Experience Marketing: 7 Ways to Build Brand Love
You have a solid marketing strategy in place, but if you want to create authentic brand love—the kind that’s built to last—you’ll need to think outside the box.
This post will explain what experience marketing is, how you can create brand love and loyalty, and why it’s vital to your brand. You’ll learn how to build brand love and harness the power of branding and marketing.
Marketing can be fun, but sometimes you need to get dirty to make your mark when growing your brand.
What is Experience Marketing?
Experience marketing is the art of marketing using real-life experiences. If you could put yourself in someone else’s shoes for a while and understand them, you could get closer to figuring out what they need.
- What is it like to live with a particular brand or product?
- What is the common problem?
- The common solution?
- How did they overcome the obstacle?
- How can I make my product better?
Experience marketing uses traditional marketing tactics (advertising, PR, etc.) to create brand experiences for consumers. The difference with experience marketing is that the goal isn’t to promote products but to create memorable and positive experiences.
Brands are working hard to make sure the experience they provide exceeds expectations, and customers increasingly recognise the power of this strategy.
Experience marketing works by taking advantage of the emotional power of real-life experiences.
Why do you need to engage people through experiences?
Brands are people, too. When brands do things right, it doesn’t just create a memory; it creates an experience.
Brands need to engage people through experiences—and the experience begins at the point of purchase.
One of the essential things in the world today is human connection.
Brands and businesses are trying to be more social, and engaging consumers through social channels is a great way to build relationships. But if brands reach consumers where they live, work, and play, there has to be more than a logo.
We all love the brand because it tells us who the company is and what it stands for. But if the brand doesn’t offer us an opportunity to interact with it, what’s the point?
What is the difference between experience marketing and storytelling?
Experience marketing is defined as using a company’s real-world product or service in media campaigns to enhance brand loyalty. However, in storytelling, the company is not selling the product but rather telling a story that engages and entertains the audience.
One could argue that experience marketing is simply storytelling, but there is a distinction. For example, imagine that a company has two products: a pair of jeans and sneakers.
Marketing efforts for the company could focus on both of these products, and they could use the same or similar ads for both. This is called experience marketing because the company is telling consumers about the jeans and sneakers, but only one of those stories includes the brand logo and the company’s name.
But if the company tells a different story about one product than it does about the other, we call that storytelling.
Storytelling can help marketers deliver personalised messages, but it can also help customers see past purchasing products.
This is why marketers and retailers increasingly turn to storytelling to engage their consumers, particularly younger generations. However, it is essential to note that storytelling does not always need to be personal, according to The Ultimate Guide to Customer Experience.
It can be very impersonal and include customer testimonials, data and even humour.
How do you create an experience that is relevant, authentic and compelling?
So far, we’ve looked at ways to position a brand in the marketplace. Experience marketing helps you create brand experiences that drive demand.
Think about the last time you watched a TV commercial or attended a trade show. Chances are, you saw something that sparked an emotional response. The message got to you and made you think about who the company is and why you should care.
Brands that create authentic and compelling experiences create emotional connections with consumers that are so strong that the consumer wants to purchase now.
Today’s experience marketers have no shortage of tools to measure what their customers do online and what they like about their products.
Yet, most marketing spend is spent on advertising rather than making customers love what they already have. Marketers can no longer point to product features and expect their customers to fall in love with them.
To succeed today, marketers need to make their brands more human. They need to build relationships with their customers using video and social media tactics rather than focus exclusively on one-way, push messaging.
1 – Identify Your Audience
If you’re planning on marketing your product specifically, you need to start by defining the people you want to reach out to. Once you’ve done that, you can begin thinking about how you will communicate with your audience and what kind of experience you want to provide.
Some examples of experiences marketers provide include: watching a video series about the product, reading articles about the product, listening to podcasts or webinars about the product, seeing a demo of the product, visiting a blog about the product, or downloading a whitepaper about the product.
An understanding of whom you are targeting is essential. There is a difference between the person who watches the Super Bowl every year and the person who buys the game tickets once per season.
The former likely loves the game and appreciates that their favourite players are playing; the latter might enjoy watching a great game but wouldn’t think twice about watching it on TV or streaming it online.
While most businesses are looking to sell something, others are trying to build a community around a particular experience. Examples include travel sites like TripAdvisor and Foursquare, which encourage users to check into local locations and share their experiences through the platform.
Regardless of the specific purpose of your site, knowing who your audience is can help you decide what content is most likely to resonate with them and engage them more effectively.
2 – Understand Your Competitors
It’s a proven fact that the more you know about your competitors, the more successful you will be.
- What makes competitors unique?
- What are their strengths?
- What are their weaknesses?
