Building the total brand experience

Today’s consumers are overwhelmed by brand messages, most of which are instantly forgettable.

Ultimately, what people remember is not the brand message but how brands act, said Matt Pensinger, senior vice president and managing director at Jack Morton Worldwide.

“It is no longer sufficient to just have customers see your product and talk to a company representative,” Pensinger said. “Companies must think about the total brand experience from end-to-end”

And the total brand experience is more than just the product itself.

“Equipment or technology is expected to perform well,” Pensinger noted. “The total experience is about the service, the support and the relationship customers have with your company.”

Creating that total experience at a trade show may be the ultimate challenge, he said, and smaller or mid-size exhibitors may feel intimidated by larger competitors with bigger budgets. But creating a total experience doesn’t necessarily need to cost a lot of money.

“There is no correlation between spending and the brand experience,” Pensinger said. “In fact, it’s totally the opposite – it’s really about being thoughtful and purposeful.”

Over the years, Jack Morton Worldwide has adhered to a set of five brand experience principles to guide their clients. They are:

  1. Add Value – Improve something for the customer or attendee. It may be providing knowledge, such as an opportunity to learn, or it may just be making them feel comfortable when dealing with your company or visiting your booth.
  2. Build Around the User – Put yourself in the shoes of the attendee. What do they want to see or experience? It’s not what you or your CEO wants. Ask yourself how it will impact the customer.
  3. Invite Participation – Let attendees participate in some meaningful way. There is a high correlation between doing something and remembering a company's product or service.
  4. Craft Communities – Play a role in building a community, such as helping your customers get together to share ideas about how to use your product or technology.
  5. Inspire Sharing – Enable ways that make it easy to share information about your product, whether it’s social media, word of mouth, taking a picture or emailing information back to the office.

Using these principles, set measurable objectives for each show you attend, Pensinger said. 

"As simple as that sounds, it sometimes gets overlooked," he said.

Finally, Pensinger said, think about these three things:

  •          What invites attendees into your booth?
  •          What can they learn from your staff?
  •          What broader brand experience helps them remember your company?

"Really think about the end-to-end experience of someone that stops by to visit," he said. 

For More Information

Hear more about building brand experiences at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE exhibitor meeting, set for August 23rd at Loews Chicago O’Hare in Rosemont, Illinois. Jack Morton's Matt Pensinger will be among the meeting presenters.

To register for the exhibitor meeting, go to For more information on Jack Morton Worldwide, visit