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Brandwave-logo-6.png |Experience the Brands | july '17

Experiential marketing has had a huge year, largely due to the rapid development of new technology and a millennial driven experience culture.

Related trends are evolving daily and experiential marketing has very much become an individual and personal experience, often driven by virtual reality (VR) or multi-sensory campaigns. Consumers are now demanding experiences which incorporate the brand’s story with their own, creating shareable and, arguably more importantly, relatable moments.

For us, 2016 has proved that it's not enough to use tech just for the sake of using it. It can add huge value, but if its use is not amounting to an authentic and personalised experience, it's not worth doing.

With 2017 set to be an even bigger year for the industry, the focus will be on risk taking in order to capture consumers’ attention and break through the marketing clutter. New companies are popping up every day and existing marketing agencies are creating experiential divisions as separate entities to deal with industry growth.

Experimentation with content will offer brands the chance to build meaningful connections with consumers, and the evolution of communication mediums, such as VR and AR, are both poised to have a huge impact on how brands interact with audiences. As such, our predictions for the experiential industry can be divided into key areas: evolution of content and evolution of consumer touch points.

Virtual reality

Virtual reality is set to shake up the industry even more, as brands begin to see the benefits of providing truly immersive consumer experiences which connect online, in-store and live experiences.

2016 has highlighted that while VR in any form is a disruptive technology, the most successful examples stem from when the medium is used to enhance a story, be it a brand or consumer story. As such, while VR can offer a platform to fully immerse consumers in a different world entirely, the use of passive VR experiences at consumer touchpoints may be just as impactful. Allowing VR technologies to compliment the overall event experience rather than draw focus away from it will prove hugely powerful in a retail environment.

A recent study by Carphone Warehouse predicted that around 10% of British homes will have a virtual reality device by Christmas 2016 with VR headsets tipped to be this year’s Christmas present of choice – VR is becoming mainstream and marketers better be prepared for it!

Local and long term engagement

With the evolution of content and consumer touch points comes the ability to extend an experiential campaign much further than the end of an event. Events will form the basis of entire campaigns rather than acting as a standalone marketing effort, with memorable on site activations living on long after the event comes to a close.

Engaging with consumers post-event will become part of the experiential journey, facilitated by new technologies and developments which will ultimately repurpose and expand upon brand ideologies initially used to immerse consumers at event touch points. The growth of 360-degree videos on mediums such as Facebook and YouTube in 2016 has highlighted the demand for experiential consumer engagement online, away from live events, and is set to see a huge level of development in 2017.

Live streaming events

Similarly, the live streaming of experiences in 360-degrees is expected to advance in 2017. Following our successful 360-degree live stream of Latitude Festival in August using EE’s 4G network, the access to such experiences is expected to come to scale throughout the year. The live stream trend has been bolstered by Facebook’s live streaming function, however in order to fully immerse consumers, combining live streaming with 360-degree technologies is a sure-fire way of achieving success. By enabling consumers to engage with a live event as and when they choose, and incorporating both the physical and digital landscapes we can create a highly personalised, on-demand campaign.

The technologies not only encourage engagement from those who could not attend but also provide a mechanism for those in attendance to revisit the event, stimulating feelings and emotions that they felt at the time by offering an experience which is as immersive as possible without actually going back in time (we’ll save time travel for 2040).

Engaging the senses

Trends such as pop-ups which have taken off in the past decade are now commonplace and are at risk of becoming redundant as consumers are inundated with news of brands ‘popping up’ left right and centre. Instead, their success is much more reliant on in store use of multi-sensory stimulation and technological experience immersion.

While the visual sense is incredibly dominant in humans, experiential marketers should look to provide more enriching environments in a bid to engage consumers further and increase brand recall. Roadshows and mobile experiences are an excellent way of fulfilling the multisensory brief whilst also increasing the feeling of exclusivity. Get the creative treatment right, and success will follow.

All in all, 2017 is set to see the experiential industry flourish, with key trends from 2016 evolving and becoming much more focused. The crux of the matter is that consumers are demanding more from brand experiences and while technologies can be used to enhance these experiences, examples of successes and failures in 2016 should guide how these technologies are used.

Ultimately, brands should look to focus on human centric marketing, creating meaningful experiences which embody their key messages. Improvements in data collection have meant that consumer activations can be much more personalised, relevant and local, with experiential activations offering a new form of market research through on site data collection. Could 2017 be the year we fully integrate a brands CRM strategies into wider experiential campaigns?

Data allows us to assess real-time trends which is hugely powerful in providing the opportunity to identify demand and predict potential problems. The rise of experiential marketing across a variety of industries has demonstrated excellent staying power thus far, and the increased reliance on immersive experiences to build brand trust and loyalty is not something that will change anytime soon.

