AdLib: How brands can experience boost
At a time when brand interactions are becoming more digitised, consumers are looking for experiences that can't be easily copied: one-off, engaging brand encounters. People want brands that connect face-to-face. It's why experiential brands like Diageo's Guinness Storehouse and Ray Coyle's Tayto Park are doing so well.
Pernod Ricard's Irish Distillers wants to get in on the action with its Jameson Distillery on Bow Street in Dublin's Smithfield. Research shows that engaged consumers are more likely to consider brands that deliver strong experiences and are happy to recommend them to family and friends.
They will pay more for brands they associate with fulfilling experiences and are likely to remain brand loyal for longer. Claire Tolan, managing director of Jameson Brand Homes (JBH), says studies show that three in four millennials prefer to fork out for an experience rather than a product.
When it comes to millennials' buying power, experiences trump physical things, with 55pc spending more on live experiences than before.
Three out of four millennials say some of their best memories are from an event or live experience they attended or in which they were directly involved. The quality time consumers spend with a brand experience can increase return on investment and nurture engagement. In turn, it promotes brand advocacy and purchase over time.
Another study shows 59pc of marketers value brand experiences for creating ongoing relations, with one in three allocating up to half their budget on brand experience. Nine in 10 marketers agree brand experience delivers stronger engagement.
"It's important to remember that brand experiences come in many forms, but they should be visceral and multi-sensory, focusing on knowledge and education," Tolan says. "Make your experience a social space that focuses on storytelling." From Jameson's perspective, it's important to have a person to tell the story in 'real life', using the latest interactive tech.
"However," Tolan insists, "the litmus test was always 'If the technology failed, would the ambassador still be able to tell our story?'. The most important part of each of the five experiences we offer, is the ambassador who guides visitors through it, along with the greeting at the door, the mixologist at the bar and everyone else people meet."
JBH's John Carroll says experiences work best when developed in tandem with other marketing communications. A TV ad may engage for 30 seconds, a shopping experience for a minute and social media for three minutes. The average visitor to the Jameson Distillery is there for at least two hours.
Over 350,000 people from around 70 countries visited the distillery last year. Since it reopened, the centre has taught 32,000 people how to blend whiskey and create cocktails. Some 25,000 personalised bottles were bought and heaps of branded merchandise was sold in the gift shop.
Q Branded work uniforms are highly effective marketing tools, a survey of 150 marketers in the UK claims. A report by promotional retailer 4imprint found 61pc of marketers believe uniforms have a bigger role in influencing consumer behaviour than word of mouth and some forms of advertising.
Surprisingly, the survey found that 40pc believe that branded uniforms have greater effect than TV advertising when trying to create a positive first impression.
The OnePoll study also found that 36pc think branded workwear does the job better than online ads.
Q Fuji is using its sponsorship of pop megastar Taylor Swift's Reputation world tour to showcase its Instax instant camera. The 10-time Grammy winner who has 300 million social media followers, rolls into Dublin for two sell-out concerts at Croke Park in June. The Instax camera allows users shoot and print photos on the spot.
Gig-goers can check out the camera at special booths on the two nights in Croker. A reported 30 million Instax cameras have been sold since its launch 20 years ago - so it's been around longer than many Taylor Swift fans.
Q Now that the cricket season is up and running, IBI Corporate Finance has signed up as title sponsor of the Leinster Senior Cricket Cup for an undisclosed sum. IBI branding will grace each of the grounds when cup matches are played. There are 41 affiliated clubs in men, women's and youth competitions, as well as through a network of social cricket.
Q This year's National Sales & Marketing Summit will be held in the RDS next Wednesday. Organised by Premier Publishing & Events, the speakers line-up includes DAA's head of insights and planning Jan Richards, Barry Maye, commercial planning and performance manager at Virgin Media, and Marie Davis, head of marketing solutions at Google Ireland.
Q And finally ... Adland will bid a fond farewell to Jimmy Cashen in the Guinness Storehouse next week as he exits outdoor specialist PML, which he co-founded in 1982.
Michael Cullen is editor of Marketing.ie; firstname.lastname@example.org