Brand events and other work related dos have got something of a bad rep. You know the ones we’re talking about – stuffy conference rooms, name badges, and a weird mix of cheese and pineapple canapés!
Well, the days of awkward event small talk are over!! Experiential marketing is blowing up right now, and it can be your most powerful tool to transform your events or marketing campaigns from nada to Prada. Done well, you can create the most badass, creative experience for your audience that will completely bowl them over and increase their affinity to your brand. Win win, right?
We’re not claiming that the following pearls of wisdom are going to magically transform you into an experiential design guru. Nevertheless, there are a few basics you can, nay, SHOULD, learn before you dive into creating an immersive and unforgettable brand experience.
#1 What’s the point?
If you’ve pulled your hair out trying to put an event or campaign together chances are you started out without identifying a clear goal. We know experiential design is having a moment, but jumping on the bandwagon just to blend in could seriously backfire or at least cost you a pretty penny and not give you a lot in return.
Instead, develop a strategy and have a clear vision in your mind. Sit yourself down and ask what you hope to achieve, and the lasting impact you want this experience to have. Nailing down the prime objective will help you in deciding how best to promote your product, service or brand.
As an example, if your goal is to prove how comfortable your new super amazing bowling shoe is, then giving people a chance to try the shoe seems like a logical way to showcase this benefit. Perhaps a pop-up bowling lane at a popular sporting event where people can try the shoe for themselves.
Alternatively, if the goal is to convince people your bowling shoe is indestructible – perhaps a demonstration with fire may be more appropriate.
Once you have a concept and core message, the rest of the glitz and glamour can follow.
#2 Don’t be afraid to get creative
You definitely want your brand experience to be a stand out event. So don’t hesitate to get a little crazy.
For our project with Task Rabbit, an online marketplace for handymen services, we built a tiny home in 72 hours right in the middle of New York’s Meatpacking District. It was disruptive, informative and generated a lot of positive interest. Including some fabulous free publicity from awesome publications like CNN Money and inhabitat. In the end our beautiful tiny home was auctioned off raising $26K for charity.
This entirely unique project was a huge success and showcased Task Rabbit’s offerings perfectly while building brand awareness and interest. A little creativity can go a long way so try to think outside the box.
#3 Get techy with it
The physical and digital worlds are no longer mutually exclusive – don’t we live in amazing times?? Technological installations are a great way to fully immerse your guests in the experience you’ve created, and captivate all of their senses.
We honestly live for augmented and virtual reality experiences. They’re really cool and deliver high emotional engagement, which means they’re pretty great for creating memorable brand experiences. You can decide how intrusive you want these to be at your event: go low-key with a VR game in the corner, or take note from Rihanna’s recent Savage X Fenty launch and go full on extra with holographic installations of yourself all over the venue – we won’t judge.
#4 Spread the love
The most realistic and immersive experiences get the greatest emotional response, so give your guests a valuable takeaway and create an overwhelmingly positive lasting impression.
We’re not saying make it so emotional that they start weeping, but if they leave feeling their lives have been enriched in some way, you will have improved their connection with your brand and got yourself some loyal supporters. Pay attention to every little detail so your attendees have a smooth and untarnished experience.
#5 Trust the Pros
This might all sound like a lot. But, in the famous words of the king of pop MJ, “You are not alone”. Here at this is LESTER, our teams in LA and New York are experiential marketing masterminds. We specialize in creating unforgettable, extraordinary design concepts and branded experiences, and can help turn your simple ideas into jaw-dropping events and creations. If you’re ready to get creative, inspired, and maybe a lil wild, we would LOVE to hear from you. You can also check out some of our previous work here.