Day two of the CII Brand Conclave 2008, which was held in Kolkata on July 18, saw marketing guru Prof Bernd Schmitt further familiarising the participants with experiential marketing through a series of group exercises and case studies.
Prof Schmitt dwelt at length on Laniege, a well-known skincare brand in the Korean market. The company was initially playing up with their conservative French image, but was not doing well. The fortunes of the company took an upward turn once it took the ‘natural’ platform and extended it to every conceivable consumer interaction point. Plenty of water imagery was introduced, along with the colour blue; the stores were given a contemporary look; the website was redone; and water cafes were introduced at the retail outlets where women could drink water and the salesperson took the opportunity to introduce the product to a future client. The brand became a broader lifestyle brand.
According to Prof Schmitt, it was important for a brand to choose a platform most suitable to it. Citing another example, he said that GiLily Pharmaceuticals, a US-based pharmaceutical company, chose effectiveness as their platform. The ad campaigns had a baseline that said ‘Answers that matter’. Be it doctors, hospitals, government or consumers, the company had answers to all queries. Their website, too, was designed accordingly.
Another case study that Prof Schmitt took up was that of Ritz Carlton Hotels. With a platform route of ‘We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen’, Carlton Ritz sought to connect with its clientele with a great degree of success. Dove, too, chose the ‘real’ platform and showed real, next door women in the ads and not computer generated perfect looking women.
Thus, stressed Prof Schmitt, designing brand experience was also a very important tool in creating an appropiate brand image – what he called termed as ‘Experiential Selling Paradigm’ (ESP). According to the marketing guru, Experiential Selling Paradigm was becoming increasingly more relevant than the age-old USP (Unique Selling Proposition) in the modern marketplace, what with technological advancement leading to parity in products in every category.
CII Brand Conclave 2008: Bernd Schmitt on ‘Big Think Strategy’ and experiential marketing