EXP: Bringing Brands To Life Through Experiential Marketing Campaigns

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By Azeez Disu

Rosemary Akpo, MD, EXP Marketing Nigeria

“The strength of brand loyalty begins with how your product makes people feel,” Jay Samit once said.

Experiential marketing has been a key proponent in ensuring that people have a great feeling about a brand, thus engaging consumers on a more intimate and personal level by building meaningful connections through shared moments and events.

In Nigeria, one of the leading experiential marketing agency changing the experiential marketing landscape is EXP Nigeria.

Basically, the agency is a results driven, strategic partner that brings brands to life through live brand experience campaigns. Interestingly, the award-winning agency develops measurable brand campaigns (create) and delivers memorable brand experiences for clients.

Similarly, it also activate sponsorship campaigns that are strategic, measurable and relevant. Its activations are physical manifestation of the client’s brand.

With a vision to be the no.1 360 experiential agency in Nigeria, EXP Nigeria, in a nut-shell, offers the services of brand activation, event marketing, sponsorship, social marketing, digital strategies, sponsorship and social marketing, public relations, sales promotions and branding & logistics.

Amazingly, the agency is a part of Africa’s largest and leading experiential agency network – EXP Group and was the first specialised experiential agency to open in Nigeria, having opened its Lagos office in 1997.

Some of its clients include: FirstBank, UACFoods, MultiChoice, NBC, Interswitch, Moet & Chandon, Glaxosmithkline, P&G, Bajaj, Monster Energy and among others.

EXP Report on Millennial

Recently, EXP Agency (EXP) partnered with pan-African transaction informatics firm, REACH Technologies (REACH), to conduct the first-ever multi-city investigation of the ways that money, society and professional aspiration empower and inform the African millennial experience.

The study’s findings are to be shared with an exclusive line-up of marketing executives and tastemakers in a series of three invite-only events in Accra, Nairobi, and Lagos.

This move comes at a time when Africa is experiencing unprecedented urbanization and population growth. With a population expected to hit 1.7 billion in the next 10 years, understanding the continent’s largest-ever group of consumers is imperative for the survival of any brands that intend to harness this enormous opportunity.

The study represents the views of over 20 million urban Africans between the ages of 20 and 35. Collected simultaneously across Lagos, Nairobi, and Accra, the study leveraged the REACH transaction informatics platform to accurately identify and elicit input from young Africans. This is the first time a study of this accuracy and relevance has been simultaneously conducted, and automated.

Speaking on why it partnered with REACH, Carol Abade, Group CEO of EXP, said, “This endeavour is something that matters and has never been done before. We needed a way to quickly and accurately connect with the sentiments of African millennials and REACH was a natural partner.”

She added, “Given their guidance to tens of thousands of Africa’s millennials who use their platform to manage their finances, we could think of no better way to reliably understand the realities of the urban African in their 20s and 30s. We will expand the study to other markets next year.”

The survey yielded several surprising sentiments according to JR Kanu, CEO of REACH. “Millennials in Africa have long been misunderstood by the brands that seek to serve them,” he said.

“From where they go for news and helpful information to the types of people they trust for guidance, this study showed us that contrary to popular opinion, social media is not the catch-all answer for engaging millennials.”

In the same vein, Rosemary Akpo, Managing Director, EXP Nigeria, explained that the study was carried out to examine the many stereotypes held about millenials overtime and relate to empirical findings that will be beneficial to marketers when marketing to the generation. People believe different things about these millenials.

“Among other things, we also wanted to take a chance at really truly understanding them, whether those views are justified or factually true, hence the study. We wanted to find out they are truly lazy, they feel entitled, etc., because these things drive the kind of experiences you create for them. If you don’t understand someone, you cannot create something truly for them that connects them,” she said.

Based on findings of the study, David Boon – Deputy CEO, EXP Group, made a presentation on ‘10 Marketing Approaches for Winning at Casino Millenial.’ These approaches he identified as optimizing for mobile, letting the audience be your star, appealing to their values, focusing on ‘Word-of-Relevant-Mouth and committing to authentic sampling to build passion and trust. Others are Selling purpose instead of products, Appealing to their FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and frugality, listening to them, transparency and giving them something to remember.

In a related development, the agency also in collaboration with REACH Technologies launched a new app, the Millenial Brand-App. According to JR Kanu, the Chief Executive of REACH Technologies, the app is made to assist brands better understand and interact with millenials. According to him, the app is designed to “help brands craft coherent strategies for approaching the African millennial.”

Bringing Brands To Life And Case Studies

“Every great brand is like a great story,” Kevin Plank said.

In turning brands engagement with customers into a great story, EXP has deployed a lot of jobs for clients, one of such task given to the agency was to bring the Bajaj Fortune Brand Experience to Life in Guinea. The agency built a custom made Wheel of Fortune Truck, to complete with a cinema experience (telling the Bajaj Boxer story). It also created a demonstration zone (to personally see and experience the Brand), a ‘show your power’ experience (bringing to life the powerful attribute of the Bajaj Boxer) as well and a ‘Wheel of Fortune” experience where Consumers could spin the wheel to change their fortune (Either by winning a Boxer bike or any other gift coupons).

More than 40 towns and cities were targeted across Guinea, physically reaching more than 13,000 consumers with a personal Bajaj Boxer Brand Experience. Over 5 million people were reached in Guinea via the air waves which rocked with the brand message for over 60 days.

In another vein, EXP was tasked to launch Monster Energy into the Nigerian market place, with the aim of creating excitement around the Monster Energy brand, immersing Nigeria Bottler Company (NBC) staff and top management into the world of Monster Energy, galvanise support of the NBC workforce for the brand and sample NBC staff. Two days of launch activities unfolded with EXP engaging more than 500 NBC staff members with Monster Brand experiences.

Also for NBC Commercial Convention, through a concept of “Shoot for the Stars”, EXP Nigeria delivered an empowering event for the Nigerian Bottler Company that enabled team to take ownership of the business plan and strive for excellence in execution across board.

On a different note, for Moet & Hennesey, it created an overwhelming experience that resonated with consumers through its ‘Privilege’ and ‘Very Special’ Nights campaign. The campaign was based on the premise that there are several champagne and cognac (sometimes vodka) brands in the alcoholic industry, in Nigeria, that are competing for the consumers’ wallet. The point of consumption – being the clubs – are prime locations that competition want to own.

Having first launched in South Africa, in 1982, EXP has led the development of experiential marketing across the continent, as Africa’s largest and leading experiential marketing agency.

The expansion into the rest of the continent started in 1995, with the opening of its Kenya office as the first office launched outside of South Africa. This quickly grew to include Zambia, Malawi (now an affiliate), Mozambique (now an affiliate), Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal (now an affiliate).

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