The concept of experiential branding

Christian Garner Koch & Martin Tvedt Andersen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Through this thesis we propose a guide for strategic planning and effect measurement of marketing campaigns based on company staged real‐lived experiences as a means of building brand equity – this we term Experiential Branding. The focus on experientially driven marketing is adopted based on the recognition that traditional advertising in traditional media is becoming less and less efficient in affecting consumers’ attitudes towards the brand i.e. building brand equity. Simultaneously consumers show an increased demand for company staged experiences, whereby companies may engage in staging these – in the form of events – with the purpose of utilizing the strong emotional influence hereof in building brand equity. In constructing the guide for planning of experiential branding campaigns we initially present a framework for the strategic choice of event content based on its interrelations with the brand values and target group. We argue that the choice of event content must be made based on a perceived fit with the brand and in relation to an interest in which the target group is involved. Following this central framework we present an analysis of: objective setting, event composition, marketing research, campaign leveraging and effects measurements in relation to experiential branding. As experientially driven marketing is still in its infancy in Denmark no common practice is likely to have developed, and generalizable empirical research on the effectiveness of experiential branding can hence yet not be conducted validly. Hence, through an evaluation of a best‐practice case we argue for the possibility of implementing our proposed guide in marketing practice, based on the degree of difference between the two. This case study is based on Carlsberg’s Vores Cup campaign, a nationwide football cup arranged by Carlsberg for their target group in the years from 2006‐2008. Through the evaluation we have identified only minor discrepancies between our proposed guide and Carlsberg’s approach to campaign planning and effects measurement, and primarily in relation to the level of detail in e.g. objective setting, event composition and the extent of marketing research. Given the relatively small amount of additional resources needed to overcome these differences we argue that the implementation of our proposed experiential branding guide in marketing practice is realistic. For future research, we then argue that employing the strategic approach to planning experiential branding campaigns suggested here will enable the gathering of valid and generalizable data on which an evaluation of experiential branding’s effectiveness in building brand equity can be made. Further, companies choosing to implement this guide to strategic planning will be able to make detailed evaluations of the brand equity building effects of their experiential branding initiatives.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages138