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Why Brand Experience is the Present and Future of Marketing

Brand experience is the latest buzzword in the world of digital marketing, and for good reason. It’s the experience a customer has with your brand that fosters an authentic and emotionally connected relationship. 

This holistic approach to marketing establishes more customer loyalty, better retention, humanizes your marketing, and bridges the gap between brands and people. It’s a win all across the board, and companies who are ahead of the game are already executing their strategy centred around brand experience. 

Here are some reasons why creating an experience for your customer is the present and future of marketing.

Brand experience creates a connection 

At the core of our basic human needs is the desire to connect. Naturally, we like to find our tribe. Historically, finding connections is how we’ve been able to survive and evolve.

Think of the last time you connected with a friend. You likely told stories, whether it’s updating them on what’s currently happening in your life or sharing a memory that you felt inclined to tell. Consider your favourite songs, movies, TV shows - they all tell a story. 

Storytelling is as old as time, dating back to the drawings found carved inside centuries-old caves. It’s one of the most powerful ways we connect with each other. Brands that can effectively tell a story have found a way to truly engage with their audience through an inspiring narrative that allows the audience to feel.

Consider this powerful commercial for a bank, where the story follows a teenage boy as he makes his first purchase on his new debit card. He then makes another purchase on his first date, and the story follows as he travels and gets through college. Then he applies for a car loan, a mortgage, and finally - his first purchase for his first child. The commercial ends with this simple phrase: “There for you every step of the way.”

Notice how the narrative never mentions the bank’s services, unique selling points, or incentives but can grab the audience’s attention through a relatable and touching story. 

Consumers are looking for meaningful engagement 

Today’s consumers crave authenticity in their interaction with brands, which can’t be copied or faked. This society values social awareness, meaningful engagement, and knowing that they are contributing to responsible and sustainable businesses. 

It’s less about “stuff” and more about collecting experiences and memories with the brands they choose to support. Part of what makes Starbucks so successful is that they’re not just selling coffee; they’re focused on the experience.

When you go into a Starbucks to meet with friends, study, do work or relax with a book, you’re engaging with the experience they’ve created for their customers. It starts with personalizing your coffee with your name, saying your name out loud once your coffee is ready, and providing a cozy ambience with tables, seating, and soft music. 

Starbucks takes it a step further by offering reusable cups as part of their environmental efforts and telling a story on their walls about purchasing sustainable coffee beans and supporting local farmers. All of the above adds to a positive experience in the minds of their consumers. 

The customer becomes the main focus 

Although it’s termed “brand experience,” the customer is the main focus, not the brand. Apple is an excellent example of putting their customer as the star of the show. 

Do a quick YouTube search on Apple commercials, and you’ll quickly notice that all of their videos centre on stories of everyday people who use their products. None of Apple’s marketing efforts focus on the advances or technicalities of Apple products, but rather on their values and what they stand for - simplicity, innovation, and the sense of pride that customers have when using Apple products.

Final thoughts

If you want your company to succeed in this day and age, it’s not a question of whether or not you’ll use brand experience as part of your strategy; it’s how you’ll go about doing it. 

People are craving more authenticity in their life. Brand experience isn’t a decision - it’s an expectation.