[By Marta Awad]

Social media has become so popular that it’s now an expectation for organizations to have. Whether you launch an e-commerce store, an app or even an accounting business, you’re expected to set up a Facebook page and Twitter account. This, coupled with traditional marketing, is exactly what businesses need to separate themselves from competitors. Experiential branding connects social media and traditional marketing by giving consumers a physical experience that provides them with shareable content that will promote the company’s products and services online.

Here is where experiential branding proves itself as the next big trend of PR. According to Labbrand, a global brand consultancy company, experiential branding is defined as:

“Experiential branding is a process by which brands create and drive sensory interactions with consumers in all aspects of the brand experience to emotionally influence their preferences and to actively shape their perceptions of the brand.”

We see experiential branding all the time at concerts and parties. The combination of lights, music and a large crowd engage people’s senses and create excitement. Consumers snap pictures, take videos and live-tweet where they are and what they’re doing.

As PR professionals, your job is to give people real substance to promote on their personal platforms. By giving customers that sensory experience, they feel like they are a part of the brand and not just a target being advertised to.

Here is an example of an experiential campaign:

Lean Cuisine – #WeighThis
Lean Cuisine asked women at Grand Central Terminal in NYC how they wanted to be weighed in a way other than by their body weight. The women’s answers were written on a board resembling a weighing scale and put up on a wall in Grand Central. The responses from women were accomplishment based and included achievements such as “being back at college at 55,” “being the sole provider for four sons” and “caring for homeless people.”

In this campaign, Lean Cuisine physically and mentally engaged consumers. This evoked a personal connection for the women with the brand. This connection was strengthened and awareness about Lean Cuisine was increased when the women participating in the campaign posted about their experience on social media. People are more likely to connect with a real and authentic video rather than a video with paid actors.

Click this link to view six more examples of great experiential campaigns.

(Photo by Samuel Zeller via Pexels)