Owned media platforms by brands – A game changer for influencing & engaging – Let’s call it experiential PR!

In the tech-yug, the marketplace is both cluttered and cut-throat. Every brand is vying for attention! Engaging the millennial consumer is a different ballgame today as the average consumer is well informed and well-pandered to with multiple choices. So merely offering a high quality product isn’t enough. Right engagement is the key!

Brand owners including marketers, PR professionals, and digital marketers are finding creative ways to showcase brand narratives through innovative experiences that will help build sustained brand equity. Brands have to provide customers with personalised experiences within the overarching brand narrative that can help them connect with the brand.

Experiential PR can play a strong role in ensuring share of mind space and this is supported by data. A Harvard Business Review survey showed that 93% of business owners say that hosting an event is integral to their marketing plan. This, after 91% of consumers say they look at brands more favorably after attending events, and 85% are more likely to buy a product or service after going to one.

Through strategically designed experiential owned media platforms, brands can help foster trust and brand loyalty; they also help build a community, especially when experiences are effectively combined with influencer engagement and digital storytelling.

With this context, I am happy to share how we rolled this out few years back.

Our research three years back showed that the affinity towards for brand Godrej amongst youngsters could be much better. Various research studies also depicted the dwindling trust in advertising and sponsored content, more so among the millennial audiences. So as a part of the overall Masterbrand strategy to address this issue, we felt that a meaningful experiential engagement of our brands in the lifestyle space with influencers and key opinion leaders (KOLs) was key. This could lead to authentic content creation for social media, build communities of brand advocates and help us reach the appropriate TGs in an effective manner.

We began with the food space as seven of our businesses have a significant share of the kitchen (Interio kitchens, appliances’, Nature’s Basket, Real Good Chicken, Protekt hand wash etc.). The runaway success of ‘Vikhroli Cucina’ as a platform to engage with KOLs in the food space encouraged us to launch ‘L’Affaire’ which is  our owned media property that enables brands and businesses in the lifestyle space to meaningfully engage with audiences in an experiential manner. As our owned media platforms including L’Affaire grows bigger, we expect our traction with the young audiences’ gets better, authentic content is generated for the participating brands and we are able to build a very good and positive digital safety net in the social space.

The three pillars of L’Affaire are – content creation, experiential engagement and building a community of advocates for the brand Godrej. Over the last three years L’Affaire has consistently delivered on all these parameters for each of the participating brands. Case in point, season III witnessed about 40 Million impressions on social media, about 100 plus videos (testimonials, engagement, endorsement etc.) were created across the participating brands and a community of lifestyle influencers, advocates is getting formed. L’Affaire has helped multiple businesses within and outside of Godrej to engage meaningfully and in an immersive manner with influencers and key opinion leaders like chefs, designers, lifestyle experts and generate content that is authentic and impactful.

Do check the videos at the end of the column…

Experiential owned brand properties are increasingly becoming a powerful tool for building communities and advocates. Such platforms can also be used to mobilise influencers — celebrities, bloggers and key opinion leaders — who have their own followers and, more important, understand the kind of content that will appeal to their base.

I truly feel, experiential owned media events / properties are the best platforms to mobilise key influencers who are then able to churn out authentic content around your offerings as they have experienced your brand and understood its purpose better.

For us at Godrej, the overall admiration scores for the Masterbrand Godrej have improved (Milward Brown Research 2019) and connect with younger audiences has become stronger.

 


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Sujit M Patil, ABC on FacebookSujit M Patil, ABC on LinkedinSujit M Patil, ABC on Twitter
Sujit M Patil, ABC
Sujit is responsible for building and sustaining Godrej group’s reputation across stakeholders. An IABC accredited business communicator and a three time winner of the IABC International Gold Quill award, he has been listed as India’s top ten men in corporate communications by Reputation Today and featured on the PR Week Global Power Book.

In 2018, Sujit was listed on the Holmes Report’s Influence 100 research and listing of the world’s most influential in-house marketing and communications professionals. A speaker and jury at various national and international bodies such as the WCF Davos, AMEC, PR Newsweek Asia, Public Affairs Asia etc., Sujit is a part of the prestigious Arthur W Page Society.

He volunteers as a guest faculty at various B-Schools, is a weekend farmer, loves travelling, understanding cultures and experimenting with new cuisines.

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