Brands compete for attention at the Southern Hemisphere’s largest agricultural fair – National Fieldays. How do you stand out and enrich the experience of your customers in such an environment?
By David Hayward, Relationship Director
“Brand. It’s not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is.” – Marty Neumeier
FOR THE LOVE OF FIELDAYS AND FIELD DAYS
Agricultural Field Days, across New Zealand, culminates with National Fieldays* at Mystery Creek in June. The season has kicked off with the summer regional Field Days – we wrapped up Southern Field Days in Gore, Waimumu, last week. This year, as previously, Orange Productions is at Southern, Northern and Central Field Days collaborating with our clients to make fantastic brand activations and spaces to maximize sales, customer engagement and returns.
Within the National Fieldays environment, brands have a major opportunity to make direct sales in significant numbers to customers. It’s also an opportunity to go beyond transactions – to create deeper and longer relationships to that take attendees on the consideration journey towards becoming your brand advocates (the holy grail of marketing!).
Balancing these opportunities is that National Fieldays activation involves a significant investment. How do you maximise the return on that investment? One part of the solution is to focus on taking your brand and getting personal. Since the best embodiment of your brand is your people, in this blog we’ll look at how spatial and experience design enhances their relationship with your customers at Fieldays.
THE AUDIENCE: EASY GOING AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCES CUT THROUGH
There has been a palpable shift in how consumers interact with brand experiences worldwide.
People are blessed with ever escalating levels of quality and quantity of physical brand activations and experiences. This has led to much higher expectations and people only engage if the experience is relevant to them and their story.
In our experience, this is exaggerated here in New Zealand by our natural traits and our cultural outlook. Broadly speaking, we are down to earth, generally reticent, a little down on being sold at. But we also highly rate personal relationships and buy loyally from people we trust.
This means that at Fieldays, New Zealand’s agri-business, associated businesses and (increasingly) businesses and curious families from urban centres, get personal with the brands they buy from…. and that includes brands they don’t know that they are going to buy from (yet)!
The question is then, how do we align our business objectives with relevance to the audience that arrives in serious numbers (2017 saw 133,588!) at your National Fieldays activation?
CONSIDERATIONS IN GETTING PERSONAL
Bridging this gap – between what you as a business want and what the customer needs — at National Fieldays means that there are a few key considerations worthy of attention.
Here is a couple, and some examples of how we’ve successfully approached them in the past.
1. Getting personal: How do we create personal moments that bring brands to life?
2. Balancing sales and marketing: How do we create longer term relationships (classically marketing objectives) without interfering with direct sales?
GETTING PERSONAL IN THE VERY BIG AND THE VERY SMALL
It’s shared moments – big and small – that create lasting memories and strengthen relationships. It’s powerful when you engineer these moments through the aesthetic and physical devices to compliment everything your people are doing on site.
In 2014, we were challenged by ASB to radically refresh their activation at National Fieldays. Key considerations at brief were that we needed a large “eye catcher” – and our design team also started thinking that we needed a cool giveaway that would act almost like “bread crumbs”, something iconic, handheld, that would draw people to the activation.
In the end we landed on a windmill – an incredibly effective eye catcher that stood out amongst the sea of marquees. But this “macro moment” was reinforced with a personal touch: our giveaway were mini-windmills for the young (and young at heart) – yellow of course!
The key is that for an entire cohesive experience to work, it needs to be a portfolio of smaller and larger experiences (we call these “macro” and “micro” moments).
BALANCING SALES AND MARKETING OUTCOMES
At Orange we’re proud to not only bring to life iconic New Zealand brands at Fieldays, we also work with international brands who work tirelessly in the community to become much loved New Zealand brands.
Since 2016, we’ve worked with Hyundai to activate their impressive brand activation as key sponsor at National Fieldays.
One feature of National Fieldays is that people do genuinely come to buy vehicles. And there lies a gentle tension: how do fulfil their long term conversation with their fans (who may not be purchasing this year) and also let people access vehicles and sales?
The answer? It’s not simple, but there is a short cut. Work with designers and producers who are obsessed with customer experience integrated into spatial design – like my colleagues here at Orange. You want a space that enables conversations of desired lengths and different dwell times in different areas.
Get National Fieldays right this year – get personal to bring your brand to life. Give us a call at Orange if you want to turn the heat up and deliver epic results for your brand and sales.
* Authors note – I can’t be the first person to have to triple check the amount of “d”s every time I write Fieldays! For the record: “National Fieldays” has one “d” and all others, the more traditional two “Field Days”. Editors nightmare!