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March 31, 2009

Shaz Smilansky:The BETTER experiential brainstorming model

In the first of three exclusive online extracts from her recently published book, Experiential Marketing, the Blazinstar Experiential marketing director explains why brainstorming is crucial to a successful experiential campaign, describing a model to base the process on.

In the BETTER brainstorming model, E stands for Emotional connection. It is important that we form an Emotional connection with the target audience since we need to engage consumers on a basis that will touch them beyond their conscious thoughts.

The reason why this stage of the brainstorming process is so vitally important is that, by appealing to people’s emotions and creating genuine emotional connections, the experience is likely to embed itself in their memories.

Studies have shown that vivid autobiographical memories are usually of emotional events. These emotional events are likely to be recalled in more detail, and more often than emotionally neutral events. Emotional stimuli can heighten memory retention by triggering neuro-chemical activity affecting certain areas of the brain that are responsible for encoding and recalling.

The Emotional connection stage of the BETTER brainstorming model is designed to gather inspiration for emotionally stimulating elements that integrate the results of the brand personality and will combine with the target audience stage to form the two-way interaction part of the brainstorm (the topline concept for the live brand experience). The two approaches that can best form inspiration for Emotional connections are, the ‘Three Key Attributes’ and multi-sensory elements.

Three key attributes
Experiential marketing should always make a deep Emotional connection with the target audience through their feelings. To achieve this connection we should apply elements that have Three Key Attributes to the live brand experience, which have to orchestrate in real time, ‘in the here and now’.

These attributes when integrated into the concepts for all live brand experiences, whether they are delivered remotely (through technology or communication platforms) or face-to-face; result in experiences that are more memorable.

The Three Key Attributes that should be thought about during this stage are authentic, positively connected, and personally meaningful. In essence, these attributes summarise what the concept should be to ensure that it connects with the emotions of the participant. If the live brand experience is not delivered face-to-face, hence, a multi-sensory approach is less appropriate, then by applying the Three Key Attributes you will still be able to create a genuine emotional connection and embed the memory of the experience into the participant’s mind.

To create an emotional connection, we therefore need to apply the Three Key Attributes to the concept, and if the live brand experience is going to be executed face-to-face then we do this in combination with the process of establishing a multi-sensory connection.

Shaz Smilansky is marketing director at experiential agency Blazin Star.

Experiential Marketing is published by
Kogan Page, costs £22.50 and is available from Amazon and all good book sellers.

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