During my last year of college, I was working on a spec campaign for Mike’s Hard Lemonade. I chose it because I had no desire to ever consume the stuff and I was looking for a challenge. I wasn’t convinced that my opinion of the product would change but I was sure I could get some interesting work out of the experience. A couple weeks later I caught myself cracking open a third bottle of the sugary concoction. I stopped for a moment and realized, I had just sold myself on Mike’s Hard Lemonade.
As much as I would like to believe it was my amazing messaging, it had nothing to do with the quality of the work; it was the two weeks of constant exposure to the brand that changed my mind. I was seeing lemons when I closed my eyes, tasting the sweet beverage on my tongue, and slowly starting to believe that it was acceptable for a grown man to drink a glorified wine cooler.
We work in a business that is centered on selling. That means sometimes selling products that we never would have considered before we started working on their brand. Fully immersing yourself in a brand often leads to an uncharacteristic level of loyalty. Take a look at your client/brand/product list and then check your cupboard. What do you see?
This is what experiential marketing is all about. Once someone experiences a brand, they form a kind of attachment to it. My attachment to Mike's Hard Lemonade was a result of the constant brand exposure, increased familiarity and more than one product trial. Looking at the brand from the insider's perspective and seeking out the good points about the product to share with others was what really convinced me to not only try the product but to recommend it to my peers.
Now that I’m doing work for real clients, I always have to ask myself, "How do we give others the ability to sell this product to themselves and their friends?" I know that if properly armed, anyone can become an advocate of a brand. I use this information every day to train staff for our client's programs. Because that's ultimately what we all want - empowered, passionate brand advocates who can sell our products just as well as we can.