Monday July 8, 2019 09:54

Is consumer engagement grounded in science or designed as art? And just how much is methodically planned and how much is the magic that comes to the fore as the first people walk through the door? The sweet spot for truly successful consumer engagement is where science meets art.

Science or structure behind strong experiential executions starts with the human anatomy and its optimal positioning. What’s the standard eye level, the height to reach without strain, the minimum leg space needed when seated or the angle when good legibility becomes fair legibility? Every asset involved in your execution needs to be designed not to just look great but to deliver the most comfortable and natural interaction with the consumer. And without an understanding of the measure of the man, just how well designed is your stand?

While it seems obvious, this is an area often brushed over or rushed through when elements are in the design stage, which tends to focus on the look. Yet an understanding of the most comfortable and usable height of a bench, or the ideal height for signage to be hung or how deep to make interactive displays can significantly impact how enjoyable and comfortable the experience may be for consumers. It’s imperative this is considered at the design stage to ensure a cost-efficient approach and an execution designed for maximum impact.

Significant thought should also be given to the placement of assets in the execution, utilising the theory behind consumer movement in public and retail environments. These strategic considerations should be asked with every engagement planned:

  • What will attract the consumer’s attention and draw them in when naturally they will shy away?
  • What will be the activity that makes them spend time on the stand?
  • What will be the “Instagram moment”?
  • Are you placing your most enticing component at the back of the stand to entice consumers passed all assets?
  • Is there somewhere to sit so their dwell time will increase?
  • When they walk away are they branded with something that allows them to advertise the activity to other consumers?

But it’s not all about the theory, the heart or art is the part where knowing your target audience and your brand is of greatest importance. We all love pretty things, and a look and feel that’s uninspiring, dull and functional will repel your target market not entice them in. The aspirational, the modern and unique get attention and create the ‘stop and stare’ all marketers crave.

Similarly, the art delivers the emotive response from your consumers. This is based on the emotion and what you want your audience to feel at the activation and then when they leave. Start by thinking about what that desired feeling is you want to stimulate and then work backwards to design how you trigger that reaction. 

Master the mix of method and magic and you’ll find yourself with a hard-working, eye-catching and consumer loved execution. Focus too much on one and not the other, and you risk a stand that’s all show and no substance or all substance and no shoppers!

Consumer Engagement - METHOD OR MAGIC?