Traditional brand promotion is not as effective as it used to be. To stand out in today’s ultra-competitive attention economy, you must lead with interactive brand experiences.

Key takeaways:

  • To create brand loyalty, establish a strong emotional connection with your target audience
  • Interactive brand experiences can help you activate that essential “wow” factor and drive long-term customer engagement
  • Moreover, these experiences are necessary to stand out and achieve more impact in today’s attention economy

For the most part, brand loyalty isn’t logical or rational but rather emotional. For example, consumers often can’t really explain their preference for Apple over Samsung, Nike over Adidas, or Coke over Pepsi – only that they feel a strong emotional connection to their favorite brand.

Nobody understands this better than the most successful companies. These companies regularly use interactive experiences as part of their brand activation strategies to foster deeper, more meaningful connections and build brand loyalty.

You should understand this too.

Interactive brand experiences make your products much more than the sum of their parts. They help you deliver memorable shared experiences to your customers and influence how they define themselves. 

Emotional connections like these are an essential foundation for establishing a community around your brand, as they bring together people who actively engage with your brand and consume your service or product. They can grow your pool of brand advocates and strengthen your brand by deepening its links to people’s identities and popular culture.

But how do you build interactive experiences?

This guide covers all you need to know about delivering immersive experiences that bring customers closer to your brand. Let’s dive in.

What is an interactive brand experience?

An interactive brand experience is any campaign that creates a new activity or an illusory environment for your customers and encourages them to actively explore it with their senses – rather than just be passive participants.

It can be a virtual  AR or VR experience, a real physical space for people to explore, a skincare quiz to help customers discover the best beauty product for their needs, or something more abstract. Even app-based loyalty punch cards, downloadable content, and guides are all forms of interactive brand experiences.

Why brand promotion today requires interactive experiences

In today’s competitive attention economy, where people encounter advertisements no matter what they’re doing – streaming their favorite TV shows, checking their social media accounts, or just surfing the web – interactive experiences are necessary for effective brand promotion.

Some of the benefits of interactive brand experiences include the following:

  • Differentiation: Interactive experiences can infuse originality into your brand and help you stand out from competitors. They are indispensable for establishing your company as an industry leader in a crowded market.
  • Faster, deeper, and more meaningful connections: Interactive brand experiences can help you attract your target audience faster, establish a strong emotional connection with them, and drive long-term customer engagement.
  • Better engagement: With data analytics integrated into the interactive experiences, you can track and analyze customer behavior to discover what works and what doesn’t, and then use the findings to optimize engagement.
  • Wider reach: Interactive experiences are fun and shareable, which can increase your campaign’s reach and impact. For example, consumers can spread the word about the experience to their family, friends, and followers on social media, helping you increase brand awareness and reach a wider audience.
  • Value creation: You can trade value with your target audience and expand your digital advertising and email marketing efforts. This can include offering them a special reward for completing an interactive activity, such as a coupon for signing up for an email list.

How to build an interactive brand experience

Creating an interactive brand experience requires careful planning and execution. It’s a time to get creative and deliver that “wow” factor to potential leads.

Here are 4 useful tips for success:

1. Understand your audience

Research your target audience beyond their demographics to understand what matters most to them. This includes everything from their pain points and preferences to their interest and what they are passionate about.

It’s also important to consider where they are in their customer journey and the best way to reach them. Remember, you want to provide a personalized experience that’s easily accessible. So, don’t forget to examine your digital touchpoints and cover all the bases. 

The more you learn about your customers, the clearer it will become about which ideas might work and the events and activities they’ll likely enjoy.

2. Brainstorm and design the interactive experience

Come up with a few ideas that may excite your target audience, then narrow it down to one minimum viable experience. Ideally, the experience should combine customer interests, your unique value proposition, great storytelling, and consistency across all touch points. Additionally, it should be seamless for customers.

Some excellent interactive experience ideas include:

  • Quizzes: Online quizzes are a great option since you can custom-fit them to virtually any topic and audience. Another benefit is that once people take a quiz, they can easily share the results and encourage others to do the same – assuming it’s interesting.
  • AR/VR-powered experiences: Consider creating a rave-worthy experience for your audience using AR or VR. It could be a treasure or scavenger hunt where participants gain rewards for collecting points while learning about your brand. Or you could use these novel technologies to showcase your products and services engagingly and memorably. The options are limitless.
  • Interactive classes: This is a great brand promotion idea for educational institutions and companies that want to teach people how to use a complex product. Active learning provides more value than lectures and traditional teaching methods. It’s also more engaging. 

Learn how VCU’s Department of Music helped students maintain focus, measure progress, and play the violin better through V-Coach, an interactive learning app.

Other practical ideas include live shows, virtual meetings/concerts, exhibit walls, interactive videos and infographics, and user-generated content.

3. Test the idea

After choosing the media type and designing the experience, test it out on a few people to discover areas of improvement.

For example, if it’s a quiz, consider enlisting a group of beta testers to try it out and track their progress to see how far they get through the quiz. If they aren’t completing it, ask additional questions or use surveys to find out what’s wrong. Maybe the questions are too long or complex, or there could be a technical issue.

Fix all flaws before releasing the interactive experience to a massive audience, as this will save you time and money in the future.

4. Release the interactive experience and obtain feedback

With everything set, it’s time to take the interactive experience to your audience. Let them know about the release and build up to the event to attract as many people as possible. 

Remember to collect feedback from participants to know their thoughts about the experience. This will provide a solid foundation for improvements as well as testimonials for your future marketing efforts.

Ready to get started? Elevate your brand promotion with Shockoe

At the end of the day, interactive brand experiences are more about engaging and bonding with customers and creating memories than converting them through a clever sales pitch. That’s what will turn leads into customers, and eventually loyalists.

If you plan on doing brand promotion, but don’t know where to start, be sure to contact Shockoe. We can provide you with a team to build interactive experiences that resonate with your audience. Whether you need us to handle the project independently or collaborate with your in-house team, we’re at your service.

Schedule a free consultation today and let us know how we can help.