Don’t worry, I usually don’t toot my own horn much. But I got to let slip a bit of egoism and hubris here. I was recently featured on the cover of Strategy Magazine, the leading marketing magazine in Canada. The title of the article is "Brand Culture: The Experience Is the Sum of All Its Parts." It was very well-written by the editor, Lisa D’Innocenzo.
I was quoted quite a lot in the article, but what really gets all my colleagues calling and heckling me is the cover photo. It is a play off of DaVinci’s Vitruvian Man sketch. I look nothing like it in this picture.
I did surprise the hell out of the Strategy editorial staff at the shoot when I put on the sleeveless shirt and uncovered the tattoos on my arms. Well, they had Frank Palmer, founder of Taxi, on the cover in his boxers. A punk like me and my skin ink should be no big deal.
In any case, the article is a great example of how experiential marketing is entering the mainstream, and how major brands are embracing it better than others. You can get it here.
Here’s a morsel, tho: "…brand stewards are increasingly interested in wowing consumers through one-on-one interaction. Max Lenderman, president of Montreal-based guerrilla marketing firm Gearwerx, is also a founding member of the International Experiential Marketing Association (IXMA), HQ’d in San Francisco. Although the organization started up only a year ago, it now counts over 10,000 members, mostly marketers at the VP and EVP level, dedicated to taking their brands to the next level.
Experiential marketing, explains Lenderman, is an umbrella term for the tactics implemented to create a brand experience. A manifesto that Lenderman wrote for the IXMA states: "Consumers want … experiences that are personally relevant, memorable, sensory, emotional and meaningful…. Businesses will live or die … by the experience they offer customers at every touch point."
And that’s just the beginning: Pundits believe that down the road the brand-customer relationship will be entirely flipped on its head. In a recent speech given at the IEG Event Marketing Conference in Chicago, futurist Andrew Zolli talked of the quickly approaching "culture economy" being brought on by a "participation revolution" instigated by consumers.
Adds Lenderman: "Brands have been controlled by brand managers and, in the past, God forbid you messed with top-down messaging. Now brand play comes from the bottom up, and it becomes culture."