Event marketing technologies are making it easier and easier to calculate your event’s ROI, but events can also help your company build a more elusive asset whose exact value is difficult to determine: a brand. Despite the difficulty marketers face in assigning a precise value to their brand, building a strong brand that resonates with consumers can be incredibly powerful in generating overall value for a company.
How brand creates value for a company
Consumers today have a line-up of options for most of the things they could want to buy—from running shoes to smartphones, dozens of options exist. While functionality and design vary slightly from product to product, many products, stripped of their brands, are almost indistinguishable. As a result, consumers often make purchasing decisions based on the brand with which they connect the most.
“Brands get their value from how customers perceive them,” David Reibstein, a professor of marketing and branding expert at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, told Forbes. “What makes it valuable from a company perspective is that customers are willing to pay a higher price or are more likely to buy.”
With so many similar companies producing similar products, brands are how companies distinguish themselves from others—compelling brands, in other words, have almost become competitive advantages in themselves.
How events help build brand
Every company today utilizes some form of digital marketing or advertising. By hosting in-person events, companies give themselves the opportunity to stand out from their competitors and make greater impressions on their target consumers than a series of Facebook or Instagram ads could.
According to a study on the impact of event marketing on brand equity conducted by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business, events have the potential to create a deeper and more meaningful brand-building effect on consumers than more indirect and media-centered marketing efforts.
“In contrast to the distant, one-way and broad-based nature of mass media advertising, and even most new digital media, events allow for direct, highly interactive, and local consumer-brand encounters where consumers can experience the brand in an immediate way,” the study said.
Rather than merely populating the Internet with advertisements that most consumers will likely scroll past, event marketers have the ability to fully engage potential consumers and create unforgettable experiences for them. If an event is well-executed, consumers will begin to build a relationship with the host company’s brand, increasing the likelihood that those consumers will purchase that company’s product.
“For branded environments … there is evidence that they communicate the values and meanings of a brand in order to influence the perceptions that consumers have of its image and to strengthen loyalty toward such a brand,” Columbia University’s study finds.
How event technology helps marketers create engaging events
Event technology is not only making it possible to track event analytics and metrics, but is also helping event marketers host increasingly engaging events. Because you’re investing time and resources in hosting an event, you’ll want it to be fully immersive and engaging for your attendees if you want them to build a relationship with your brand.
Experiential technology helps event marketers create unforgettable experiences for their attendees—whether you’re using iBeacon technology to gamify your event, installing a social wall at your venue, or equipping each attendee with activation-oriented NFC-enabled wristbands, the technology encourages attendees to engage with your event’s activations. By creating engaging events, marketers are increasing the likelihood that attendees will build relationships with their brand, and that the event will ultimately influence the attendees’ future purchasing behaviors.
To learn more about how to use experiential technology to engage with attendees and build your brand, watch our webinar, The Connected Experience, now on demand.