How Experiential Marketing Ushers in Brand Affinity
It is becoming increasingly difficult for brands to rise above all the noise that bombards consumers every day to truly make a positive brand impression. So how does a fast food restaurant differentiate from other food choices?
My local Chick-Fil-A operator stands out by offering memorable customer experiences that increase brand loyalty. My local store hosts regular family nights at the restaurant with fun themes, activities for the kids, food discounts, and fun memories.
My family is always looking for low-cost options for dinner and fun. When I heard about these family nights, we decided to check it out. Our first event was a holiday party. We were impressed by the activities, organization and the overall dining experience.
The team members, who make these events so fun, redefine what service should be in a fast food restaurant. Recently, we attended a stuffed animal sleepover. My littlest two kids, dressed in their pajamas, brought their own animals into the store that evening. They made eye masks and name tags for their animals and were treated to chicken nuggets and fries. When it was time to go, the kids tucked their animals to bed in a special corner of the restaurant.
The next morning, we returned to get the animals and were given a report of their nightly activities and a framed picture of the kids posing with their animals which was taken the night before. We also got gift cards for a free breakfast sandwich on a return visit. Of course, we bought our own breakfast that morning (and dinners the evening before). The kids even got their won stuffed cow in the goodie bags from the “sleepover.”
Franchise fast food marketing has sure come a long way since I worked the drive-thru at McDonald’s as a teen. The closest thing we had to “experiences” were birthday parties and we certainly didn’t do outbound marketing.
Today, we are on the store’s email list and get invites to similar events and other store promotions. I really appreciate these events which allow an affordable and memorable night out. I guess you can say I’m a fan.
What can you do to give your clients or customers a value-added, memorable experience?