• Transform magazine
  • January 20, 2019

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Branded experiences build emotional connections

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In our autumn roundup, we examine events, interviews and news that took place in the last quarter of 2018. At an 11 October event focusing on brand experience, brand consultancy Collider explored the ways in which experience is changing

Branded experiences encompass everything from a physical retail store to a website to an immersive experience to a bespoke pop-up to an office environment. Crafting the right experience allows companies to better engage with their customers, employees or business partners on an emotional level. That connection can then foster greater brand loyalty and drive financial success.

Kellogg’s is a key example of this. Stephen Donajgrodzki, global head of consumer behaviour at Kellogg's  shared the rational, data-driven approach the company takes to its decision making. It employs data based on consumer experiences to craft the types of interactions it wants between the brand and its target audiene. “We learn how to shop,” Donajgrodzki says. “Experience is about us learning.” He says the data helps Kellogg’s build positive memories and link the brand to emotional and memorable assets.

Brand experience is also important for Cadbury Creme Eggs. With only a short sales window each year, the brand has to capitalise in order to thrive. It has put experiential branding at the heart of its approach, with a new pop-up, immersive world developed each year to support the launch of Creme Eggs on the market. One of the challenges it faced was matching the quality of leisure experiences. With a choosy, Instagram-savvy audience, each experience has to be astutely developed to offer immersion at every level and have a big social impact beyond the few consumers who are able to attend each exclusive pop-up.

However much experience is driven by emotion and immersion, it is also now influenced greatly by technology. Speakers shared the ways in which tech is making dreams into reality in the brand experience arena. Tre Azem, CEO of Myndplay, talked about the ways in which video can be developed to respond to emotion. A simple wearable helps the company build VR experiences that offer an individualised experience for each user. A great success story was HSBC’s use of an experience at a trade show that capitalised on one of its golfing brand partnerships. This helped the bank position itself differently to a B2B audience while engaging people on an emotional level. Azem says, “Video has the power of emotion and allows us to create stimulation,” Myndplay further uses a storytelling approach to capitalise on this.

Connected home technology, holograms and further technological developments are sure to arise. What is clear is that experience is important to every brand. According to Collider, it can deliver a brand affinity increase by 10%.