throughout email, social media, apps, mailings, t-shirts, environmentals and more—there aren’t any limits.
Don’t only appeal to their purse strings with a “buy now” message. Pull at their heartstrings by making an authentic relationship with them, and consider tying your event to a charitable cause to add further emotional leverage.
Your event’s success depends on an emotional, bold brand. And creating one of those requires focus, creativity and a pinch of fun. Push yourself to be more creative, adventurous and even a bit provocative. Your attendees will thank you, and so will your bottom line.
Today's consumers are prioritizing doing over having, so engage them by immersing them in your brand with strategic event experiences. Discover how to grow your brand through immersive experiences in this ebook from ITA Group.
Jill has over 20 years of experience in event management, supplier relations and sales strategy. She stays ahead of industry trends and research to develop strategies and market plans for event solutions. She likes to turn everything in life into an experience, whether it involves food, red wine, activities with friends and family or a customer’s event.