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    Experiences – Brands need to provide memorable experiences (4Es)

    Brands offering direct and authentic experiences are more likely to create deeper and more meaningful relationships with their customers than brands that don’t.

    In order to feel important, understood and connected today, people need meaningful and memorable experiences. A recent consumer survey in UK showed that people’s brand recall of an experience is 60%, while for newspapers only 30% and for TV almost as low as 20%. As more companies start to understand the importance of producing cultural capital, authentic brand experiences are becoming increasingly important in order for brands to connect deeper with their customers and get the desired customer attention. To be effective, the experience of a brand has to be rooted in the story the company tells, and appeal to as many of the human senses – i.e. sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste – as possible, and the more meaningful the experience is, the more cultural capital will be associated with it.

    Brands with the ‘fingerspitzgefühl’ of navigating between culture and commerce and direct authentic experiences, will be able to create a deeper and more meaningful relationship to their customers, and more easily succeed in building brand advocacy. Most good experiences tell stories, and a good brand experience makes customers feel closer to the brand. Greater customer loyalty is developed due to the emotional bond, established through the experience. Customers are also willing to pay more for products from brands providing them with meaningful brand experiences.

    Today, we can also see more brands that have started to approach experiences in a more strategic way. Above you can watch intros for T-Mobile’s Electronic Beats Festival, and Intel’s Creators Project, a project that will be presented in a case study later on in this series about the four Es of emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity.

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    Emotions – Something humane in the marketing mix (4Es)

    As much as we’d like to think of ourselves as objective decision-making machines, our actions often say otherwise. When we ‘shop’ for something, we typically generate rational reasons to justify our actions. But the decision at the exact time of purchase is quite impulsive and largely emotional.

    Emotional advertising content makes more impact on customers than any rational information. This has been strengthened by neuroscience research during the last few years. In short, our emotions ‘decide’, and do the ‘shopping’, for us. In the end, our actions are formed on the associations and feelings we have for a brand, together with our subjective history of it. Hence, it is essential for brands to establish positive, or ‘right’, brand associations and connect emotionally with customers.

    Establishing ‘right’ brand associations helps to shape positive customer perceptions around the brand, and build strong affinity that leads to a much-increased brand preference amongst the customers, generating engagement and increasing customer loyalty.

    Emotional substance in marketing and communication increases the likelihood of being remembered as well. Customers pay more attention to emotionally-stimulating brand activities than brand activities lacking emotional content. Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, coined the expression ‘lovemarks’ in 2002, in his book with the same name, where he stated the need for emotional brand connectivity with customers. Eight years later we find this need stronger than ever.

    Brands that establish emotional bonds with their customers will effectively place themselves apart from their competitors, enabling the growth of customer loyalty. Today it is no longer a question of struggling for recognition alone. Today it is a question of being relevant, and connecting with customers. Because only then customers will forward your brand to their peers, writing testimonials and recommending your brand to others they are connected to. Successful brands are thus the ones that offer their customers emotional content which make the customers associate with the brand in a positive manner.

    Worth noting is that rational strengths shouldn’t be utterly replaced by emotional ones: for smaller brands, or new businesses, rational marketing may well do better than exclusively emotional marketing, but for most of the already established brands, or bigger businesses, emotional marketing will definitely outperform solely rational ones.

    Above you can watch film clips from Levi’s and Dove, two brands successfully working with emotions in their marketing campaigns. Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty will be presented as a case study later in this series about the four Es of emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity.

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    The philosophy of the Four Es – Why brands need to embrace this model in their marketing

    To compete successfully on the market, brands must add the four Es to their marketing strategies - emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity. We have highlighted this model before, but only in connection to music, until now. With an immense interest from our readers to learn more about the four Es marketing model, we have explored it deeper. This is the first post in a series that takes a look at this marketing model outside the context of music.

    21st Century Marketspace

    Anyone who has ever stepped foot in a business class knows about the ‘Four Ps of Marketing’, developed by Professor E. Jerome McCarthy in the 60s, further spread by Philip Kotler. This model suggests that successful marketing campaigns must have the right mix of product, price, placement and promotion to position a product on the market. The four Ps was however developed for the marketplace as it looked in the 60s, and not for today’s cluttered marketspace (yes, the market is a space, and not a place anymore). Don’t get us wrong though. The four Ps is still a very useful model, but it does have a few inherent flaws in a world where it is increasingly harder for companies to differentiate themselves based on specific product features alone (that are easily copied over night).

    Nowadays, when the brand is the most important asset for a company, not the product, brands have to engage individuals in a deeper, more humane and multidimensional way. As a complement to the four Ps, brands must add the four Es of emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity, to compete successfully on the market.

    4Es

    Music is perhaps the communication tool that most powerfully embraces all of the four Es. Music is emotions put into communication, it builds memorable experiences that engage people into two-way conversations, it may easily service brands as a distinguisher from competitors, thus helping brands to position themselves in the consciousness of their customers, owning an exclusive position in their minds. But the four Es does not end at music, this marketing model goes much further…

    In the following series, we’ll go over each E in more depth, showing just how emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity work - helping turn ordinary customers into loyal fans of your brand. We’ll also present case studies illustrating how the four Es can be put into practice.

