By RedBalloon for Business

Why experiences make the best brand promotions and prizes 

“Marketing is a contest for people’s attention,” Seth Godin.   

In this series we suggest practical ways businesses can work to ‘shift people’s experience of work’. In post #7 we looked at how team events and activities play a crucial role in in creating a work culture that fosters employee happiness, engagement and motivation. In this eighth post we are looking at the power of experiences to add a new dimension to your brand’s promotional activities.

The importance of good brand promotions

Everywhere you go in life and online, advertising is truly the one constant. When we’re out in the world it’s everywhere from bus stops to sky writing, and online it’s just everywhere. This isn’t news to anyone and it’s not something that’s likely to change anytime soon.

In fact, it’s estimated we’re faced with about 5000 ads in any given day – it can feel like an assault on the senses. On the one side there’s the question about how we escape from this advertising clutter, but on the other there’s the question of how a whole profession of marketers can continue to cut through the noise to reach potential customers. 

Marketing is about influence and inspiring a behaviour: ‘Try this’, ‘buy that’, ‘go here’, ‘do that’. And marketers are always looking for new and innovative ways to reach customers and provide value – after all, successful marketing is a value exchange between those selling and those receiving. As a consumer, you want to receive (or have the promise of receiving) something in exchange for your attention, time, money or effort. 

Using experiences for brand promotions and prizes

In an environment where attention is the new currency, creating an emotional connection to your brand is paramount not only to success but mere survival. Emotional connection in a loving relationship is described as follows. “When you are emotionally connected as a couple, you build a foundation of strength, trust, and respect.” And while we’re not expecting customers to vow their loyalty to us until ‘death do we part’, as brands we must create this experience of trust so that customers feel their exchange of time with us is worthwhile. 

Using experiences as prizes and cornerstones of marketing promotions can do just this. Given we’re all operating in an increasingly online world and working remotely is the new normal, exciting life experiences are more valuable than ever. Material things are easily lost, forgotten, and giving them is so easy it’s considered a cop-out. But experiences create space for people to truly enjoy something they’ll remember, and cement that positive connection to the brand that made it happen. 

At the BRG we work with hundreds of businesses who use our experiences in this context. Why is it successful? Because it’s hard to put a price tag on an unforgettable experience like learning to fly a helicopter, or finally doing that skydive you always said you would. And that’s why experiences are such effective promotional vehicles – the memories are something money-can’t-buy.

Experiences are aspirational, they provide social currency and bragging rights, and they’re something people don’t ordinarily spend their own money on. They’re usually reserved for special occasions and as gifts to others. So if you want to take your promotions up a notch, experiences can provide that valuable and elusive cut through needed to reach your (very distracted and overwhelmed) customers. 


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