Your brand is more than just your logo and your slogan. It should have a personality and represent the persona you would like your customers to engage with. Human expression is the future of marketing. It begins with the experiential marketing area of brand experience. Your brand experience should offer value and create a pleasurable customer journey for your audience. From website design, your message, to your content, everything comes together to create a personality and reflect who you are.
Brand experience is about creating a relationship with your customer as if you knew them personally. Show them you care and you are in tune with their needs. Your brand experience is a part of your brand promise.
Here are four examples of experiential marketing we can learn from:
Tesla has changed the automotive industry in more ways than one. Tesla’s approach to marketing is very different than any other brand. With a 0$ ad budget, their marketing is through their brand experience. Positioning themselves as an innovative tech-based company, they’ve created a persona that consumers want to be. They are seen as trustworthy and intelligent--something consumers happily buy into. In terms of campaigns, they aren’t your traditional company because their new tech features are their campaigns. Because they have a different approach to business, they are in touch with consumer needs and desires. From their name to their logo, color scheme, and website layout, everything about them is optimized to please the eye. Sleek and expensive, this makes their brand persona seem dependable and top-notch.
In February 2019, Tesla launched “Dog Mode”, a feature that protects pets from harsh climates while protecting cars from getting their windows broken by good samaritans. Their social media posts and videos show cute bunnies and dogs using “dog mode”, happily waiting for their owners to come back. These posts show that the company genuinely cares about consumers. Elon Musk’s approach to business is to improve people’s lives and connect with people by providing a top-notch product.
He’s seen engaging with his customers--responding to their tweets like this one:
Musk’s direct approach to customer service is a breath of fresh air for consumers. Having direct communication with the CEO is a fun approach to the experience of your brand. It’s unique and helps you stand out. Tesla’s brand experience is unprecedented and it’s paying off.
Goop & Poosh
Goop is a lifestyle brand by Gweneth Paltrow. Goop’s website has product reviews, lifestyle ideas, and it sells expensive lifestyle products (clothes, makeup, etc). Poosh, another lifestyle blog, created recently by Kourtney Kardashian, is a similar premise. Both offer valuable knowledge and inspiration to bring people in, creating a fan base and sell products on their sites. Poosh uses affiliate links and Goop sells the products. Goop is far more established and has a tremendous amount of revenue, worth $250 million. Goop has positioned itself as a Nordstrom meets VOGUE lifestyle brand.
Goop’s brand experience is dependable, trustworthy and luxury. However, its message isn’t as clear as Poosh’s “Live Your Best Life with Kourtney Kardashian” motto. Your message is an important part of your brand experience.
On the flip side, Poosh isn’t selling the quality that Goop is. Kourtney is affiliate-linking products like vitamins you can buy at CVS for a commission on it. Each brand could learn something from one another.
In terms of customer experience, Goop far succeeds Poosh in content, product quality, and trustworthiness--because of the legitimateness of the business, and the time it’s been around.
However, to improve brand experience, your mission should be obvious and reiterated to your audience. What is your “why?” Gweneth Paltrow originally created Goop as a list blog/newsletter to give women inspirational ideas and tips but it developed into something bigger. To make sure your audience understands your purpose, you should be clear and direct like Kourtney’s “live your best life” tagline that’s gone viral. Consistency and purpose is an important part of the brand experience because you want to appear dependable and important.
Corona’s “This is Living” campaign is similar to Kourtney’s “Live Your Best Life” phrase that’s trending right now. Corona wants consumers to relax and enjoy their product and creates its content to reflect that. This is brand experience; when you associate a product with a way of life. Corona has positioned itself as the go-to beer for a hot Summer day.
They have mindshared a Corona and a lime; for men and women, this is a staple for a hot beach day. Corona’s physical branding (logo) has been the same for decades, making them dependable and consistent for consumers. Their social media content reflects their customer experience because it’s filled with people on the beach, by the water enjoying a Corona with friends. This is a perfect example of a brand selling a memorable experience.
In their recent content, they have been addressing plastic in the oceans. By tying in their “This is Living” campaign, they explain that trash on beaches is not “living”. Clean oceans and beaches are paradise and truly “living”. This reflects their brand experience because it shows that they care about the environment. As a customer, you feel apart of the movement when you buy their product and follow them. Not only does this improve their image, but it also makes them trustworthy, and their content more engaging. In essence, this campaign is an appeal to their ethos/ good character. The more engaging and relevant content, the better the brand experience. If you want to create brand loyalty, create emotional content. Through these campaigns, they are offering their customers something to think about (value). That sells and makes a successful brand.
Lastly, Glossier is an excellent example of superb brand experience. Currently, this company is killing it in the beauty industry. Their marketing is focused on user experience. They’ve made themselves credible through content and social. Glossier has made people who aren’t influencers feel like influencers--their brand experience makes everyone feel special and valuable. They design their content knowing that their audience wants interaction, lots of content, inspiration (& everything new and exciting in the beauty industry). Glossier’s market-share has surged through word-of-mouth and social media. They don’t rely on any retailers because they communicate directly with their customers in a personal way: human connection.
The future of marketing and branding is and will be all about experiences. Millennials and Gen X want to be engaged and to feel something towards a brand. This is why brand experience is so important. It has taken companies like Glossier and Harry’s from 0-100 real quick. Brand experience is important in all stages of the brand’s development, from product creation, to launch, to customer service, to marketing-it creates a relationship between the company and the consumer. Consumers love to be apart of the process and involved. When their voices are heard, they feel valued and more connected to your brand. Brands who have “good personalities”, succeed.
In addition, Glossier’s purpose is being a beauty brand focused on skincare, and makeup being secondary, to enhance natural beauty. This resonates with the masses because similar to Corona, it appeals to their ethos and good character. This is the type of brand you would want to be friends with.
Their marketing on their website, “Makeup is a choice” is a powerful brand strategy and sends the message they genuinely care about their customers--and want to give them the power to feel beautiful in their own skin- it’s individualized, personalized, and creates a powerful brand experience. When you feel a connection with a brand’s purpose, you feel as if you know them, and want to surround yourself with their vibe. This is brand experience. Creating these digital experiences for your customer base drives sales, engagement, and customer loyalty.