People Like What They Know.

/ 4 min read


In order to keep a brand alive, we need to gain new customers, especially when our goal is growth. If the customer has previous experience with a competing brand, they have an even stronger inclination towards it, making our struggle all the harder. Our road is blocked by people's comfort and aversion to loss.

We aren’t receptive to new ideas and brands because we have a problem abandoning old ones. “A loss ‘weighs’ about twice as much as a similar gain. “We have a strong tendency to hang on to what we have, even though it often harms us,” writes Rolf Dobelli in his book The Art of Thinking Clearly. This is why our natural desire for a change of brand usually comes at the moment when the existing brand has somehow deeply disappointed us or fallen behind in terms of user experience. These are more compelling reasons than the fact that a competing brand has a more interesting benefit.

Apart from an aversion to change, comfort also plays a role with people. On this, Rolf Dobelli says, “When we have a choice between trying something new or staying with the old, we are, in short, ultraconservative – even when the change is associated with benefits.” In order for people to decide in favour of a change, they need to have the feeling that they know the new brand. That’s why it’s important for them to be constantly reminded of it and to pay attention to this new engagement.

Because people are simply screening out most advertisements, brands must bypass these screens and cause them to have a small emotional reaction toward acceptance.

Reach with attention.

Because competing brands sell to the same type of people, the question is, what user experience does a brand offer and how much attention does it gain? A brand that becomes a medium for amazing experiences will obtain the keys to people’s memory structures. And whenever they encounter its distinctive elements, their memories immediately engage a positive association.

Therefore, more and more large-brand marketers are finding cause to buttress their experiential marketing efforts. Where the traditional approach (print, television, etc.) introduces products to a market of passive consumers, experiential marketing supports active participation with the brand. It does this by engaging as many senses as possible, and thereby making very strong emotional and physical connection with brand.  These connection are created in particular by connecting experiences during live activation of the brand and expanding the reach using social media. This is one reason experiential marketing, in its creation of content, is much more powerful and effective than traditional push advertising, banner campaigns or events.

Examples of experiential campaigns.

Lean Cuisine #WeighThis installation.

After almost six years of declining sales, Nestlé Lean Cuisine embarked on a rebranding program. A survey found that women face a society that judges them by their appearance. It therefore asked them to "think about what is really important." It commissioned artists to paint women's comments on scales and display them in the hall of Grand Central Station. It created the hashtag #WeighThis and allowed women to turn off the word "diet" on their TVs and web browsers using the Google Diet for TV and Google ChromeTM tools.

The campaign achieved 6.5 million impressions in the first week, resulting in a 428% increase in social mentions and a 33% increase in positive brand perception. It generated more than 211 million impressions and was featured in 680 media placements. #WeighThis has become an integral part of Lean Cuisine's strategy.

Ikea U.K.'s Big sleepover in-store.

The brand recorded its first increase in sales. Ikea UK's sleepover in-store. IKEA enthusiasts expressed a sincere desire to spend the night in an IKEA store, and IKEA UK noticed. More than 100,000 people joined a FB group called "I wanna have a sleepover in IKEA", and 100 of them really were given this chance. IKEA prepared a night-time experience called the Big Sleepover, which included massages and reading of a bedtime story. A sleep expert was also on hand to help people choose a new mattress.

The activity was publicised in more than 330 media outlets, including The Times. What IKEA also learned from the experiential activity was that, on average, people choose a mattress in less than 10 minutes. That's less time than most of us take to think about what to have for lunch. This fact became the impetus for a change in their marketing strategy.

“The future of marketing lies in creating physical and emotional connections between people and the brand, something that traditional advertising simply does not know how to do,” Jiri Machacek, CEO of Innovate.

Write to Jiri

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We are a brand-experience team dedicated to helping marketers transform traditional communication into a more inspiring active brand exploration – experiential campaigns. We do this by engaging customers, staging experiences and rendering authenticity. Innovate. Transforming Brands Into Experiences.
Jiří Macháček
Jiří Macháček

Jiří Macháček, Innovate Captain & ExM Trainer


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