Social impact to inform your event’s purpose

November 22, 2018 - Posted by Aesthetic

People care, and so should you

As event marketers, we often limit ourselves to metrics like attendance or revenue to define success. Although these are good baseline measurements that can easily be applied to any business, event, or strategy, the benefits of brand experience are better highlighted when more indicators are added into the mix.

A recent study from Mid Sweden University investigated how to measure the social impact of an event. The indicators included community quality of life; community pride; social capital; a sense of community; community capacity enhancement; and facilities impact. The paper was produced through the lens of how community and destination policymakers can evaluate the social impact of events, and, with the relevant indicators, the framework that can be applied to any event, brand, or industry.

A global shift in consumer priorities has led marketers and producers to re-evaluate how their activities truly benefit society. 88% of consumers want brands to help them live sustainably and make it easier to reduce any negative impact. Because of this, audiences are demanding more social responsibility from brands, and CSR policies without action aren’t cutting it. That’s where brand experience comes in.

Bringing your CSR policies to life

The key to success is combining social impact strategy, success metrics, and brand experience. Start with identifying what your brand stands for: consider your existing CSR activities and how you can share them with your consumers in authentic, sensory ways. Then, identify the metrics that will show how your purpose has a genuine, positive impact on your audience’s lives.

Sharing authentic experiences based on common values helps build real relationships. When brand leaders challenge their organisations to look beyond traditional solutions, the number of potential solutions for experiential activations increases dramatically.

The key elements to successful brand experiences backed by social impact strategies include:

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  • Tell the story. Stories draw people in so that they can’t help but participate and share. Tell the story of your values to your audience so they feel deeper connections with your brand, like Johnson & Johnson.




It’s through this strategic lens that brands can achieve greatness.

Be fearless (girl)!

One of our favourites examples of a ‘great’ campaign is when investment firm State Street Global Advisors called on companies to have greater gender diversity on their boards. One of their key metrics was to generate awareness through industry publications, mainstream media, and social media. This was achieved in a very unexpected way that turned into one of the most iconic brand experiences in history.

You may be familiar with viral sensation ‘Fearless Girl’. This was State Street Global Advisors’ solution to demanding more gender diversity – a statue of a girl staring down the ‘Charging Bull’ in the financial district of Manhattan. This case study shows the impact that the brand achieved when they took their marketing strategy further. Still, critics have questioned the legitimacy of the statue, claiming that the culture and behaviours at State Street Global Advisors don’t match the values represented in Fearless Girl. From this, we can learn how important it is to build strategies and brand experiences founded on authenticity.

Maybe you have an idea that’s a little bit ‘out there’, or you’re struggling with how to get buy-in from your executive team? We can help you make the strategic connection between your business goals and your creative idea.

Let’s talk.