How to create an immersive brand experience

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You can captivate your audience through brand images, written content and engaging interactions - but is this always enough?

Companies are increasingly seeing success by creating immersive experiences, allowing audiences to be completely surrounded by the brand.

In the world of fashion this has been adopted eagerly, with brands now offering these immersive experiences so that audiences can really feel involved with industry events.

Just last month, we saw Elle partner with H&M to deliver 360-degree footage of the Elle Style Awards 2016, which marked the close of London Fashion Week.

Using Samsung's new Gear 360, Elle allowed audiences a unique view of the event - marking the first time that a 360-degree camera has been used to shoot at an event like this.

However, the dawn of 360-degree video didn't begin here. Brands are increasingly creating 360-degree video content to share across social media, enabling audiences to create their own virtual reality.

Does this mean you need to go out and invest in a 360-degree camera though? Well….no. Immersive experiences are about creating an actual experience that your audience can enjoy.

Who else do we think has done this particularly well?

Unsurprisingly, Coca-Cola is a firm favourite. In celebration of the brand's 125th birthday back in 2012, Istanbul-based creative agency Antilop created the Coca-Cola Future Room, an immersive digital experience and installation at Santralistanbul, a modern art museum in Turkey.

Another great example is Johnnie Walker, who in 2015 treated its audience to an immersive exploration of the brand, its heritage and its flavours with its Symphony in Blue event.

Guests charred whisky barrels with flamethrowers to experience the smokey tones of the drink, tasted 10,000-year-old glacier ice in their drinks and headed into a room of spatialised whisky mist complete with lightning to experience 'Whisky Weather', creating a truly multi-sensory immersive experience.

How can you do it?

  • This is a campaign for which you really want to focus on quality over quantity. Rather than marketing to everyone, look at how you can create a high-quality experience that really speaks to your audience - whether they take part or not.

  • Think multi-sensory. Offer a mix of physical sensations and creative technology. Virtual reality is becoming hugely popular, so see if you can incorporate this!

  • Consider how you can extend this experience to mobile to incorporate an even wider audience.

  • Look at how you can also broach social issues. Audiences are increasingly taking part in social debates, so try to capitalise on this by using the experience to leverage efforts to fight these issues.

  • Measure your efforts. If you don't then you won't know what's worked, what hasn't and the impact that this campaign has had.

  • Do your market research in advance. Unlike a social media campaign which is a low-cost marketing tactic, this is likely to have a much higher cost - so you need to be sure that it creates a good ROI.

You want the immersive experience to be relevant, but also something different that will catch the attention of your audience.

Think about other brands you could partner with, like Elle and H&M - who both utilised a product developed by Samsung. This collaboration allowed for a truly immersive experience, highlighting all three brands in a different way.

An immersive brand experience will inevitably be a big campaign, so make sure that you're prepared. Do your research, look at what your competitors are doing and make sure that you have everything in place to measure its success.

Finally - remember to think outside the box. Offer something that will really cement your brand in your audience's minds as a leader in your industry.

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