I-AM Beyond shares experiential insight 24th September 2013
I-AM Beyond is the experiential marketing arm of ‘i-am’ associates. Mel Connell, Beyond’s Director was recently interviewed for an article on Yahoo where she gave some of her industry insight and some hints and tips on what can make small brands cool. The article featuring Mel is posted below, as well as a link so you can read the whole thing for yourself. Enjoy!
Small businesses should also beware of wasting their marketing budgets on expensive one-off advertising or public relations campaigns, say London-based brand experience experts ‘i-am’ associates.
“Putting all your budget in one great PR pot or spending out on an advertising campaign that isn’t niche enough are some of the biggest mistakes SMEs can make,” says Mel Connell, Director of ‘i-am’ Beyond, the firm’s experiential marketing arm.
“SMEs need to think less about overarching brand awareness and more about generating brand advocacy.”
Mel recommends that instead of building an community based around their brand, firms should instead tap into existing communities or “influencer groups” to generate word of mouth interest in their products, developing what she calls “advocacy soldiers” – individuals who will vouch for your brand.
The firm, which works with Diageo as well as smaller companies, typically creates events around client’s brands, such as pop up events and parties, to which it invites influential bloggers with the aim of creating a ‘buzz’ about a product.
However, these events don’t have to be expensive, says Mel. “We’ve done lots of low cost guerilla marketing events,” she said. “It could be at a music festival, it could be in the street, a flashmob, projections onto something, etc. or even chalk spraying on the pavement,” she said.
To achieve ‘coolness’, it’s crucial to target the right audience, she says. “Gaining traction within a target community is vital to gaining credibility,” Mel said.
Social media is another area which, while low cost, is where many firms – large or small – can easily become unstuck. “There are a lot of brands trying to fabricate content online and a lot of misconceptions about buying fans online,” said Mel.
“It’s important to sit and work out your online strategy before doing anything because you can’t oversaturate. Oversaturation of your brand message can be off-putting [to consumers on Twitter, etc.] and if you do so I can turn you off my filter.”