Running Brand Experience Campaigns for a Millennial Audience

By Corey Padveen

One of the fundamental differences between a traditional objective-oriented campaign and a brand experience campaign for Millennials is the seamlessness with which a brand experience campaign is executed. Users can move from one piece of content to another and from one channel to the next without becoming confused about the path designed for the process.

While elements of your brand experience strategy may factor into your standard objective campaigns, the focus of the brand experience campaign is on the immersion of the audience in the story you’re telling across various media. As with any campaign, you need to start by developing either a single or a series of objectives that you’d like to achieve by building out a brand experience for your Millennial prospects.

Objectives, such as your KPIs, can be both tangible and intangible. You can collect tangible customer data, which is concrete and measurable, by having customers fill out a form or submit their information. Alternatively, you can try to build loyalty, which can often be an intangible objective as it’s not necessarily measured by a concrete statistic but rather a concept that relies much more on observation.

When it comes to the brand experience, some of the most common objectives you should consider when building your campaigns include

  • Increasing brand engagement
  • Driving up brand awareness
  • Building a new segmented audience
  • Selling more product
  • Garnering customer loyalty
  • Fostering relationships
  • Launching a well-rounded campaign

Increasing brand engagement

Continuous engagement helps build your brand awareness. A brand experience campaign is about building that engagement across multiple media. By creating an experience in which your prospects and target Millennial audience can participate, you’re driving increased interactions with a broad variety of users on several digital channels. Considering that this increased engagement is going to be an essential component of any brand experience initiative, you need to decide whether engagement is a primary or secondary objective of your campaign.

Your primary objective is the one that you’re most interested in achieving. All the work you do and everything you include in your strategy is going to aim to achieve this primary goal. A secondary objective is one that may be less of a focus or even just a byproduct of your primary objective. While you may track this objective and even implement a few components that work toward its success, it won’t be your primary focus during the campaign.

Driving up brand awareness

Although brand awareness isn’t a tangible objective in the traditional sense. it’s an objective that you can work toward through the strategic use of a brand experience campaign. As you drive up engagement with your target audience, the conversation around your brand will increase. As that conversation increases, the discoverability of your brand by your target prospects and by new prospects who come across this public discussion will rise.

While there may not be a concrete way to determine brand awareness, one measurement that may be helpful is share of voice. Share of voice measures how much industry conversation pertains to your brand as compared to your competitors. As share of voice increases, so does your brand awareness.

Creating a brand experience that focuses on intrigue can help you garner the attention of new audiences and users. An intrigue-focused campaign may have something to do with a series of clues or references that participants need to follow in order to reach the incentive-fueled end — perhaps a discount or special offer. This kind of campaign is a useful way to drive up brand awareness.

Building a new, segmented audience

One of the benefits of brand experience campaigns is that they can entice new fans. These viewers make it clear that they’re willing to engage with brands that provide them with valuable content.

Selling more product

Of course, one of the goals that you’ll work toward is increasing sales. Just remember that when it comes to brand experience, the sales cycle may be a bit longer than what you’re used to because the timeline isn’t necessarily fixed and the majority of the audience will be focused on getting the most from the experience presented.

You most likely will want to consider increased sales as a secondary objective in your brand experience campaigns. Unlike some of your more sales-oriented objectives, such as an ad campaign with a clear goal at its core, the brand experience is primarily about building relationships.

You may find that over time, these relationships lead to conversions, but the concept of building your brand experience means that you want to encourage the organic growth of a relationship with your prospects. A conversion may take place at any point in the process after the prospect in question feels comfortable enough to buy. Increasing sales, however, is still a viable objective worth monitoring.

Garnering customer loyalty

One of the most valuable byproducts of an experience-oriented campaign is the garnering of audience loyalty. Creating a noteworthy experience for your audience shows that you care about them.

This attention goes a long way in building loyalty among your existing or newly converted audiences.

Fostering relationships

Brand experience campaigns are reliable tools to use when you’re trying to deepen the relationships you created with your audience. Though the growth of relationships isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to measure, it’s a worthwhile objective to monitor.

Launching a well-rounded campaign

To get the most from your campaign, you should follow a series of steps leading up to your launch. The following steps can help ensure that your narrative is clear, your tracking is established, and that you’re working toward achieving exactly what you set out to do:

  1. Build out a slightly generalized Millennial audience.

    To encourage the discovery of new audiences, keep your target audience a little bit more general than usual to expose the brand experience campaign to new prospects.

  2. Establish your objectives.

    Determine exactly what it is you’re trying to achieve by creating a brand experience initiative for your audience and selecting objectives that measure their interest.

  3. Construct a narrative.

    The narrative is the driving force behind the entire brand experience, so it’s a critical stage. Spend time outlining the ideal path you’d like users to take and then consider all the variations that you might present.

  4. Determine tracking methods and KPIs.

    Before launching, identify exactly how you plan to track your progress and pick the key indicators you’ll use to measure your success.

  5. Set initial benchmarks.

    Your benchmarks may change after your brand experience program gets underway, but start with a few benchmarks that you’d like to improve.

  6. Develop your content.

    Create content that helps your audience move from one stage of the story to the next. Also, consider how the content will help you build a closer ongoing relationship with your audience.

  7. Launch your campaign.

    Measure your results to see whether your audience is following the linear path that you created for them. You may need to make some changes to guide them along the path you constructed.

  8. Make some changes.

    Be proactive and make necessary changes right away.