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    Lady Gaga covered in meat - the beginning of the end of recognition

    We guess none of you missed Lady Gaga receiving her MTV Video Of The Year award in a dress made of raw meat. Last time Heartbeats brought up the lady on this blog, we wrote about lessons brands could learn from Gaga’s successful incorporation of the four Es (of emotions, engagement, experiences and exclusivity) in her personal brand building. However, since then her search for attention has accelerated, and her increasingly freaked out methods must be perceived as symptoms of marketing gone sick. It is recognition for the sake of recognition, in an era where more than ever, people seek brands with relevance that add meaning to their lives.

    lady-gaga-meat-dress

    In the past 50 years not many brands have had to go as far as dressing up in meat to get the recognition needed to sell products; TV advertising used to do the job pretty well. Attention was easily bought, and consumer behavior was fairly simple to predict. But the digital revolution of the last 15 years of has changed this rapidly. All of the world’s information is just one click away, and we are facing a saturated market, where brands compete with anyone anywhere to get people’s attention.

    We can see at least two ways companies have tried to meet these challenges (sometimes combining the two). Firstly, we have companies that seem to believe in the model that if they just increase their marketing budgets and media investments, sooner or later consumers will be persuaded to buy into their products. Though what these brands have left out of the calculation is that today recognition means nothing without relevance…

    Secondly, we have companies who are fully aware of the importance of being relevant. They have understood that everyone is connected (and thereby competes with one other), so they have moved the focus (and thereby marketing efforts) away from merely ‘buying recognition’ to deserving it. They have added value and a higher purpose to their overall communication and marketing strategies. Instead of pushing out information about product benefits, they tell memorable stories, leaving the idea about persuading their customers behind, in its place helping them create more meaning in their lives. Simply put, they have chosen relevance before recognition.

    At Heartbeats, we have seen our own clients facing this problem of recognition vs. relevance. Often they have a product that is well recognised on the market, but not considered relevant or the preferred brand of the target group. People don’t buy into the story of the brand or just don’t feel strongly enough for the brand. This has resulted in our communication department developing entertainment, music and culture strategies with higher purposes, transcending traditional marketing through the four Es adding true brand relevance and touching the hearts of our client’s customers.

    Lost Sthlm - Axe Soundsystem from Emil Rydberg on Vimeo.

    Let’s hope that the desperation Lady Gaga seems to have in keeping attention isn’t spreading to brands that want to stay relevant in the marketplace. Seriously, can anyone tell us what could possibly come next after covering yourself in raw meat? All ideas are welcome…

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    A new marketing mix for the 21st Century: 4Es (with audio)

    Anyone who’s ever stepped foot in a business class knows about McCarthy’s ‘four Ps of Marketing’, which is still a very useful model. But, it does have a few inherent limitations in today’s saturated markets, where it’s increasingly harder for a company to capture attention or differentiate itself based on specific products or service benefits. For brands to succeed today, they must engage individuals in a deeper, multidimensional way. Today, brands must add something more human to the equation. The four Ps must become the four Es, consisting of emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity.

    Listen to ‘The new marketing mix for the 21st century: 4Es’.

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    Lady Gaga - Living proof of music branding

    gaga

    Lady Gaga is living proof of the importance of the four Es; emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity, to stand out in today’s marketplace. Earlier this year Polaroid announced a strategic partnership with our fastest rising star, Lady Gaga, who now serves as Polaroid’s creative director. A brilliant strategic marketing move for Polaroid. With close to ten million Facebook fans and Twitter followers together, the lady of glam has proved she can move products. But, what is it about Lady Gaga that has made her this successful?

    To begin with, Lady Gaga is a brand, and a brand of substance. She is an expert on building emotional ties to her audience, through her music. With specially designed clothes, sometimes haute couture (sometimes no clothes), dance and art, Lady Gaga gives her fans inspiring and unique performances, experiences, that they remember! Further, she gives people things to talk about, myths, often spread through social media by the lady herself, thus engaging fans all over the world into two-way conversations and storytelling, promoting the lady and her music, and reaching new fans. Moreover, Lady Gaga is about breaking boundaries, being interesting, standing out and distinguishing herself from other artists. Thus, she is exclusive. Overall, she is the new marketing model, the four Es, personified, and brands definitely have a lot to learn from her!

    First lesson: It is the brand and not the product that matters most in today’s harsh market. Would people listen to Lady Gaga just for her voice? Second: By using the four Es marketing model, creating emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity, brands will build brand equity and increase their sales. Just as Lady Gaga does, brands will move their products. Final lesson: It’s still about the music! Using music - the media most people would least like to live without, as the fundamental key to create the four Es, will strengthen brands. Again, take a look at Lady Gaga. What would she be without her music? A spectacle, a freak stared at walking down the street? She would definitely not be one of the most talked about brands (sorry artists), covering fancy magazines all over the world, reaching new audiences, would she?

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