Brand owners are set to prove the maxim that standing still is not an option with three-quarters (75%) aiming to reposition their brands this year in an effort to grow market share and increase brand value; more than half (54%) planning to do so through experiential marketing initiatives.
So says a new study by global experience design company Imagination, which quizzed 375 marketing chiefs from firms with more than $1bn in annual revenue across four verticals.
The report maintains that current turbulent economic climate and geo-political crisis, coupled with rapid technological, social and environmental change, means brands are finding themselves in very uncertain times.
Well established boundaries are breaking down as new, out-of-category entrants reset expectations, such as Tesla in automotive and Amazon in IT. For established brands, carrying on as usual risks losing relevance, market share and future growth.
The research shows that brands understand this and are beginning to make meaningful changes, with three quarters of the marketers saying they plan to reposition in response to societal and technological change, while another 68% plan to launch a new product and 65% to launch a new service.
This also applies to business-to-business (B2B) brands with senior marketers from enterprise technology companies being the most likely to be planning a brand repositioning in the coming year.
The report reveals a correlation between time spent with a brand and favourability; by its nature, experiential marketing enjoys significantly higher levels of time spent with a brand over advertising or social media.
It highlights the importance of creating emotional connections with audiences, and the reason why active participation is more likely to influence customer perception than passive exposure to messages.
Imagination clients include Ford (pictured), Jaguar Land Rover, Lego, HSBC, Samsung, Epic Games LG, Visa and Harvey Nichols.
The white paper outlines the established standardised industry metrics that brands can use to measure the effectiveness of experiential activity, including engaged minutes, leads generated, social shares and more.
Imagination New York and Houston managing director Sascha Uzzell said: “Experiential marketing has been proven to be an effective tool for bridging the gap between brands and their customers.
“By providing a hands-on experience, customers are able to see the brand in action, and the brand is able to demonstrate its capabilities in a tangible way. This kind of marketing enables customers to form an emotional connection with the brand, which can lead to increased loyalty and advocacy.
“Our research and experience have shown that experiential marketing is one of the most effective ways to establish credibility, communicate a vision, and bring customers closer to the brand. It’s not just about talking about what the brand can do; it’s about showing customers what the brand can do for them.”
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