3 Strategies to Build Better Brand Experiences Into Your Marketing Initiatives
Volatility. It’s been the only constant in brand-consumer relationships since the start of the pandemic. Yet, despite shifting loyalties and evolving shopping behaviors, consumers still want to buy. Their eagerness offers exciting opportunities for beauty and self-care retailers that deliver exceptional brand experiences and connect with customers on deeper levels.
Brand experiences are fundamental facets of marketing because they offer chances to make memorable, emotional connections. For instance, the first time a target consumer visits your website, that’s a brand experience. Whether it’s a positive, negative or neutral brand experience is up to you. By ensuring your experiences touch upon consumers’ senses, leave lasting impressions, and stimulate brand loyalty, there’s a good chance consumers will take the next step.
Of course, the next step should be yet another encounter with your brand. When brand experiences are strung together, they serve as stepping stones along a customer journey that leads to closer relationships and more sales. The more meaningful and relevant each of those experiences is, the more likely you’ll keep customers engaged throughout the whole journey.
Updating Traditional Marketing Strategies With Brand Experiences
If you’re a retail marketing professional, you don’t have to overhaul all your traditional marketing strategies to get the value of brand experiences. You just have to be willing to adapt your existing tactics to include experiential elements.
Take data capture, for example. You’re probably measuring and tracking many key performance indicators. Use your findings to inform your brand experiences and customize them as much as possible. Customized messaging and delivery are highly regarded by all consumers, but might be especially important for younger buyers. Case in point, 60 percent of millennials said they would trade personal information for individualized advertising and engagements. Consequently, using your data to provide more personalized touchpoints is a natural fuel for more robust brand experiences.
Plan to upgrade your social media content and initiatives to include experiential elements. Because your social pages serve as your brand’s voice, use them to deliver direct-to-consumer messages. More than 70 percent of consumers who have had good customer support experiences on a brand’s social media will recommend that brand. Even if you just improve the consistency and quality of your responses to comments, you could encourage more engagement and outshine the competition.
As part of your conventional marketing “brand experience facelift,” let go of any siloed marketing strategies. Siloed marketing is dated and won’t do anything to enhance your customer relationships. Integrated, multifaceted campaigns that feature plenty of brand experiences and customer interactions are the way to go. Not only do integrated marketing campaigns across four or more channels perform better than single- or dual-channel campaigns by 300 percent, but they also allow you to explore creative ways to reach people digitally and in person.
Setting Your Brand Apart With Unique Experiences
The beauty and self-care markets are notoriously crowded and noisy. The brand experiences you craft can break through the chatter and get your company and its products noticed.
Here are a few tips for leveraging brand experiences to gain marketing and sales momentum:
1. Expand to new audiences.
As always, it’s important to keep your legacy customers invested in your brand. But don’t forget the needs of new millennial and Gen Z beauty and wellness buyers who are ready to spend. You can use brand experiences to interact with the millions of younger shoppers who might not be on your target persona radar.
Spend time finding out more about the teen and young adult crowd. What do they want in terms of gratification? What are their opinions about the types of items or services you offer? The more you know about young consumers, the more precisely you can construct fantastic brand experiences for them.
2. Make all your campaigns consumer-centric.
This is the right moment to make your audiences feel like they’re your central focus. Empower buyers with customized, integrated campaigns that deliver content in out-of-the-box experiences.
Remember: Authentic relationships augmented by feedback, surveys and one-on-one conversations prompt long-term buying and fan-building. Almost 40 percent of buyers, mostly Gen Zers and millennials, have deserted trusted brands in the past few years. Don’t lose out because you haven’t connected authentically with consumers.
3. Create memories with customers.
Curiosity has caught on among consumers. They’re intrigued by up-and-coming brands, which means they’re open to listening to what you have to say. Therefore, invest in meeting them through experiential means — such as with social influencers. (FYI: Micro-influencers are on the rise!)
The bottom line is that all your brand experiences should be seen as chances to increase the “Wow!” factor. Yes, they must align with your brand’s core mission and purpose, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be clever, unexpected and highly memorable.
Consumers are looking for new, two-way relationships with the brands they love. Give them what they want by providing brand experiences designed to intrigue, inform and inspire.
Jeff Snyder is the founder and chief inspiration officer at Inspira Marketing Group, an experiential marketing agency headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., with offices in New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles.