Companies have begun taking their marketing integration to the next level, baking marketing into every aspect of their brand, from the way they design their brick and mortar stores to their own employees’ brand experience.
These companies realize that modern consumers respond to innovative, immersive marketing. Today’s reality is that everyone is connected, all the time – living in a fully integrated world where we move seamlessly between interactions via technology and real-world experiences. To be effective, brand experiences should mirror that reality. Here are 3 tips for doing just that.
1. Design physical spaces with your brand experience in mind
It’s not enough to fill a square space with aisles, shelves or racks anymore – customers are looking for uniquely appealing spaces that are tailored to the brand experience. In a brick and mortar store, this can mean everything from innovation in the actual architectural design of the building, inside and out, to reimagining the purpose of a store and redesigning based on that new understanding. Craft stores, for example, could make their spaces hubs for creating and learning, basing the flow, the displays, and the set-up of their spaces around different sections for each type of craft – a knitting corner, a jewelry making table, a pottery studio.
Online stores with no physical presence can tap into this new design sensibility – pop-ups are all the rage these days, small kiosks created to be a temporary physical presence in a strategic location. And if a physical presence simply isn’t an option, video is always a possibility, bringing a real-world element to an otherwise purely online presence.
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2. Integrate technology wherever possible
Incorporating technology aimed at the connected consumer is key to creating physical spaces that will resonate with customers. Whether it’s a series of screens offering how-to information near certain products, a diagnostic kiosk to help consumers determine which product to buy, or interactive tech that turns an otherwise normal shopping experience into something memorably branded, strategic integration can have a significant impact.
Once again, a physical presence is not a prerequisite – branded apps or online tools can do the job quite nicely for online businesses.
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3. Create experiences based on customer data.
We already know that most shopping is done online these days – but we also know that customers still enjoy real-world brand experiences. Tap into your customer data to find out what appeals to your demographic and your brand advocates specifically, and then design your brand experiences based on that information.
Maybe your customers love the feeling of luxury and pampering they get from visiting your bath and body store, but most your sales now take place online. You could reconfigure your store as a sample center, or even a mini spa, allowing customers to come in, experience new products, and get that real-world immersion in luxury – but then place orders for any purchases and have them shipped to the customer instead of stocking product in-store.
Integration has always been key to successful marketing, but this is integration 2.0. By designing physical spaces with your brand experience in mind, incorporating technology wherever possible, and creating experiences based on your customer data your business can provide consumers with the innovative, immersive brand experiences they crave.
About Shama Hyder
Shama Hyder is a visionary strategist for the digital age, a web and TV personality, a bestselling author, and the award-winning CEO of The Marketing Zen Group–a global online marketing and digital PR company. She has aptly been dubbed the “Zen Master of Marketing” by Entrepreneur Magazine and the “Millennial Master of the Universe” by FastCompany.com. Shama has also been honored at both the White House and The United Nations as one of the top 100 young entrepreneurs in the country. Shama has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Technology Titan Emerging Company CEO award. She was named one of the “Top 25 Entrepreneurs under 25” by Business Week in 2009, one of the “Top 30 Under 30” Entrepreneurs in America in 2014 by Inc. Magazine, and to the Forbes “30 Under 30” list of movers and shakers for 2015.LinkedIn named Hyder one of its “Top Voices” in Marketing & Social Media. Her web show Shama TV was awarded the “Hermes Gold award for Educational Programming in Electronic Media” and most recently she was awarded the “Excellence in Social Media Entrepreneurship” award for 2016 by Anokhi Media.
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