How to Differentiate Your Brand with Experiential Marketing

February 20, 2018

How to Differentiate Your Brand with Experiential Marketing

In a world where we are constantly exposed to a crowded space of promotion, how do we make our brand stand out? It’s a complex question, right? Activating our brands so that we can make an impact on the end consumer yet stay authentic to our company’s DNA takes foresight, strategic intelligence and imagination.

We just have to think about how to share our brand and our capabilities in different ways. And also, what makes our brand stand out from our competitors? However we try to prove that, we must do it in a way that is both actually true and relevant to our audience.

First And Foremost, What Does Your Brand Want To Say?  

Are you solving a pain point for the consumer or setting a trend? Are you demonstrating your expertise in a subject? Can you make your activation more wide-reaching by adding a local tie-in or co-brand with a partner? Figure out what matters most in this particular brand experience and work from there.

Let’s walk through an example.  

Experiential Marketing Brand Activation - Zoo Lights

A Branded Lighting Experience At GLAZA

The GES Events team is in the business of creating epic experiences around the holidays. The team partnered with the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) to create a Zoo Lights extravaganza for the holiday season. They conjured up a spectacular light show which served as an extraordinary backdrop to family excursions, date nights, and nights out with friends.   

For this partner, GES Events reimagined this space to make it a “wildly” unique destination. The goal was to elevate attendance and generate awareness of the zoo. They presented thousands of LED lights in different ways, from an enchanted forest to a “Twinkle Tunnel” perfect for social selfie moments to stunning 3-D animated projections and more.  

Traditional lighting techniques were combined with up lighting and tree wrapping in the zoo’s extensive botanical gardens. Projection mapping on whimsical animal sculptures and gorgeously lit exhibits showcased the spirit and message of the zoo in unexpected ways. Along with designing new attractions, GES Events reimagined displays using existing assets from previous years. This created a new and unexpected experience for both first-time visitors and longtime fans alike. 

A public event such as a holiday lights program has great possibilities for sponsorships and co-branding. Financial partnerships can offset costs, create a wider net for awareness and offer additional access for retail, food and beverage revenue opportunities. This allows an opening to take the experience to another level entirely. 

So How Does This Impact Your Consumer?  

It gives you the chance to maximize the attendee’s experience, drive attendance, create a heightened atmosphere that can result in member and attendee retention, and differentiate you from other destinations.  Can you partner with local artists for a one-of-a-kind creative aesthetic? Are you developing hashtags that drive users to view your experience? 

Here’s How Other Brands Are Differentiating Themselves Successfully: 

Red Bull attracts millennial influencers to staff their Brand Ambassador program, which provides authenticity, as they already have followers who trust them. This ultimately results in a pure brand experience for Red Bull, because their ambassadors are able to create meaningful connections with potential consumers and tap into a demographic that is typically hard to reach. 

Lean Cuisine’s #WeighThis Campaign 

Talk about authentic. Lean Cuisine set up an art installation in the Grand Central Station in NYC, where passersby could craft their own “artboard,” giving the opportunity to talk about their experiences and goals as part of “weighing what matters.” The message was to focus not on how many pounds they carry, but how they want to be perceived. While the company was trying to launch a rebrand, they also were communicating that their product is not necessarily for dieting purposes, but that their products help consumers to be the best version of themselves.  

Need Some More Help?  

These videos offer additional insights on understanding and activating your brand. Check out how to evolve your event, creating content and meaningful experiences for events, how to engage your attendees and more. 

Ultimately, you have to be thoughtful to make your brand activations stand out in the crowd. This will result in an invaluable lasting consumer connectionThe good news is there are endless opportunities to do so if you experiment with ways to stretch the norm. Take a chance. You just might love the results. 

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