By: Marcia Bent – Think Premium! (Chief Executive Officer)
Even the most prestigious brands need a face at their booths, displays or even their outdoor promotional executions to personify the characteristics that they want to be associated with their brands to the target audience when they participate in events. Crowd Engagement Services refers to the act of using a physical presence at events to interact with and leave the desired impression in the minds of the target audience at the event.
Often, companies may use persons who are external to the daily operations of their company and that would have the desired physical attributes and diction. This allows their brands to look polished and sophisticated; fun, approachable, and attractive; or athletic, aspirational, and knowledgeable depending on the physical, intellectual, and verbal characteristics that the external persons possess. These external persons would be either Promotional Hostesses, Promotional Hosts, or Brand Ambassadors.
“According to Susan Gunelius of Aytm, ‘Successful brand engagement taps into emotions and experiences'” (Reid, 2017). The benefits of Crowd Engagement services help to facilitate brand engagement services. The benefits of utilizing Crowd Engagement Services for your booth executions and displays are: create fun memories with members of the target audience that can be used for future promotional purposes; embody the desired look and feel of the brand; get members of the audience to visit the booth/display or participate in the activities that are taking place at the booth; answer any small questions that members of the target audience may have about the brand or the products or services on display; and get feedback from the members of the target audience.
1. Creating fun memories with members of the target audience
When persons go to an event, they go for the experience and not for the sake of going. Likewise, a brand that is represented at an event needs to create a positive experience within that experience to form a positive memory of the brand in the target audience’s mind after they leave this event. A company can say that they are a fun and down – to – earth brand until having a face that matches the character traits that they are trying to convey while being able to relate to or doing the actions that those target audience members would be doing. These images can be used for Promotional purposes for that company’s brand.
For example, if a company is targeting 18 – 24-year-old persons who are in college and like to party then they may have attractive persons who fall in the 18 – 24 age group at the parties, socializing and dancing with target audience members (those persons may be Promotional Hostesses or Promotional Hosts). The pictures and experiences that the members of the target audience would have with the Promotional Hostesses would form fun memories with the brand among the target audience. That company may use those images on their social media platforms, websites, press releases, etc.
2. Embody the desired look and feel of the brand
People tend to believe what they can and experience. Therefore, the appearance of the persons representing the brand, how they speak, how they act, how they interact with them while discussing the product or service also helps to form their experience about the brand. After all, when the customers have a question or concern they are going to say “That man/woman from [your brand]” whenever they are referring them to that interaction. So why not ensure that those persons represent the desired image that you are trying to convey of your brand and your product or service.
“Your best bet to emotionally connect with customers in order to engage them is to humanize your brand. Humanizing your brand is a tightrope act: you want to engage with your customers on their level without coming off as patronizing or insincere. You want to involve customers in a relationship which seems both personal and genuine” (Barbier, 2017). Therefore, it would benefit your brand if you have Brand Ambassadors, Promotional Hosts and Promotional Hostesses are approachable and that best resembles who you are trying to target to communicate the main characteristics of your brand, product, or service through their presence. People believe what they can experience and are more inclined to accept information from someone who looks the part of the brand, product, or service that they are representing. For instance, you would want an athletic – built, outgoing, and attractive person to sell an energy drink versus someone else because the former would look like they would be using the product.
3. Get members of the audience to visit the booth/display or participate in the activities that are taking place during your promotional execution
Depending on where your booth is positioned, you will need persons like Brand Ambassadors or Promotional Hosts / Hostesses to encourage members of your target audience to visit your booth and or participate in an activity that is taking place at the booth. After all, you go to the Supermarket to purchase groceries or consume a specific service, not to visit a station to try a new sample of a drink (or other product). Therefore, it is the role of the Brand Ambassadors or the Promotional Hosts/ Hostesses to greet the members of the target audience while they are in the location and encourage them to visit the booth.