Source thedrum  

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As we head into 2017, the millennial generation is now the largest domestically and worldwide, outnumbering even the Baby Boom generation from whose loins they sprung, according to Pew, which tracks such things.

So it's more important than ever to be sure that your customer service practices and customer experience design are ready to serve these young customers the way they want to be served. The time to get this right is short; the millennial generation, also known as Gen Y, has a purchase power as well that will soon equal and then eclipse that of the Baby Boomers. To compound the effect, it’s not just consumer (B2C) dollars they’ll have under their control. These young customers are also becoming decision makers at major corporations, thus controlling purse strings that affect the success and failure of those of you with B2B companies as well.

With the impending new year, let me offer a year-end recap on how to provide the best customer experience and customer service for millennials, adapted from my Forbes Media ebook on the subject, Your Customer is the Star: How to Make Millennials, Boomers and Everyone In Between Fall in Love With Your Business.

1.Your customer-facing technology needs to be intuitive, and it needs to simply work.Millennials have grown up with digital devices that bundle communication, entertainment, shopping, mapping and education all in one. From an early age, smartphone use has been the norm. Millennials have always had Internet at home and in school. MP3 players have long offered them ubiquitous music options. Naturally, then, millennials embrace and align themselves with technology.

Because of this identification with technology, millennials tend to adopt new technology more quickly compared with the more skeptical approach of previous generations. Technology has become far more user friendly during millennials’ lifetimes, particularly when compared to what previous generations encountered. The relentless focus on simplifying the user interface at Apple, Amazon, Google and other less visible technology players has set a new standard of intuitiveness across the tech industry that millennials accept as the norm. Businesses should be careful not to throw clunky, alienating technology, systems, or processes at these customers and expect patience or understanding as customers struggle to find a workaround.

2. The customer experience—and the purchasing decision–is now a social experience.Millennials express their sociability online as well as in real life (“IRL”), particularly in the many arenas where online and offline activities and circles of friends overlap. Offline, millennials are more likely than other generations to shop, dine and travel with groups, whether these are organized interest groups, less formal groupings of peers or excursions with extended family, according to Boston Consulting Group data. Online, their sharing habits on Facebook, Snapchat and other social sites, and the opinions they offer on Yelp, TripAdvisor and Amazon reflect their eagerness for connection, as do their electronic alerts to friends and followers (via Foursquare et al.) that show off where they are, where they’re coming from and where they’re headed—online alerts that reflect and affect behavior in the physical world.

This social behavior has big implications for those of us who serve customers. Millennials tend to make buying decisions collaboratively, and they don’t consume food, beverages, services, products or media in silence. They eat noisily (so to speak) and very visually. They review, blog and Tumblr, update Wikipedia entries and post Youtube, Vine and Instagram videos. Often these posts concern their consumption activities, interests and aspirations. All told, as Boston Consulting Group reports, “the vast majority of millennials report taking action on behalf of brands and sharing brand preferences in their social groups.”

3. Your brand needs to be open to customer collaboration and co-creation. Millennials enjoy the possibility of collaborating with businesses and brands, as long as they believe that their say matters to the company in question. They don’t necessarily see a clear boundary between the customer and the brand, the customer and marketer, and the customer and service provider. Alex Castellarnau at Dropbox, the popular file transfer service, put it to me this way: With millennials, “a new brand, service or product is only started by the company; it’s finished by the customers. Millennials are a generation that wants to co-create the product, the brand, with you. Companies that understand this and figure out ways to engage in this co-creation relationship with millennials will have an edge.”

4. You need  offer self-service and crowdsourced customer service options. Building the right experience for this new generation of customers requires you to think hard about an uncomfortable subject: where human employees are helpful to customers, and where they just get in the way. Today’s customers often do want you out of the way. Millennials, and those who share a millennial outlook, hold different ideas about where human-powered service fits into the customer experience. Younger customers, through years of experience with online and self-service solutions, have grown used to the way technology can reduce the need for human gatekeepers to ensure accuracy and manage data. So the last thing they want is for your employees to gum up the works without adding value.

5. Paradoxically, millennial customers also crave a true, authentic, personalized experience as customers.  Millennial customers crave the joys of adventure and discovery, whether epic or everyday. Millennials often view commerce and even obligatory business travel as opportunities rather than burdens, due to the adventures that can be had along the way. I’m reluctant to chalk up this phenomenon to youthful wanderlust alone, because the breadth of experiences this generation craves suggests there’s something more at work. For example:

• When shopping, millennials they prefer an “experiential” retail environment, where shopping is more than a transaction and the pleasure of being in the store isn’t limited to the goods that customers take home.

