Marketing For 2014: Create The Brand Experience

At this time of year, most are looking ahead and making strategic plans for the upcoming months. What’s new for 2014? It’s all about creating the brand experience, according to the executives at Jack Morton Worldwide, the global brand experience agency that works with brands such as General Motors, Subway and Procter & Gamble.

“As marketers continue to respond to increasingly empowered customers, a laser focus on brand experience trends is vital to success,” says Josh McCall, Chairman & CEO of Jack Morton, in this Wall Street Journal article.

So how do you stay on top of what’s really important and separate the signal from the noise? Don’t get sidetracked by all the possibilities. Narrow down the trends that matter, which according to McCall, have a few things in common. They should:

  • Elevate brand experience thinking
  • Integrate the experience with new technologies and media channels
  • Ensure the experience fuels business results

But don’t think that user experience is strictly limited to online. Quite the contrary. “User experience thinking should really be the way you think about the whole experience—because today, experience is the net sum of every interaction a person has with your brand, online and offline,” says Leesa Wytock, head of digital in Jack Morton’s New York office. “What user experience thinking means in practice is an overarching ethos of building experience around human needs and behaviors that can influence action. It impacts design, it influences how we creatively use technology and it’s defining for how great brands build customer interaction and even develop products.”

So what’s one easy way you can boost interactions with your brand to create a memorable experience? Promotional products.

Hosting an employee training? Promotional products can enhance the theme and boost excitement. Exhibiting at a housing fair? Promotional products can entice attendees to stop by—and learn more about what your property has to offer. Want to thank current residents for their business? Promotional products can show your appreciation—while being kept and used in residents’ apartment homes.

And these are just a few of the common uses of promotional products. Whatever brand building idea you have for your community, there are just as many ideas of how to incorporate promotional products into the experience to make it memorable long after the initial encounter.

Keep in mind that today’s consumers have much higher standards than ever before when it comes to the user experience. In fact, 57% of consumers surveyed worldwide say they hold brands today to a higher standard, according to Jack Morton’s research conducted in 2013. The bar has been raised, and regardless of property size, you must reach if not exceed these expectations—else you risk losing customers to competitors who develop and execute better and more memorable experiences.

Promotional products work. They produce exceptional branding recall, have staying power like no other advertising medium and they deliver repeat exposure every time they are used. Don’t you want to create this kind of experience for your customers?

Valerie Hayman Sklar grew up in the property management business, leasing her first apartment at 12 years old. Today, as president of Detroit, Michigan-based The Apartment Boutique powered by Corporate Specialties, she combines her vast property management experience with her love of all things marketing. The result is a unique promotional marketing firm uniquely targeted to the multi-family market. Contact her and learn more at theaptboutiqueblog.com.