Sunday, September 2, 2007

How to Make Your Customers Scream (in a good way)

I attended the Ohio State vs. Youngstown State game this past Saturday and took this picture with my cell phone. As I stood amongst over 100,000 screaming Ohio State fans, one thing occurred to me - Ohio State is one powerful brand. Companies spend billions of dollars to create a brand that people will get excited about and very few are successful. It all comes down to experiences. If people have great experiences that they can associate with your business, and you do this consistently, they will become fans and develop a passion for your brand. This approach to branding has been termed “Experiential Marketing” Wikipedia defines experiential marketing as follows:

Experiential marketing is a methodology, a concept that moves beyond the traditional “features-and-benefits” marketing. Experiential Marketing connects consumers with brands in personally relevant and memorable ways.

The idea of experiential marketing reflects a right brain bias because it is about fulfilling consumers’ aspirations to experience certain feelings – comfort and pleasure on one hand, and avoidance of discomfort and displeasure on the other. Experiential marketing occurs in person. It is a direct interaction one-on-one between a brand and an individual consumer. This experience creates a stronger relationship with the consumer.

When I was the "marketing guy" (marketing director) for Lifestyle Communities, we placed a lot of value on creating positive brand experiences. We actually purchased the naming rights to a popular concert venue in downtown Columbus, Ohio to connect our brand to fun, lifestyle events.

As a small business, what can you do to create experiences for your customers? It can be as simple as a holiday party or a golf outing. Or, it can even be the experience of doing business with you! Make every interaction a pleasurable, memorable experience. Only when your potential customers start to experience your brand will they become screaming fans!

No comments: