There is a saying in the marketing industry that 'people buy from people', and this is especially true when it comes to live events. It doesn't matter how high the production values are or how well an event has been produced, if the staff working on the activity can't engage the public, it will fail to deliver a true brand experience.
As brands realise they need to build relationships with their consumers - not just raise awareness - the importance of well-trained, intelligent staff who can deliver effective brand messages becomes more vital.
Having a connection with the staff who will represent your brand is of absolute importance for both the agency and the staff themselves, who will feel they are involved, respected, listened to and developed.
Communication skills, teamwork and how people present themselves need to be checked, to get a full picture of that person and which brands they might be right for. Staff must then go through a rigorous introductory training programme that is topped up with ongoing and specific skills training from then on.
Recruiting people in the same peer group, or who appear aspirational to the campaign's target audience, is often key to successful consumer interactions. But decisions on staff can't just be made on a 'look' - personality and character is even more important to forming relationships with consumers.
Casting based on skills and interests, not just appearance, means both parties win. The staff get to work on campaigns that genuinely interest them and the brand benefits from happy and engaged teams.
Our work for SSE saw us recruit a team of 'Energisers' to help the public during events at the Scottish Hydro and Wembley.
As the name suggests, our team had to be full of energy and enthusiasm and provide impeccable customer service.
It is imperative that staff receive specific brand training, so that when talking to the public they come across as knowledgeable and engaged, not just a 'pretty face' handing out samples.
There has been a sharp rise in demand for specifically cast, bespoke staff for immersive campaigns, ranging from multi-lingual staff to those with a specific skill to represent the brand. More brands, including Benefit Cosmetics and The Persuaders, are also asking for their activity to really be brought to life with the creation of characters for staff.
It is easy to see how brands benefit from committed and happy teams, who understand their brand and can deliver messages in an engaging manner - and, most crucially, start building relationships with target consumers.
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For more activations and experiential campaigns in London, download our latest report, London's Experiential Playground.