So what does the future look like for brands wanting to engage with their customers?
As one of New Zealand’s foremost providers of brand experience and sampling campaigns, we thought we would take a look.
Brand Engagement is king
The reality is that ‘engagement’ is clearly a focus for brands in 2016. Every brand needs to focus on creating a better customer experience at each touchpoint, throughout their customer journey. Experience Planning is becoming part of the brand strategy process and Brandstand can help in creating branded displays that improve the ease of the buying decision at the point of sale. Our sampling stands help to deliver a consistent brand experience, with additional elements that boost engagement beyond a simple product tasting. But let’s not lose sight of the commercial imperative in all this – activity has to lead to sales and that’s why we always frame our responses around influencing the path to purchase.
Engagement Over Awareness
Individuals are currently bombarded with marketing messages. According to certain sources, people come into contact with anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000+ brand messages a day. The value of simply getting in front of a prospect has been diluted. With the pervasiveness of digital touchpoints, engagement now comes with higher worth to a brand than more macro metrics such as awareness and ultimately brand consideration.
Brands in 2016 should be thinking brand immersion more than brand reach, and for good reason. It’s brand immersion that will drive memory, and so brand consideration at point of sale.
Our unique sampling campaigns and bespoke builds ensure that sampling and brand experience campaigns deliver a higher level of engagement. At Brandstand, we think beyond purely display and look to deliver interactivity within our campaigns. We deliver multi-platform measurable campaigns that use video, interactive displays and multi-sensory elements to build higher levels of engagement and meet campaign objectives.
Multi-Sensory Brand Engagement
More and more brands are exploring the senses to create unique worlds for consumers. Four Seasons, for example, uses an air system to diffuse custom scents throughout its properties. Virgin relies on personalised screens, on-demand food and beverage ordering systems, and iconic purple lights to ensure its flying experience is like no other airline.
Our plinths and tables can be lit to glow or pulse in any colour required, ensuring a unique yet consistent brand engagement. We’ve used scent to guide and influence customers at point of sale, and sound to engage and drive interest.
Our interactive screens can be positioned and programmed to provide a unique user experience, driven by each user and their needs and desires.
The importance of video
Video continues to play an evolving role in customer service, with more and more brands noting the importance of offering face-to-face interactions for a richer, more personalized experience. Videos may be used for greater self-service by offering customers tutorials on company websites, testimonials about brands to educate and inspire customers, and, of course, video chat for optimum customer service. Indeed, Gartner has predicted that more than 100 of the 500 largest global businesses will introduce video-based chat by 2018. Video technology is further evolving to use customer data as a means of delivering personalised videos for stronger customer service and marketing targeted at each specific customer’s needs.
Take a look in Mitre 10 at their How To videos – suddenly the world of DIY becomes more accessible as we’re guided to our higher purpose in the aisle!
We constantly look at ways to integrate screens and videos into our displays to entice customers to stop at our exhibition stands or to better control their journey around our stand. We supply a range of display walls that can all take video or interactive screens, whilst also being lightweight and simple to set up.
More and more clients are investing in their digital assets and then ensuring these are displayed across multiple touchpoints – websites are becoming increasingly creative and engaging whilst apps deliver a better level of service and information. Video forms part of these assets and ensuring they’re used and viewed in multiple places becomes increasingly important.
We’ve all heard about the importance of data, and never has this been more true than in marketing. Measurable returns are the key to understanding customer drivers. By measuring results, future campaigns can be designed and executed and success more easily gauged.
At Brandstand, all our briefs include detailed info on how success will be measured and the objectives of the campaign in which we’re involved. For an exhibition, lead measures vs awareness vs product trial will all affect our stand design in differing ways. We’re fanatical in searching out ways to measure the success of what we’re doing and in creating ways that make it easy to measure. We insist on implementing SMART measures into all we do because great creative and design mean nothing without meaningful metrics.