Branded experiences aren’t necessarily something new, though we’ve seen them become a more significant part of successful client strategy in recent years. This is, in part, due to audiences’ need to connect with thought leaders – and each other – in authentic, value-driven ways. There is plenty of research that shows the impact these experiences have on near-term and long-term brand awareness and affinity – making it hard to argue the importance of thoughtful branded experiences.
At shark&minnow we have a passion for curating dynamic experiences on behalf of our clients. From executing large-scale product launches for Microsoft Retail Stores to product showcases for Cadillac or activating Nestle brands’ strategy at Major League Gaming‘s national events and founding the TEDxCLE Speaker Series, we have a proven track record for creating memorable experiences for clients.
With our most recent event endeavor, JumpStart’s 2nd Annual Startup Scaleup (quickly having become Cleveland’s go-to destination for entrepreneurs), under our belt, we’re giving you an inside glimpse into our proven Brand Experience Strategy.
Our Team – Your Secret Weapon
What makes shark&minnow different is our embedded client approach. We make it our mission to look and respond just as a client would, acting as an extension and not just a “third party.” We do this through on-going onsite time, pre-project research and diving deep into our client’s industry. Not only is this an important aspect to any strategic work, but it’s especially significant for Branded Experiences.
Throughout the planning for JumpStart’s 2nd Annual Startup Scaleup, we made teamwork our top priority. Working side-by-side weekly with the JumpStart team allowed us to be agile in our decision making, addressing concerns and action items in live time. Having a team you can trust is the epicenter of successful Branded Experiences. With the expanding to-do list that comes with executing large-scale branded experiences (not to mention a plethora of moving parts), the last thing you want to worry about is effectively communicating with your team.
Creating Community Buy-In
Combining resources (in the form of contacts and connections) while fostering an environment of collaboration can only benefit your organization and open up future partnership opportunities.
For Startup Scaleup, community building is at the heart of the entire event. With 15 venues, 10+ food vendors and over 90 speakers from varying organizations, forging community ties was paramount. Community outreach and development is an area of expertise for our team and we tackle projects by nurturing existing relationships and creating new ones that are synergistic with our client’s core values.
Community outreach can never be an off-the-shelf solution but rather a customized approach that uniquely fits specific client needs. Our team invests the time it takes to make these partnerships “real” – founded on a deep understanding of the community, issues and needs.
Forgo the Hard Sell
Think back to the worst branded event you’ve ever attended. Do you remember the reason it was unenjoyable? It may have stemmed from the event being more about the company/organization putting it on rather than the value it could deliver to its attendees.
Branded experiences deliver the best results when bringing premium value to those in attendance. Ways that experiences can deliver value are limitless, including providing educational programming (much like what Startup Scaleup centers around), networking and pipeline building. The linchpin is in identifying the type of value your attendees most want.
To do this, our team adapts principles of user experience (traditionally reserved for online environments) and applies them to offline scenarios. We consider each touch point attendees will interact with to ensure elements align with attendees wants and needs.
Branded experiences heavily impact the way people perceive companies. It’s an important element to strategies aimed at expanding brand awareness, increasing customer loyalty and adding to prospect pipelines.
We are proud of our team’s contribution to this year’s Startup Scaleup. Alongside JumpStart, we presented a vibrant experience that elevated Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial community while arming over 1,350 attendees with valuable knowledge to help them on their entrepreneurial paths.
To explore our full-service Branded Experience offerings, visit our website at http://sharkandminnow.com/experience/