Knowing these things can help you better understand what you need to offer and how to sell to best differentiate yourself. But don’t just rely on the information provided by your competitors. Find out as much as you can about them, yourself, and your market.
They’re not always your enemy and may be the key to reaching your target audience, mainly if they offer something similar to what you do.
Take the time to understand their strengths and weaknesses compared to yours. Look closely at how they’re targeting their ideal customers.
- Are they using email marketing?
- Facebook ads?
- Social media?
- What about their customer experience?
- What about their pricing structure?
- How are they generating leads?
- What will help you differentiate yourself from them and win over new clients?
3 – Engage with Customers
The following marketing strategy involves providing people with a positive experience. People want to be able to connect with the brand or business.
If they feel connected, they may be more inclined to purchase from you. As consumers, we all crave an experience, whether a new pair of jeans, a vacation to a destination, or a relationship. When you give them that experience, you’ll attract new customers.
Experience marketing doesn’t mean using a different ad or changing how you communicate with customers. Experience marketing means treating your customers like human beings as if they’re in your office. It means that every interaction should be purposeful.
Every email or tweet. Every response to an email. Every interaction should have a goal. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s a great thing. And in turn, it can help you build a more loyal customer base.
4 – Deliver Experiences
While technology has been driving digital advertising growth over the last decade, new marketing platforms and strategies are beginning to emerge.
Experience marketing is one of those areas. It’s a concept that’s getting buzz because it offers marketers the chance to leverage online and offline technologies to provide an experience to consumers that goes beyond just a website.
But it doesn’t stop there. Experience marketing is a full-spectrum marketing approach that includes everything from events to partnerships to social media.
Experiences can be anything—from short, focused, meaningful interactions to long-form experiences. The key to experience marketing is creating them consistently for people to interact with.
In experience marketing, experiences drive brand awareness, increase loyalty, build trust, and provide insights into customers’ lives.
5 – Tell the Stories Behind Your Brand
Storytelling is an additional way to convey value and get your audience to understand your brand and its benefits. A story can be visual, audio, or even video—and the format doesn’t matter as long as you get your message across.
But it’s more than just telling a story; it’s about conveying your value proposition, creating empathy, and getting to the heart of what makes your product or service special. When done correctly, stories help convey the emotional appeal of your brand.
6 – Turn Your Customers Into Brand Ambassadors
People are much more likely to share positive experiences. When we talk about experience marketing, this is the one thing we’re talking about. It’s the thing that gives us an advantage over the competition.
People recommend us, refer us to others, and even share their personal stories about how our services have changed their lives. Experiences don’t just happen in your business. They’re created through sound strategy, excellent execution, and hard work.
While a company may be a household name or be a brand recognised in some circles, it doesn’t mean that it should be easy for customers to understand the brand. This goes back to the basics of marketing: brand and product differentiation.
Inexperienced consumers may not know which brand or products they want to buy. They will look for the best deal or value, and if they aren’t sure what to choose, they will usually settle for something familiar.
But for your business to stay ahead of the curve, you need to differentiate your brand and products from those in your market.
7 – Demonstrate empathy
Empathy is a complex subject to describe, but many people struggle with it because they don’t understand it or because they are trying to manipulate others through the language of emotions.
In marketing, empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and figure out what that person is thinking and feeling. By understanding what your customers are thinking and feeling, you can better meet their needs, wants, and expectations.
We all know the adage: “People buy with their eyes first.” Experiences, as opposed to products, are inherently emotional, and customers respond to emotional stimuli viscerally.
When we are experiencing something, whether it’s a good feeling or a bad feeling, our brains send off signals to our bodies that tell us what to do. This makes emotions the key to successful experience marketing.
How can you use experience marketing to create customer evangelists?
In many ways, the role of an evangelist is similar to that of a marketer. They are people who promote your products and services because they believe in them.
Evangelists typically share their enthusiasm and passion for the product or service with others. The difference between an evangelist and a marketer is paid to do so, whereas the evangelist does it for free.
Marketers focus on the bottom line; evangelists focus on customers.
Experiences are important to customers, and marketers should take advantage of this. But if you’re only targeting customers who aren’t yet customers, you’re missing the point. Marketers need to make memorable experiences, and memorable experiences are ones that people can talk about. They are the kind of experiences that create evangelists.
It doesn’t matter whether your goal is to get more customers, sell more products, make more money, or get more followers. You can build trust and influence to gain loyalty from your audience and drive people to take action matters.
Experience marketing is a method that can help you grow your business and build a loyal audience. It’s the opposite of advertising. In this method, you focus on developing meaningful relationships with your customers rather than buying ads that will be seen only by a few people who are not likely to convert.
Instead, you give your customers what they want by delivering a value-driven, helpful, and relevant experience that they cannot find anywhere else.
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