Understanding Branded Events and Their Role in Marketing
Branded events are meticulously curated, immersive experiences that embody a brand and enable customers to engage with it in a memorable and tangible way.
Whether it’s a product launch, a company anniversary celebration, or an experiential marketing campaign, a branded event gives your brand identity a tangible form.
In the arena of marketing, branded events play a pivotal role. They provide the perfect platform that bridges the gap between businesses and consumers by fostering a unique, personalized connection.
When done right, they can revolutionize how brands communicate with their audience, shifting from one-way monologues to engaging, interactive dialogues.
The Role of Brand Identity
At the heart of any business’s marketing strategy lies its brand identity—those unique traits, ethos, and visual cues that set it apart from the competition.
Your brand identity is more than just a logo or a tagline; it’s a compelling narrative that encapsulates your mission and values, striking a chord with your customers.
It’s the secret sauce that fosters familiarity and trust among potential customers, fueling loyalty and repeat patronage. Essentially, your brand identity is your company’s “personality”, making it relatable and engaging for your target audience.
Crafting a successful branded event requires meticulous planning and execution, underpinned by a deep understanding of your brand’s identity and target audience.
The process involves conceptualizing the event theme and design and creating compelling branded content, which serves as the golden thread that weaves together all event elements.
It serves to inform and entertain and reinforce the brand’s narrative throughout the event to maximize brand engagement and recall.
In short, branded events intersect marketing, your brand identity, and your branded content.
Together, they function as creative representations of your brand’s persona and offer a unique opportunity to engage with customers on a more personal and emotional level.
The Power of Branded Events in Amplifying Brand Identity
Weaving your brand’s colors, logos, and themes into every facet of the event, does more than just create the setting of your event.
It creates the atmosphere that will set the tone of people’s perception of your brand, allowing attendees to connect with it in a tangible way.
Think: at the end of your event, the narratives, experiences, and emotions that will have emerged from it would have become tied to your brand, ultimately expanding your identity.
A Catalyst for Brand Awareness
This goes for every interaction, every shared memory from your branded event. The importance of the latter could not be emphasized enough.
In the age of social media, attendees’ tendency to share their experiences online means that branded events often impact far beyond their physical or virtual boundaries.
When these experiences are shared on digital platforms, they resonate with a broader audience, amplifying your brand’s reach and awareness.
This is why fully leveraging branded events and strategically maximizing brand awareness should be your priority number one.
The following, which will be discussed later in further examples, are a couple of such well-established strategies:
Remember that each interaction should be designed to elicit emotions and create memorable experiences.
When attendees associate their favorable experiences with your brand, they’re more likely to share them, sparking conversations and creating a buzz that further propels brand awareness.
How to Create Successful Branded Events: Strategies and Tips
But all of it is easier said than done.
Crafting a well-executed branded event is much like orchestrating a symphony. And there’s no one way to do it.
It depends ultimately on your brand; what are you about? What do you offer? What do you want to accomplish?
Once you know the answers to these questions, what comes next is meticulous planning, organization, and a dash of creativity.
Every detail, from the event’s theme to its speakers, should echo the brand’s identity and message, creating a symphony of experiences that leaves an unforgettable impression on your audience.
Below are some of the aspects that you need to pay attention to:
Selecting a theme that mirrors your brand identity is the initial step in fabricating a cohesive event.
This theme should mirror your brand’s ethos and aesthetic and personify its character.
For instance, a tech company might choose a futuristic theme for its product launch. At the same time, a fashion brand might lean towards a glamorous, runway-inspired theme for its annual gathering.
Think of your logo as the visual autograph of your brand.
Incorporating it into your event branding should be executed in a manner that feels organic and unforced. Consider it is subtly stitching your brand’s signature into the event’s tapestry.
For instance, Nike’s Innovation Summit in 2016 saw the brand’s logo morphed into a colossal LED screen, creating a visually arresting and unforgettable installation.
Interactive elements are the life force of any branded event. They act as the conduit between the brand and its audience, fostering engagement and crafting memorable experiences.
These can range from interactive product demonstrations to hands-on workshops and networking opportunities.
For instance, Adobe’s MAX Creativity Conference in 2019 featured an interactive installation of vibrant cubes that attendees could manipulate, creating a dynamic and enjoyable experience.
Offering branded merchandise as keepsakes is an effective strategy to prolong your brand’s presence beyond the event.
These tangible reminders serve as souvenirs of the experience, further bolstering brand recognition.
Spotify’s press event in 2018, for instance, featured a pop-up store where attendees could purchase Spotify-branded clothing and accessories, creating a personalized and memorable experience.
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Elevating the Branded Event Experience Through Tech
If you’ve done anything event-related in 2023, you understand that technology is no longer a mere accessory when it comes to events—it’s the star of the show.
It’s the magic wand that transforms ordinary events into extraordinary, immersive experiences.
From the novelty of virtual reality and artificial intelligence to the ubiquity of live streaming and mobile event apps, technology can revolutionize operations, create immersive experiences, and yield invaluable data for post-event analysis.
Here are several ways to help you ride the wave of technology and elevate your branded events:
1. Immersing Attendees in Virtual Reality (VR)
VR immerses your audience in your brand narrative, and lets them experience your products in new ways.
