If you are on a quest to build brand loyalty, experiential events should be a marketing lever you use. Brand loyalty is vital for company to boost sales for new products and withstand the competition. And building the positive sentiment towards your brand can be activated from live events. Events for brand loyalty is an effective tool because it leverages memorable, face-to-face interactions.
Here are 3 companies who are doing events right and winning at the brand loyalty game.
Funko Fundays and Funatics
Funko manufactures collectable pop culture vinyl toys that are enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Their brand following is extremely loyal and one of the easiest ways for Funko to give back to their most dedicated followers, Funatics. One of the easiest ways for them to engage with Funatics with each other is through events.
Funko has a strong presence at most Comicons and one special event they do is called Funko Fundays. Funatics are able to purchase tickets for an evening that includes rubbing elbows with Funko’s founders, Funko employees, and other Funatics. The real magic of the exclusivity of the event is the notorious Funko Box of Fun that include exclusive toys and prizes for everyone who attends.
Why It Works
Funko Fundays are successful because it taps into the exclusivity of being a Funko collector and receiving exclusive merch that you can only get at the event. Funko founders and employees make it a unique event that is elevated beyond just a meet-up group of fans. If you have a loyal following, take the intangible of what makes your brand addictive and build an event around it.
Brand Activations and Super Bowl LI
The Super Bowl is one of the most infamous events where brand activations happen. Since football fans range widely in age, Nickelodeon Sports created a Fan Zone and brought in live game shows on-site with NFL personalities to engage. Around the fan area was a throwback to Double Dare that included a live game show complete with a green slime moat.
Why It Works
Adult brands see plenty of action at the Super Bowl, be it alcohol, automobiles, or restaurants. When a company wants to engage younger fans, they need to get creative. Nick Sports was successful on a few fronts: they stayed on-brand by building an engaging set and bringing in Nick Sports TV personalities. When you’re thinking about ways to build loyalty, create an experience for your attendees that will be memorable that stays on message and on brand.
Dreamforce and Attendee Engagement
Software juggernaut, Salesforce, hosts one of the biggest technology user conferences in the world called Dreamforce. There are over 170,000 attendees that descend on San Francisco to learn from each other but also to learn more about the upcoming products from Salesforce. This past year, their camp event theme permeated all aspects of attendee engagement. Dreamforce education pods were transformed into campfire story sessions and a city-wide scavenger hunt paired with highly-coveted Salesforce swag made for a fun, nostalgic theme.
Why It Works
The organizers of Dreamforce pulled out all the stops when it came to engaging attendees. Their technology also supported the experiences they wanted to create. Dreamforce’s event app pushed notifications to push attendees to popular education sessions and evening events. The organizers also leveraged social validation with chat and social media walls dotted throughout the venue. Take a cue from Dreamforce and turn the ordinary - be it your check-in desk, badge pickup desk, or education sessions - and turn it into an opportunity to make a memorable experience.
Which companies do you know of that use events to build brand loyalty? Share them with me on social media @socialtables or share them in the comments!
Laura Lopez is the Senior Community Manager at Social Tables. The award-winning platform has been used to source, plan and execute over two million events since 2011. The company has 4,500 customers in 100 countries and has been recognized as one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies for Live Events in 2017, Best Industry Innovation from the International Live Events Association, and the People's Choice Award from Canadian Special Events.
In her role, she puts the “social” in Social Tables by generating brand awareness both online and off through content, events, digital marketing, and industry partnerships.