This benefit helps to facilitate Customer Involvement as well. “Customer involvement refers to a customer voluntarily and readily interacting with your business’ promotions, content, beta versions, giveaways, surveys, etc. It’s in your best interest to make those processes as smooth as possible in order to encourage engagement. Rather than add to the customer experience with extra bells and whistles, it’s sometimes more worthwhile to erode customer pain points. As is the case with customer self-service, often a customer will appreciate their engagement being rewarded by a simplified experience” (Barbair, 2017). Utilizing Crowd Engagement Services is a simple solution for achieving that.
4. Answer any small questions that members of the target audience may have about the brand or the products or services on display
It is always best to ensure that everyone that represents your company is communicating the same message to your prospective customers – your target audience. It is important to at least ensure that they can answer small questions about the brand, product or service that is being promoted to add to the image of your brand in the minds of your target audience. No one speaks kindly of a Brand Ambassador, for instance, not to be knowledgeable of the brand, product, or service that they are representing and would be connected to. Furthermore, they cannot convince members of your target audience to purchase a product, service, or even participate in an activity at your booth at the location if they are not at least able to answer small questions about your brand, and the product or service that they are representing.
Those small questions could be:
- What is the name of the brand?
- How long has the brand been around?
- Who does the brand target (description of the members of the target audience for the brand)?
- What are the core value or attitudes of the brand?
- When kind of products or services that this brand is known for?
- What is the attitude or behaviours that the brand wants to be known for that the location where the event or promotion will be taking place?
- What is the name of the product or service being promoted at the event or promotional execution at the supermarket or other location?
- How long has the product or service been around?
- Where can the members of the target audience purchase the product or service?
- What are the functions and features that the product or service?
- Who are the prospective customers or the target audience for the product or service being promoted at the event or location for the promotional execution?
- How can it add value to the members of the target audience who purchase the product or service? (Are there any health benefits, does it make their lives easier, can it save the customer money, etc.)
These small questions also help you to assess the effectiveness of the execution and of the performance of the Brand Ambassadors/ Promotional Hosts/ Promotional Hostesses. This allows you to customize you any special offers or gifts that you may have at the location during the execution.
5. Obtain Customer Feedback
As the members of the target audience interact with the Brand Ambassadors, Promotional Hosts, and Promotional Hostesses at the execution the discussion causes the customer to offer their feedback on the product, service, or the brand. Those potential customers do it intentionally or unintentionally and it can allow you to make critical decisions for future executions for your brand or that product or service in the future. For instance, what customers say when they are asked to try a sample of a product or service, what they say when they refuse to buy a product or service, their comments about the giveaways during the promotion, can provide essential insight for your company. Even the small questions that persons ask the Promotional Hostesses, Promotional Hosts and Brand Ambassadors reveal critical insight that you can use for future customer engagement activities.
Bringing it all together
Crowd Engagement services are one of the more understudied yet highly beneficial uses of Promotional Hosts, Promotional Hostesses and Brand Ambassadors at events, displays or Promotional Executions. It provides the opportunity for entities to communicate a direct message and create the desired image in the minds of their target audience through the presence of those external persons.
Therefore, it is important that your brand has Promotional Hostesses, Promotional Hosts, and Brand Ambassadors create fun memories with your target audience, embody the desired look and feel of your brand, facilitate the participation of your target audience, at least small questions about your brand and gather customer feedback. Having attractive Promotional Hostesses, Promotional Hosts, and Brand Ambassadors around your booth to dance and talk to persons at events is worth more than taking pretty pictures. It is an opportunity to create the desired impression in the minds of your target audience about your brand. Use it wisely.
Barbeir, L. (2017). How to build a successful customer engagement strategy. Aircall. Retrieved from: https://blog.aircall.io/customer-engagement-strategy/
Reid, B. (2017). How brands can benefit from audience participation. ScribbleLive. Retrieved from: www.scribblelive.com/scribbleu/white-papers/how-brands-can-benefit-from-audience-participation