With the goal of selling a product or service, brands face several challenges including engaging the consumer and gaining their trust. An impactful brand activation campaign will function as a catalyst in achieving these goals and therefore in the bigger picture marketing strategy. Undoubtedly, one of the most effective ways to leave a lasting impression during a brand activation campaign is to use a demo tool. By providing visual support and tangible evidence to back up your product claim, as well as appealing to the senses, a potential customer can grasp the value and potential of your solution. 3 main steps underpin the brand activation process, all of which should be considered for a successful outcome:
Step 1: Capture attention and connect with your target audience. The great thing about demoing is that it makes a product accessible to all. Offering a tool that customers can physically interact with and have fun with makes your brand interesting, approachable, and the experience of using it puts everyone on the same page. Furthermore, with the overwhelming choice of cosmetic products available on the shelves, having a presence over others in the form of a demo tool can be advantageous in grabbing a customer’s attention.
So, you’ve started the conversation, what next? With a potential customer in your hands, your demo tool comes into its own, along with Step 2: The power to provide a personal learning experience. By interacting with the consumer via a demo tool which provides information, the situation turns from selling into a consultation and the conversation becomes two-directional. At the POS or 1:1, the customer is gaining knowledge, specific to their needs, through the results of the demo tool. Furthermore, they begin to shop with their senses and emotions, which are stirred as they experience their beauty moment of truth.
To define the purpose of marketing in terms of need satisfaction, problem solution or benefit delivery is too narrow. The ultimate goal of marketing is providing customer with valuable experiences."
Step 3: Showing confidence in your product will encourage consumers to be confident in you! The icing on the cake is being able to prove to the customer that your product claim is credible. As a consumer, the most appealing aspect of a demo tool is being able to try before you buy as it eliminates the risk of buying a new or unfamiliar product first. Upon discovering what your tool sets out to demonstrate, they are better equipped with the information to buy the appropriate product. You wouldn’t buy a car without driving it first, would you? Consider a demo tool like a test drive – it enables you to communicate the key features and benefits of a product through hands-on experience, giving the customer confidence in your brand.
Demo tools are about immersing the consumer in a fun and memorable experience, which they will positively associate with your brand. A study conducted by Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School tested the impacts of using a demo tool on the experience of 240 consumers. The results showed that over 70% of participants felt inclined to buy from the brands that engaged them using the skin type test strip. Furthermore, over 80% of them gained confidence in the brands conducting the tests and 30% said they would recommend the brand that provided the strips to others. Confident claims should be backed up by confident marketing strategies and well-designed brand activations. Sensory marketing and demo tools are therefore ideal means by which to liven up a campaign and ultimately enhance customer experience with your brand.
(1)Schmitt, B. H. (1999) Experiential Marketing. Journal of Marketing Management, 15(1), 53-67.