360 Degree Branding Meets IRL Events [& 7 Ways to Maximize The Impact!]

7 Tips To Extend Your Brand Using Real Life Events

Brands represent a person, product or business’ identity. This makes them a critical marketing component. Encompassing a consistent set of intangibles, each brand has an associated perceived value that extends online, offline and in real life.

As the composite of experiences prospects, customers and the public have, brands attract attention and shape consumer perceptions. These brand interactions extend beyond online owned, social media and third party platforms, to offline media, communications and advertising options, including real life events (aka IRL).

As a marketer, do you maximize the 360 degree branding impact of real life events? If not, here are seven tips on integrating your branding into real life events. But, first, you need to expand your definition of events to include conferences, meetings, professional groups, alumni functions, networking alternatives and community gatherings.

  1. Make the list. Many organizers use a variety of online services such as Meetup, evite and other services to keep members and potential attendees abreast of upcoming meetings. Actionable marketing tip: Incorporate your brand into your response. Think company name and Twitter handle. Include your URL. Go one step further and organize your own meeting related to your brand.

    Maryland Sheep & Wool Festaval Event

    Meetup Event - Allows branding before and after

  2. Leverage your attendance. Let people know you’ll be attending an event in order to have a reason to meet. Even if you live in the same city, reach out to colleagues and say hi. This associates your brand with the event. Actionable marketing tip: Invite colleagues to join you to extend your association with the event.
  3. Clothe yourself in your brand. Dress as your brand. Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi always wears orange shirt in line with his brand. Actionable marketing tip: Find one item you can use consistently that’s recognizable.

    Joe Pulizzi's orange shirt

    Joe Pulizzi wears his brand in the form of an orange shirt.

  4. Sound like your brand. Bear in mind that how your sound and talk represents your brand. Think about the language that your brand uses. This includes special words and accents like Mack Collier who has adapted his southern accent and use of language to Twitter. Actionable marketing tip: If you’ve got an accent, think in terms of speaking slower so people can understand you. Also, don’t underestimate the value of good manners.

    Mack Collier on #Blogchat

    Mack Collier in his cowboy hat kicking off #BlogChat

  5. Streamline your brand story. Before your go, think about how you want attendees to remember you. Use a brand related story with a beginning, middle and end. Actionable marketing tip: If you’re speaking at the event, make sure you integrate the story into your overall presentation.
  6. Expand your event presence along with your brand reach. Volunteer to help by live blogging or tweeting the event. This way you can integrate your brand through your Twitter handle or byline. People who can’t attend may read or tweet your material. For more tips on live blogging, check out Lee OddenActionable marketing tip: Enrich your content with event photographs. Interview speakers for another blog or media site. Use the opportunity to create content and meet the speakers by doing a video interview.

    Lee Odden Post on TopRank Blog

    Lee Odden shares live blogging tips

  7. Take the mike with insightful questions. During the Q&A add to the conversation but don’t talk about yourself or argue with the speaker. This isn’t the forum to debate your pet opinion. Take notes to help you determine what questions you’d like answered. Before asking, consider whether your question expands the conversation and will make sense to a larger audience. Remember the goal is to reflect on your brand. Actionable marketing tip: Give your name and company with your firm’s tag line to keep your name in the sound bite. But don’t give an elevator speech about your business or career.

Brands translate to real life events where how they look, sound and act contribute to the memorability. Remember, you have only one chance to make a good first impression. Take advantage of each opportunity to maximize your brand’s effectiveness.

What other suggestions would you add to this real life branding list and why?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/k9d/6799252973/

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