What should your brand look like, and what should your audience feel, when they pour through the doors at your event? Exhibition World speaks to Ben Turner (pictured), founder and MD of UK-based creative events agency WONDER London, who talks through the agency’s unique research project.
At WONDER London, we are the masters of real-world brand representation. Lifting your brand, off the page and into the real world of events is of fundamental importance to what we do. It’s all about taking an organisation’s big ideas into the physical environment, in a way that ensures event attendees leave with a true understanding of what the brand is all about.
While we know how important this is, we also appreciate it’s not straightforward to do. So, we commissioned a research company to poll over 200 brand marketers (all with events budgets) on the subject. The objective was to explore in detail everything from what they understand the term ‘real-world brand representation’ to mean, to the challenges they face, through to who they view as being responsible for getting it right.
Our research revealed marketers have a varied understanding of what the term means, but ‘consumer experience’ was the most popular choice. The clear majority, (69%) viewed themselves as being solely responsible for developing the concept that will bring the brand to life, rather than being something they would work with an events agency to achieve. That last one surprised us a bit, as although marketers are of course the brand custodians, this is exactly the sort of challenge creative events agencies should help them deal with.
The bigger the company, the greater importance they attribute to the real-world representation of their brand, and the more they view it as being a challenge. This makes sense, as the bigger the company the larger – and often – more established the brand, resulting in greater audience expectations, both internally and externally. The fact smaller brands pay less attention to the issue often comes down to budget limitations.
These are just some of the findings. What stood out most for us was that while the significance of making a concept concrete is often underestimated, a staggering 92% of companies see the real-world representation of their brand as a challenge. And that presents a real opportunity.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to truly bringing your brand to life.. But there are specific elements that allow you to create a sense of wonder, and generate credible, authentic, emotional engagement with your brand. Getting it right can transform the events you run, and the results they generate.