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Product exposure to experiential activation boosts brand loyalty, LBS study shows

Product exposure to experiential activation boosts brand loyalty, LBS study shows

A new study from Lagos Business School (LBS) has shown that increasing product exposure to experiential activation enhances customer loyalty. This is as brand disloyalty continues to rise in Africa, particularly in Nigeria where the harsh economic climate has reduced consumer spending power.

The findings of the study entitled “The Pulse of Experiential Marketing in Nigeria: Insights & Strategies” were presented yesterday to industry stakeholders and the media.

The study unveiled in Lagos recently, entitled “The Pulse of Experiential Marketing in Nigeria: Insights & Strategies” and led by Uchenna Uzo, a marketing professor and Academic Director of the Africa Retail Academy at LBS, and Ephraim Nwokporo, Research and Teaching Assistant at LBS, Pan-Atlantic University (PAU), highlighted four other key findings.

Addressing stakeholders, Uzo revealed that the study used a multi-level sequential mixed method involving 12 key informant interviews with four selected experiential agencies, a focus group discussion with senior brand managers/representatives, 10 in-depth interviews with consumers who have interacted with brands through experiential marketing, and a survey of 308 consumers in Nigeria.

Consistent with the first finding, the study also found that experiential activations for a brand increase the customer’s willingness to buy, with a significant number of customers making purchases following campaigns.

Speaking on this, Uzo noted that brands can strategically increase their position in a customer’s spending list by being more intentional and consistent with activations that drive customer engagement.

The study also found that the longer a customer spends on experiential activations, the higher the spending on the brand. Uzo advised that experiential marketers can improve by finding creative ways to keep customers engaged with a brand in a world where attention spans continue to decline.

The fourth finding indicates that due to poor route-to-market strategy, product availability within the area of activation, pricing, as well as focusing on short-term gains, among others like security and negative past experiences, “brand disloyalty rises as customers purchase brands after activations.”

This, the study notes, is counterintuitive, considering that despite driving brand loyalty overall, customers who repurchase after activations do not remain loyal to those brands. To mitigate this, experts stressed that clients must address strategic sales and logistic issues before calling for activation to derive maximum and desired ROI from activations.

The study emphasized the importance of addressing strategic sales and logistic issues before calling for activation to derive maximum ROI. It also stressed the need for long-term campaign strategies, with brands retaining experiential agencies on a long-term basis for maximum effectiveness and return on experience (ROE).

Against the norm with most of their experiential partner agencies, Uzo advised that clients should target long-term campaign strategies, which consequently means putting agencies on retainer for long-term campaigns, which is more effective and beneficial for the brand in the long run and it is guaranteed to bring about maximum return on experience (ROE). Uzo advised that brands and agencies must be careful not to approach experiential marketing as a “one-off” event. Activations must reach all purchase touchpoints and keep the customer’s buying cycle in mind.

The study which was carried out in partnership with the Experiential Marketers Association of Nigeria (EXMAN) also noted that campaign effectiveness can only be achieved when brands and experiential agencies prioritize operational excellence by ensuring seamless product availability and distribution post-experiential activations.