Earlier today I posted on how social media, and shared experiences are where consumers are connecting to brands on a daily basis. This is not really news to allot of people in the advertising industry, but this goes on to reiterate the “experiences” point: In his most recent Ad Age Post Garrick Schmitt talks about what “User Experience Professionals” have been preaching for the last 15 years or so: experiences, or shared experiences, not messages are what brands should focus on.
An example he points out is, “65% of United States consumers report that a digital experience changed their perception about a specific brand (either positively or negatively) and 97% of that group report that the same experience ultimately influenced whether or not they went on to purchase a product from that specific brand”.
So what does that mean?, It means experience matters. It matters allot.
Schmitt goes on to mention Red Bull, Virgin America, and Guinness as great examples of brands that have spent their money in creating a qualitative difference in people’s lives. A difference that ultimately makes a bigger impact than traditional expensive advertising messages.
This is sort of a “Duh,” moment for me, but then again I have been saying for a few years now if you want to reach a broader audience, then you need to touch them on a more personal level (minds out of the gutter please). This means creating an experience that resonates with them, is memorable, and builds a personal loyalty to your brand. You need to create an experience that is reflected in their personal lifestyle, and is shared across multiple media channels. All of which are connected through a common user experience or voice.
The bottomline is this, it comes down to creating acts (not ads) that are based on people and their behavior. You need to define a human purpose for the brand, something that allows people to participate, and in so doing, makes the brand popular. Being able to plan and create for experiences both functional and emotional is the key to brand success.