The Differences Between Brand Experience, Experiential and Events

February 7, 2019 Erica Maurer

Quite often we’re asked by our clients and event marketers in New York to outline the differences between a brand experience, event marketing, and experiential marketing.

This is an excellent question, because the answer is not exactly simple. Just like any area of marketing communications—especially since the rise of social, digital, and mobile mediums—there will continually be a lot of overlap and clouding at the boundaries in these marketing strategies.

This creates a dilemma for event marketers when creating brand experiences because some types of experiences entail a great deal of expertise to comprehend and execute while other event experiences require less.

So, for the sake of all event marketers in New York, let’s establish a common understanding of the difference between a brand experience, event marketing, and experiential marketing.

Brand Experience

There’s a wide range of events that take place in the digital and physical worlds that could truthfully be described as brand experiences by event marketers in New York, with experiential stunts, corporate events, employee/customer interactions in-store or by phone, or even the usage of a brand’s app or site.

When carried out efficiently, the outcome of these interactions will form deeper emotional connections and it will refine the image of the brand. But when it’s not executed properly it can have the opposite effect.

For the purposes of this discussion, we’ll focus on the answers to the most common questions event marketers in New York need to know the answers to.


Event marketers in New York define events as brand experiences that are aimed towards a specific type of audience like an internal meeting for your sales team, an annual conference sponsored by a global company, or even an event like the CES trade show.

Why are event marketers in New York hired to run events?

There’re a few reasons why, and here they are:
• To teach the partakers about a specific subject or product(s)
• To deliver networking opportunities for the brand and its participants
• To inspire and align the participants about a new strategy, product or initiative

Most events offer a continued connection with a brand, its audience, services or products.

So, who should you hire? An event planning company in New York with proven event and meeting experience.

Experiential Events

We think of experiential events as more of a consumer-oriented experience that are usually aimed towards a more general audience. Good examples of experiential events would be affairs like the Contours’s “Baby Stroller Test Ride” in Chicago or the Google Play “Music Block” event in NYC.

Why do marketers do experiential activations?

There’re a few reasons why, and here they are:
• To generate emotional and physical engagement with a product or brand
• To link a product with the equity of a separate brand (like music or sports sponsorships)
• To increase earned media through press and social mentions
• To produce an opportunity to grow relationships with the audience that goes above the physical experience through digital connections

Just like regular events, experiential events are often combined with digital activations with the intent to offer meaningful, prolonged interactions with a specific brand.

So, who should you hire? It depends but your best bet are event marketers in New York who are also experiential producers or who have an experiential partner.

Regardless of the event marketers in New York you choose, for brands and planners to get the most value from a brand experience, the experience itself must be truly extraordinary. That means the event must offer something that is memorable and outside of the range of a normal experience.

Do you own or manage an event planning and/or marketing firm that offers experiential event production? Contact us today so we can connect and collaborate!


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