By John Viccars, Senior Strategist, RPM
One of the most common questions we come across is “why invest in brand experience?” and “what does brand experience do?” Although there’s nothing wrong with being asked these questions it’s the scepticism that still lingers around brand experience vs. traditional media that needs to be addressed.
The scepticism was highlighted by the Event Marketing Institutes recent research stating that 22% of senior executives remain sceptical of the impact of event marketing.
I think brand experience is still daunting because many marketers think in terms of immediate reach. Based on my X budget I can ‘push’ a message to Y amount of people.
Brand experience harnesses the power of consumer influence. Important when you consider that word of mouth is the most powerful ad medium. 70% of consumers trust brand recommendations from friends, but only 10% trust advertising.
Consumer influence generated by brand experience creates ‘pull’ which brings people into the brand through advocacy. Digital has amplified and accelerated its reach.
More than 50% of people said friends and family are the #1 influence on consumer awareness and purchase and 75% of consumers only advocate brands they have great personal experiences with.
According to studies by McKinsey, experiential brand experience is the most powerful form of word of mouth driving activity accounting for 50 to 80 percent in any given product category. Brand experience is inherently social, it’s built on ideas that people want to spend time with and that people want to share.
At RPM our E.ON Open House concept proves the power of brand experience by delivering positive brand advocacy when traditional methods had previously failed the brand; Net Promoter Scores of +88% vs. E.ON Customers control (no engagement) of -17.7%.
How does brand experience compare against traditional “ads”? The Keller Fay Group research shows that good brand experiences are three times more likely to spark conversations than an Ad and over 50% of conversations triggered by an in-person experience spark pass along and purchase.
The question is; can you afford not to invest in brand experience?
Sources: Event Marketing Institutes Event Track Report, Forrester research, Jack Morton global research, McKinsey global research, Keller Fay Group global research