Take Volvo, for example. At the Volvo Reality event in 2014, they didn’t just talk about their new XC90 SUV—they let attendees drive it. Through a VR headset, attendees navigated the SUV through various landscapes, experiencing the vehicle’s features firsthand.
In many ways this wasn’t just a product demo—it was an adventure and a memorable experience that attendees could relive through a downloadable app.
2. Elevating the Event Experience with Mobile Apps
Mobile apps are the Swiss Army Knife of event technology, offering attendees a one-stop platform to access event information, network with other attendees, and engage with the brand. An event app could include features such as:
3. Leveraging Social Media for Event Promotion
Social media is the megaphone that amplifies your event’s reach and engages a broader audience.
By creating a unique event hashtag, sharing behind-the-scenes content, and encouraging attendees to share their experiences, brands can create a ripple effect that extends far beyond the event itself.
Consider Red Bull’s Red Bull Stratos event in 2012. The event featured skydiver Felix Baumgartner breaking the sound barrier by jumping from the edge of space, was a social media sensation.
Red Bull created an event hashtag (#livejump), shared live updates from the event site, and streamed the jump live on YouTube, attracting millions of viewers and generating a social media tsunami.
Case Study: Organizing 2.0 and the Power of Branded Events
Branded events are not just about promoting your products or services; they are about telling your story, sharing your vision, and building a community around your brand.
They are a powerful tool for fostering trust, loyalty, and a sense of belonging among your customers, partners, and stakeholders. But in the age of COVID-19, when physical gatherings are either impossible or fraught with risks, how does one create a branded event?
This was the challenge faced by Organizing 2.0. Every year, it brings together organizers, activists, and technologists to exchange ideas, learn new skills, and find their tribe. But the pandemic threw a wrench in the works.
Travel was banned, gatherings were restricted, and even the simplest human interactions were considered dangerous. The event organizers was faced with a tough decision: cancel the event or transition it online.
That’s when they reached out to us here at We & Goliath, and we helped them shift their event to virtual.
We worked with them to design and launch a custom website aligned with their brand’s style and vision. We handle the technical aspects of live streaming your speakers and sessions, ensuring attendees receive the best video and audio quality possible.
The results were astounding.
They had 1,683 attendees, a significant increase from the 200-300 at their previous in-person events.
They tripled their revenue thanks to the virtual format’s lower costs and higher donations, and ended up reaching a broader and more diverse audience because of the access and reach virtual events offer to attendees.
We are proud to have partnered with Organizing 2.0 and helped them create a branded event that made a real difference in these challenging times.
Future Trends in Branded Events
Because branded events today are deeply intertwined with technology, you can expect them to keep evolving as tech continues to develop.
To stay ahead of the curve, brands need to keep a pulse on the future trends in branded events and adapt accordingly.
Here are some of the trends that are poised to shape the future of branded events:
The Emergence of Eco-Friendly Branded Events
Sustainability is a growing trend in branded events, and increasingly, many companies are making concerted efforts to minimize their environmental footprint.
This can involve a variety of strategies, such as opting for eco-friendly materials for event decor, and using digital event programs instead of printed ones, and partnering with local suppliers to cut carbon emissions.
By weaving sustainability into their events, brands can underscore their commitment to environmental stewardship, enhancing their reputation and appeal among eco-conscious consumers.
Case in point is IKEA’s 2019 event, “IKEA Festival: Let’s Make Room for Life.” This sustainable branded event featured a pop-up store displaying IKEA’s products made from recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets.
The event also offered workshops on how to upcycle old furniture and create DIY projects with sustainable materials.
The Expanding Role of Technology
From augmented reality and artificial intelligence to live streaming and mobile event apps, technology is enhancing the event experience in myriad ways.
Brands that stay abreast of these trends can create more engaging, memorable, and impactful events. For example, Moonpig’s WebAR event, which asked shoppers to collect gifts falling from the ceiling using a Christmas sack.
The game, which ran in tandem with their TV ads, started with an animation of a Christmas Moonpig and ended with an invitation for users to share a photo from the game on social media.
Participants could interact with the screen using their smartphones, creating a fun and immersive experience.
The Rise of Hybrid Events
Hybrid events, which marry in-person and virtual elements, are gaining popularity. These events offer the best of both worlds, enabling brands to reach a wider audience while still providing the immersive experience of a live event.
With the ongoing advancements in virtual event technology, the popularity of hybrid events is set to soar in the future. GFRR‘s most recent event was a testament to this.
The event featured online and offline components, such as virtual keynotes, online sessions, and personalized meetings. The event also offered physical swag boxes and local experiences for attendees who opted for them.
We specialize in creating events that captivate audiences and leave a lasting impression, with your brand front and center. Whether it’s a virtual or hybrid event, we combine our strategic thinking, stunning designs, and innovative technology to make your brand shine.
With over 20 years of experience and a proven track record, we’ve helped clients achieve:
From increased ROI to enhanced collaboration and performance, we’re here to help you achieve your goals.
Choose We & Goliath and create extraordinary Branded Events that will make your brand the star of the show.
Get in touch with us today and let’s discuss how we can put your brand in the spotlight.