I was thinking today about the Apple product launch last week and about the Brand Vitality Apple has achieved with its products even when they lack superior innovative features. Last friday Apple Inc. launched the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, and millions sold over the weekend. What drives the obsession with these devices? And my answer was that the “Brand” is so engaging that consumers want to be connected to it at every possible turn. Below are some of the strategies employed by Apple to create engaging marketing experiences that invite connection and give them an edge in Brand Vitality.

apple dot com1. On the Web

Apple.com is constantly updated with beautiful imagery and descriptions that go beyond engaging to emotionally provocative. The message is not just a product description it’s a description of how your life could change with their product.

iPod dancers2. Conventional media

Apple has always been famous for it’s distinct, bold advertising. Their iPod silhouettes are a famous and perfect example of a marketing message that invites participation. The core message of these prints were listen to “your” music, whenever and however “you” want. It was provoking, relevant and personally made me want to jam out to Black Eyed Peas all day long.

3. Face-to-Face

Genius Bar

Everyone knows about Apple’s retail success. Their achievements in creating an immersive experiential environment is definitely envious. But the concepts behind what makes the Apple Store experience so memorable are not that radical. The front of the store is minimal in messaging but heavy on demonstration areas. There are rows of devices almost begging the consumer to “pick me up and try me,” a consumer does not have to be given permission to play… it’s just expected. The friendly staff (or brand evangelists) are easily noticeable and you are always greeted but never pressured. Then there is the “Genius Bar” where a branded “Apple Genius” is ready to help you solve your technical woes. The whole design of the Apple Store is made to invite you as the consumer to connect, and “play around.” This is the ultimate goal of experiential marketing.

Around the world marketers are sitting at their desk thinking “How do I engage consumers with our brand? We don’t have an exciting product so all we can do is build awareness?” This is the roadblock that a lot of brands hits at some point, but it doesn’t have to be. Every interaction, advertisement, or channel for messaging is an opportunity to invite emotional connections.

One way to drive connections to your  brand is through the use of experiential marketing as an opportunity to connect with your consumers, don’t just start the conversation, follow-through and keep it going. Instead of looking at new ways to market your brand, think of it as finding new ways to recruit “brand evangelists.” It’s essentially the same thing, but keeping your marketing focused on creating the best experience and encouraging participation from your customers will keep them coming back for more.

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