DIVINE BRANDING AND DIVINE EVENTS
Yep, it was all tried and tested a long time ago. Brands follow the same path that religions have been taking for thousands of years. Good branding consists of the same components which attract believers to churches and temples. As it turns out, events play an important role and they have divine power as well.
This is hardly a surprise for the followers of Martin Lindstrom, one of the biggest branding gurus in the world. 10 years ago he published an article in AdAge, presenting nine components shared by both brands and religions. For me personally, this theory was particularly interesting. Not only because of my last name, Pleban, which means ‘parson’ in English; mostly because of my strong faith in the power of brands’ impact on the human brain, behaviour and approach. Shortly after the publication of the article, I had the opportunity to meet Martin Lindstrom and talk to him, which is probably when I found the divine area of event marketing. Now, a couple of years later, let me present a list of 9 divine qualities of event organisation.
Divine brands walk strong because they can see further ahead. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the vision of future created by Steve Jobs, Elon Musk or Al Gore. However, having a vision is not enough. You have to find a way to present it to your audience. A good event means being in control of your audience’s minds; for an hour, a day or a month. No alien algorithms; just our plans, actions, and the ability to keep people’s attention. Events create pulpits for visionaries; they shape leaders and multiply the numbers of their followers.
Multi Event has organised Al Gore’s visit to Warsaw. The footage from TED conference shows one of the latest talks of this global leader.
Sense of belonging
Humans are social animals. That’s the best strategy to satisfy our most fundamental need; the need for safety. Being a part of a group also simplifies the process of quick decision-making. Obviously, we’re only talking of the right decisions that do not consume too much energy to take. Do events such as concerts, gathering tens of thousands of people who share our taste in music, help to develop the sense of belonging? That is a rhetorical question.
Mercedes Trucks stand by Multi Event at Truck Racing Championship.
Those who practice martial arts such as Aikido know very well how to use your opponent’s strength in order to defeat them. Religion has heaven and hell, angels and devils. It also has a devilishly good strategy of using the enemy to motivate the followers. Sometimes when you organise an event it’s worth considering the opportunity to have a direct confrontation with your competitors.
Let’s go back in time and look at an oldie but goldie. Many years ago the Swedish bank SBAB, which was a market outsider at the time, decided to organise a football match. The CEO used an ATL campaign to challenge a few of his strongest competitors. One of them decided to pick up the gauntlet and eventually beat SBAB 5-1; however, the event caught the attention of both the spectators and media. As a result, the SBAB mortgage sales increased by 220%. The idea to engage the enemy in the campaign definitely paid off.
All religions have their temples, where both believers and visitors are able to experience various sounds, smells, lights, tastes, emotions etc. Sounds familiar? Yep, each event of divine quality will let the participants have a similar experience. Music will get your heart into the rhythm, watching the colours and performers will cause the release of dopamine, the hormone of happiness, responsible for motivation to act. The scent of vanilla will bring you back to the happiest moments of your childhood. Yes, a good event can be a real treat for your senses. It can provide you with a really powerful experience.
Confetti show organised by Multi Event for Avon Pink Ribbon Day at the Vistula Boulevards in Warsaw.
Power of storytelling
“Consumers believe stories. There’s no marketing without this belief,” says Seth Godin. A good story is memorable and motivating. Event marketers are well aware of that, which is why they’re able to reach the brand followers through building a story that often begins months before the event, carries on during and lasts long after the lights are out at the stadium or in the conference room. However, you don’t always need words to tell stories; they come through different media, including people’s faces.
At the Huawei P10 premiere the faces were a storytellers. All of them were worth saving. The new smartphone took portrait photography to a new level.
Religions are huge. So are cathedrals, mosques and other temples. Content is limitless. Events can also give you the feeling of magnitude through their form, great ideas, or huge masses of participants. Social righteousness is a great psychological motivator. Thus, a mental shortcut becomes quite clear. If you’ve got thousands of people gathering at one spot, there must be something to it. Our minds are fond of such shortcuts. The experience of a large event is not only the way to increase engagement; it can also reduce risks. Great things can’t be done by weak people, can they?
Multi Event was responsible for organising the gala to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Association of International Road Carriers in Poland. This was a huge event which required efforts of a large team.
Evangelism needs good, engaging content, while the content needs to charm the evangelists first. Good events can create evangelists. Thus, while organising an event, you have to consider the content; this is what the participants will later preach in social media. There are lots of things to think about; where the attendees will take selfies or boomerangs and post them on Instagram; which hashtags they will use on Twitter. Combining events, social media and new technology makes the brand gospel more convincing than ever.
#Hashtag during polish premiere of Huawei P10 organised by Multi Event.
Every event should refer to the symbols of the company, brand, program, or project. Each symbol should work as a sign leading towards the brand environment. It’s not just about the logo; other characteristic elements such as website icons, company mascots, advertising jingles, as well as ATL campaign elements. They all create the world of the brand; the event is the gate.
ING Życie, currently Nationale-Nederlanden: Naked Truth of Insurance, the Multi Event & Multi Communications project awarded with Silver Effie in the category of Media Concept
Rhythm is a meaningful element of life; it’s also shaped through rituals, which are the way for collective culture and intelligence to exist. Creating habits and customs makes a strong bond with an idea. It’s another element of the sort-of-religious marketing which can be used in events. Organising regular Thursday meetings with the best business clients is a ritual. So is an award presentation at an internal event. Annual events, such as music festivals or tech conferences, are rituals as well.
Blog Roku Onet, the annual ritual/event for digital influencers, organised by Multi Event for the last three years
THE CONCLUSION IS SIMPLE. LET’S ORGANISE DIVINE EVENTS!
Mariusz Pleban, CEO of Multi Communications and Multi Event
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