Our opinion on... “ c reating and delivering ” experiences
In the same way that we cannot create brands, we cannot create experiences. Definitively experience is intrinsic. I create the experience in my own mind, made of components deliv‐ ered from the external world filtered through and overlaid on my personal sensory percep‐ tions, emotional memory and value set; and I understood in the context of my own per‐ sonal history and the environment in which I live. As marketers or brand merchants, all we can do is deliver the components that trigger the experiences. Realistically, the same set of experience components delivered to a group of people who share similar sensory perceptions, emotional drivers, personal histories and liv‐ ing environments, will trigger effectively similar experiences in each one of these people. This is the objective of experiential segmentation. Experiential branding is the discipline of understanding and defining brands in terms of the way they are experienced, in order to differentiate them in the most powerful dimension: relevance (nothing is more relevant than an experience). With a an empathetic understanding of our customers deeds, we can determine what com‐ bination of external experience components we need to deliver, in order to trigger a de‐ lightful experience. If this understanding is the platform on which the company builds everything it does, with the single minded focus on the way in which it wants to be experienced, we can safely say that: The business is the brand is the experience
Protean Strategies is a Toronto based management consulting firm. Since 1997 we have been helping large and small companies convert brand value into higher margins and bottom line profits by understanding their stakeholders needs; building powerful strategies; and aligning business practices with marketing and sale to a common goal.
Experiential marketing is (or should be) the way in which experiential branding is com‐ municated outside of the actual product or service interaction. Experiential marketing tries, or should try, to replicate the “experience of the brand so that the cus‐ tomer will momentarily "get the feeling" and through this be persuaded to buy the product or service. All too often this important view of the cus‐ tomer satisfaction process is thought of, in
the case of experiential marketing as noth‐ ing more than a way of getting people to pay attention or notice you. And in the case of experiential branding as paying lip‐service to the idea that “we sell experiences, not products.” Experiential branding and marketing are tightly interwoven into a single marketing whole for successful brands such as Apple, Abercrombie and Fitch, Southwest Airways, etc.
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Laurence Bernstein is the founder and managing partner of Protean Strategies/The Bay Charles Consulting Group Limited. He has been a leading
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proponent of the “new order of differentiation” and has written and lectured on the subject of experiential branding and intrinsic/extrinsic research methodologies in Canada, the US , Europe and China.
In addition to a highly successful 20 year career in advertising and marketing he held senior positions client side in hotel and hospitality companies. Laurence attended the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and Cornell University in Ithaca , New York This white-paper is based on the original paper on the subject written by Laurence Bernstein and published in the Cornell Quarterly in April, 1999.