• When millennials dine out, for example, they’re often in search of something exotic, adventuresome, memorable or new to explore during their dining experience. This has helped transform cuisine searches (“tastespotting”) into an adventure—and food truck-following (a concept sure to evoke fears of stomachache in some of their elders) into its own culture.

6. They care about your values as a company. Millennials integrate their beliefs and causes into their choice of companies to support, their purchases and their day-to-day interactions. More than 50% of millennials make an effort to buy products from companies that support the causes they care about, according to research from Barkley, an independent advertising agency. And they’re twice as likely to care about whether or not their food is organic than are their nonmillennial counterparts, according to Boston Consulting Group. When you consider how money-strapped many millennials remain, their willingness to put a premium on such issues is striking. And millennials are concerned with more than political and ethical issues. They also care about what’s genuine and authentic. This interest falls somewhere between a purely aesthetic preference and a search for honesty, for truth. And it’s a powerful force for motivating millennial customers.

Source forbes   

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Introducing: Kids of Beirut

Photo Credit suggerotoole

What makes Beirut YOUR City?

The best way to answer this questions is to ask the12-15 years youth of this amazing town to provide us with their living testimonials. Their stories & experiences will give a genuine & crystal view of Beirut city. Kids of Beirut will turn into a social documentary gathering the best sequences of their videos to show the similarities and differences between Beirut and other cities of the world like the emblematic New York.  Click here to enter the website

If you've ever wondered if it was possible to actually rank brands based on consumer experience and data, you're not alone. WPP's Group XP unit has been curious too and now they have some answers.

According to a new report, Group XP's The Experience Index, which considered revenue, branding, store design, content, online presence and data from Millward Brown and BrandZ, Pampers ranks No. 1 when it comes to brand experience, with Disney, Paypal, DHL and Facebook rounding out the top five (see full list below). 

"This is the first time we've attempted to leverage the hard data and insight, based on BrandZ's largest and most substantive, ongoing consumer brand survey, to quantify the financial value of well-managed and delivered brand experiences," said Iain Ellwood, worldwide strategic growth director for Brand Union, which is part of Group XP. (Group XP is made up of Brand Union, retail and brand consultancy FITCH and brand experience agency SET and SET Live.) 

Added Ellwood: "It takes the conjecture out of the amorphous idea of 'brand experience' and assigns statistically sound financial metrics and customer impact to its impressive contribution to brand value." 

According to Ellwood, Group XP wanted to move past the idea that the "'experience' of certain celebrated brands" was actually the best consumer experience. "It took for us to decode and categorize the elements of brand experience from the bottom up to really draw out how innovative approaches to business models and technologies specifically come together to create customer experiences that can generate completely new revenue streams," said Ellwood.

"It creates a way for companies and brands to measure experience and to use those metrics to improve their experience over time," added Ellwood. "As a result, we believe the Experience Index is a breakthrough study that will change how companies and brands view the value of experience and manage their marketing and media mix."

Check out the top 30 global brands: 


  1. Pampers
  2. Disney
  3. PayPal
  4. DHL
  5. Facebook
  6. Apple
  7. Google
  8. IKEA
  9. UPS
  10. Visa
  11. Nike
  12. Huggies
  13. FedEx
  14. Southwest
  15. Deutsche Post
  16. Amazon
  17. Samsung
  18. Sky
  19. Ecover
  20. Tesla
  21. Colgate
  22. Omo
  23. BMW
  24. Bose
  25. IBM
  26. Adidas
  27. Verizon
  28. Mercedes-Benz
  29. Under Armour
  30. Ferrari
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Deek Duke needed to understand the actors & factors that shape the dine-in experience in view of uncovering opportunities for improvement and innovation in the customer’s journey.
We uncovered key insights through observations in the restaurant branches and interviews with key customer profiles then we imagined innovative scenarios in a co-creative workshop session with DD Team.
The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty
by by Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman, Rick DeLisi

Everyone knows that the best way to create customer loyalty is with service so good, so over the top, that it surprises and delights. But what if everyone is wrong? In their acclaimed bestseller The Challenger Sale, Matthew Dixon and his colleagues at CEB busted longstanding myths about sales. Now they've turned to a new vital business subject - customer loyalty - with a book that turns conventional wisdom on its head. 


1. Tease with a preview of coming attractions to stoke eager anticipations.

2. Tempt to highlight the promise of an experience

3. Make it Special: everything's more attractive when availablility is limites

4. Surprise likely yields a greater experience boost

5.Crescendo: brands that make a positive last impression win favorable memories


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