Preserving brand perception in an online world

Key takeaways:

  • While e-commerce presents a challenge, there are ways to maintain control of brand perception and the customer’s brand experience.
  • Reimagining your company’s existing resources, such as repurposing an underused corporate space, can open the door to a robust and effective marketing campaign.
  • Millennials are a product of their circumstances. The better we understand how they have grown up, the more relevant and effective your message will be.

Maintaining brand perception and brand experience in the age of Amazon

E-commerce, led by retail giant Amazon, has opened a world of opportunity for many brands. Access to customers and ease of sales has allowed smaller companies to grow and thrive. But sometimes the “grab and go” feel of Amazon can counter a brand image, such in the case of luxury brands.

Tea Forte is an exclusive brand of tea known in upscale hotels and retail stores, however most of its products are sold on Amazon. The brand took this leap, bypassing the in-person brand experience that most luxury brands rely on, after the company’s research showed that the brand could stand strong without that face-to-face touch. More importantly, Amazon allowed consumers who discovered the brand during their travel or shopping excursions to become frequent, loyal patrons. Read on to learn how the company maintained brand control and was able to translate the luxury brand experience to work for this modern business model.

Brand perception at Sephoria

Sephora knows their customer and created an event to prove it

Sephora, which could be described as Disney World for people who love makeup, has a firm hold on providing customers with an interactive retail experience. Every store features a mélange of samples on every inch of the wall and a massive number of tutorial events. And when the retail giant turns 20 this fall, they’ll celebrate with a two-day event called Sephoria, where fans can mingle with influencers and professionals for a one-of-a-kind makeup experience. The event was announced this month, giving the team plenty of time to stir up excitement and to give fans a chance to secure tickets to the LA event.

“We’ve drawn from our deep understanding of the kinds of physical and digital beauty experiences clients love from Sephora, and set out to create the ultimate event that fuses fun, education and inspiration,” says SVP of Marketing and Brand, Deborah Yeh. Like all great marketing campaigns, Sephoria was created as an extension of the beauty retailer’s current mission. It is the product of highly attentive experts who know exactly what their customers love and embrace an experiential approach that has served the brand well.

Repetto transforms an underused space into a marketing opportunity

Experiential marketing has grown significantly, as brands respond to consumers’ growing demand for brand relationships. In addition, brand activation is allowing brands to be heard over the din of marketing noise and saturation that has permeated modern culture. It allows companies to improve brand perception and show differentiators, both in terms of offerings but corporate culture and values.

When renowned ballet shoe maker, Repetto, entered the US market, they knew they couldn’t approach or publicize their brand the same way to American consumers. “In France, it is more classic, academic…I want to be a little bit more disruptive and transgressive in the U.S., which is a market that is oversaturated with other dance brands,” Gilles Assor, new CEO for the Americas, told Forbes this month. Rather than open an office, the famed brand opened Repetto studio in New York City with an expansive dance space that is offered for free to vetted artists to use. Already, dance instructors have held classes there, and a photographer even used the space for a dance-themed exhibition. By offering this space, the brand has created a sense of excitement and community and used its subsequent word-of-mouth to drive brand awareness and affinity.

Experiential branding at Pedigree

How pedigree found the ideal cause marketing campaign

Consumers want more from the companies they purchase from, and often that is in the form of a culture and corporate values that they can feel good about aligning with. In the past we’ve explored how apparel brand Patagonia has gone all in on their passion for the environment, which has reaped significant rewards for them both in revenue and reputation. Many other brands are finding that purpose-driven marketing achieves optimal results in brand perception and are eager to find a focus for their support.

Mars Petcare’s new marketing director, Chris Rodi, seems to have found the brands sweet spot as it relates to giving back. He’s launched Pedigree’s Dog Dates, a campaign that aims to battle loneliness among the elderly by arranging walk dates with local dogs. In a recent interview with Campaign, Rodi said “We’ve started with the elderly because they’re the audience that suffer most with loneliness,” but says the service is open to anyone who needs a little company.

The mystery of generation Z unlocked

While the world is still racking their brains over how to market to millennials, the puzzle that is Generation Z presents its own set of challenges. According to several studies, including a recent Ernst & Young white paper, these new consumers are extremely impatient. In addition, they are the first generation to have a fully-digital life from birth. And with each passing day, this group gains more purchasing power.

However, there’s more to the Gen Z story. According to this article in AdWeek, they are actually more traditional than previously thought. They can be patient; they are overwhelmingly comfortable with waiting a week for a package to arrive. And more than 70% of them still enjoy shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. They are also as interested in experiences as their immediate elders, the millennials. Read on to learn why everything you assumed about this group might be wrong.

Experiential branding with Gen Z

Millennials’ emotion-based spending habits

When it comes to any generation, there are assumptions, generalizations, and stereotypes. According to the American Psychological Association, people generally view Baby Boomers as ambitious workaholics. Gen X are skeptical risk-takers who succeed at the work/life balancing act. Often, Millennials are thought of in popular media as spoiled and entitled, struggling to succeed in the “real world.” However, as this article in Forbes points out, they are also coming into their own in terms of spending power, so understanding their spending habits is critical for brands that are interested in earning their dollars.

The article first asserts that history has a significant impact on psychology. For millennials, who have come of age during a challenging and, at times, tragic recent history, events have affected both their situation in life as well as their attitudes and habits. As a result, they’re shopping differently than older generations and require a different marketing approach. From experiences to sharing with friends, by understanding these statistics brands can better serve this demographic.

Snickers uses escape rooms to promote 3 new flavors

When designing an experience, brands often seek to align the interests of their target audience with their brand perception. Recently, Snickers sought to promote the release of three limited edition flavors of the famous candy bar: espresso, fiery, and salty & sweet. Each flavor has a hunger symptom tied to it: irritable, wimpy, and indecisive, respectively. The brand was challenged in designing an activation that furthered these identifiers while resonated with their fans who have “adventurous tastes.”

Snickers solution was the “Hunger Bunker,” an escape room experience that is popping up across the country. The activation incites visitors with a prompt: “which intense flavor will you need to survive intense hunger?” A Snickers brand manager told Campaign that the goals of the Hunger Bunkers will be to mirror the intensity of the company’s new flavors and grant fans a “satisfying” experience.