Several studies point towards a decline in customer loyalty across categories. The major segments of consumers i.e., the millennials and Gen Z are prone to switching Brands for convenience and changing cultural and generational factors. Being a marketer in this interconnected world is therefore a challenging role. Some of the active challenges that marketers face to build and guard Brand Loyalty are as follows:
- Establishing and Guarding the unique Brand Positioning
- Building and Growing Brand Affinity
- Gaining and Maintaining Consumers’ Trust
- Challenging the Market Leader in their respective categories
Seems like a lot of work, right? So how do marketers do it?
Being the representative of customers, a marketer requires to understand their stated and unstated needs and over-deliver. Gone are the days when marketers just had to satisfy the consumers’ needs, today they require to do more than just that to guard Brand Loyalty, they need to delight their customers more than ever. One of the most effective ways in which marketers are trying to deliver ‘Delight’ is by designing experiences that go beyond a consumer’s expectation and make her come back to the Brand for a better experience.
Let us look at a few instances where Brands tried improving or providing better Experiences to deliver delight across various touchpoints.
1. A Marketing Alliance between Uber and Spotify: Have a look at the video below.
Six years ago, Uber announced that it had established a high-level partnership with Spotify to achieve deep integration, which will make Uber’s riding services more customizable. Uber users could now enjoy vibing to their music just by connecting the App with their Spotify Premium and it will stream in their Uber. The feature was available in selected cities.
2. Gatorade Combine Sports Experience: Gatorade is a brand closely related to athletes. So they created an experience that transforms consumers into athletes? At SXSW 2017, Gatorade provided a complete sports experience in the form of a combine. Matching is a sports test that novice athletes must pass before entering the professional league. Gatorade’s brilliant idea is to create a combine for consumers and test its overall athletic ability.
Gatorade collaborated with several other companies to achieve this goal. The combination includes several stations to test various skills, such as reflexes, jumping and flexibility. The results of each test are accurate and rich in data, so participants can truly apply this knowledge to their lives no matter in daily exercise or diet. This makes consumers feel like real professional athletes, which is the essence of the Gatorade brand.
3. Volkswagen Piano Staircase: Volkswagen and its advertising partner DDB Stockholm said, “Fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better.”
In 2009, Volkswagen transformed a subway staircase in Stockholm, Sweden, into a giant piano, and when no one was looking at the moment, they captured the best of the music industry. The next day, as people went up and down the stairs, each step made the sound of different piano keys. The activity is part of the “fun theory”, which suggests that people are more likely to do something when it looks interesting.
Watch this video.
Due to the popular piano stairs, the number of people choosing stairs instead of escalators at that subway terminal has increased by 66%. So, providing experience can also result in changing current behaviour to desired behaviour.
We can easily find many brilliant instances of Experiential Marketing being deployed which in turns over deliver than the customer’s expectations. Brands have transformed from being the modes of communication to the topics of communication. And when humans enjoy the experiences, it helps the Brands to be the common topic of communication as well. For marketers to provide remarkable experiences, it is crucial to go beyond traditional marketing and look at people as humans not consumers because experiences are nothing but environment to human design. Almost all the successful experiential marketing campaigns are multi-sensory (involves multiple senses of humans) and therefore taking the human factor becomes crucial.
In the age of Technology and disruption, being a marketer is a demanding job where one needs to deal with unprecedented challenges. It is the time when companies have started investing more in Performance marketing as compared to Brand Building activities to achieve the business objectives. But Brand Loyalty is something that has no substitute, and it is quite crucial for businesses in the long run. Therefore, marketers try to offer delight through memorable and honest experiences and when Brands generate positive emotion through experiences, it results in higher Brand Loyalty.