Develop more brand equity through your next corporate event
Well designed corporate events carry immense financial benefit, but they also play a valuable role in building company brand equity.
As an example, business exhibitions in the past have generated the host companies roughly $13.5 billion in added value, according to the Business Events Council of Australia. But, this doesn’t factor in a prized intangible – the important connections organisations forged with consumers during that time.
The constant innovations being made on the digital frontier are allowing managers and marketers to craft elaborate and immersive tradeshows, gala dinners and conferences – the likes of which haven’t been seen before. With the right planning, your next corporate event can be used to amplify your company’s brand experience and build brand equity from it.
Underlying components of equity
It’s important to understand what drives consumers’ fascination with a brand. At the core of brand equity, or simply the perceived influence it has over people, are brand attitude and experience, according to Ideas for Leaders.
The former simply concerns the opinion or feeling someone has of a company. The latter involves the emotional and physical connection a consumer develops by interacting with the brand. Research conducted by Lia Zarantonello and Bernd Schmitt from IÉSEG School of Management and Columbia Business School, respectively, identified that experience trumps attitude in terms of providing the most value to the equity of the brand. They suggested event marketers realign their strategies to design events that facilitate the following:
- Intellectual curiosity fuelled by interactions with representatives, consumers and technology.
- Positivity provoked by appealing to the five senses.
Staid corporate events don’t help to build brand equity.
Various ways to build equity
Staying in touch with attendees before the event helps to cultivate the brand image, but by itself it only fosters the brand attitude and serves as the simplest approach to building brand equity. Forbes contributor John Hall warned, “The power of face-to-face interactions in strengthening connections is lost in the sea of statistics around social media growth and articles on building online relationships.”
Instead, consider pairing your pre-event social media campaigns with something tangible. In an effort to familiarise consumers with its new Andy Warhol bottle release, Absolut developed a playable app that constructed a roughly 20 hour narrative for its target audience before its scheduled event. The company successfully gamified the experience, as it drew from a pool of social media mentions and users who reached the final scene of the game to compose its invite list. This resulted in reaching roughly 70 per cent of its target audience in London, according to Marketing Week.
But the brand experience doesn’t necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg to set up. Event marketers can create custom geo-filters for Snapchat users that can only be accessed at the event. Not only will this give attendees a lasting memory, but it generates free publicity by turning them into influencers.
Furthermore, live streaming has become a popular option among event marketers. By employing friendly and effective brand ambassadors around the venue, companies can encourage consumers to stream as well, Event Pro Strategies reported. This helps to create a connection between attendees, staff and the event, as well as provide sample footage for videographers to compile afterward to showcase what went on.
Virtual and augmented reality can create palpable memories, but only if leveraged correctly. Event managers’ best bet is to use it as part of the overall narrative of the exhibition, rather than the technology being the sole purpose. Depending on what the theme is, virtual reality can serve as a way for marketers to bring that story to life and appeal to attendees intellectual curiosity. Incorporating physical activities with it is highly recommended.
Build brand equity at your next event by investing in the experience. Contact Orange today to learn more.