The term ‘brand experience’ has been a bit of a buzz word throughout 2019. No longer confined to the live realm, marketers are seeing the value in creating campaigns that enable their audiences to truly ‘experience’ their brands across multiple platforms. They are recognising the importance of multi-faceted integrated campaigns, and live brand experiences – the physical engagements that facilitate memorable connections between a brand and a brain, are an important part of this ecosystem.
Here’s a few reasons why they should be on your radar in 2020 and beyond.
The experience economy is booming
While face-to-face interactions have been at the core of our being since the beginning of time, and the term ‘experience economy’ – first coined in 1998 – is not exactly new, live has never been as relevant as it is today. There’s been a shift away from the purchase of goods and material things and an increased focus on experiences – in fact a 2018 report from NAB Group Economics concluded: “we tend to rate experiences as the most positive way to spend our money,” meanwhile elsewhere in the world Fast Company predicts that experience economy spending will increase to $8 trillion by 2030. Consumers crave real interactions with one another, and if a brand can add meaningful value in these environments, chances are they’ll engage with whatever product or service it is looking to promote.
It’s what our most powerful demos want
Millennials and Gen Zs are on the rise – today they account for 2.43 billion and 2.46 billion , or well over half of the world’s population. Not only are they leading the charge when it comes to allocating their time and money to experiences – think everything from festivals and concerts to markets, long lunches and branded pop-ups – these generations are gaining more and more spending power. Already a firm part of the global workforce, millennials are anticipated to comprise roughly 75% of the world’s working population by 2025 , and older Gen Zs already have an influential part to play, with more to commence work over the coming years. These generations are soon to be (if not already) our key decision makers and primary purchasers, so it’s essential brands provide them with what they want in order to survive, and it just so happens to be live.
The fusion of live and digital: ultimate relevancy
We’ve discussed how the modern consumer favours live, but we’re also innately digital beings. Most of us are glued to our smartphones throughout the day and night, work from tablets or laptops, and exercise with the help of devices such as Fitbits. The most powerful way to engage audiences, then, is by weaving opportunities for digital engagement throughout an event’s design – think neon lighting, eye-catching installations, props that encourage selfie snapping, immersive and interactive activities – all of which tie in with the brand’s overarching messaging.
Elements such as these encourage consumers to capture what they see in real time, and they become citizen journalists as they share them with their networks. The action enhances their social currency as it incites envy in those not there with them, and the experience lives on beyond time and place – an audience could increase from 1,000 to 1M in as many minutes. Importantly, it’s interesting to note that while live relies on digital to extend its reach and life span, live provides digital with the content it needs to survive. It’s a symbiotic, yet ultimately powerful partnership.
A sneak peek at what’s to come…
No longer a nice to have or a last-minute add-on, live brand experiences are an important part of the modern-day marketing mix. That being said, the most powerful campaigns are those that both span multiple platforms and are informed by the data. In 2020 we’ll no longer be creating siloed campaigns on gut instinct, but rather truly integrated offerings that are informed by the data available to us through technologies like predictive analytics.