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  • Rachel Dean

The power of brand experience

Insights from Taste of London Festival 2023

We recently had the pleasure of attending the Taste of London Festival 2023. This sun-drenched event was a celebration of some of the finest food and beverage brands in the industry. As we explored the festival, the importance of brand experience and its impact on consumer perception was paramount.

1. Emphasising the human element

At Taste of London, it became clear that brands that left an indelible mark were the ones who harnessed their most precious assets - their people. From visionary founders to finance wizards, and marketing maestros to supply chain heroes, they stepped onto the event stage, infused with unrivalled energy, authenticity, and credibility.

These individuals possessed an in-depth understanding of their products and the brand's story. Their passion and expertise compelled festival-goers to take action. In contrast, brands that relied solely on agency crews fell short. Their representatives handed out samples and leaflets but struggled to convey what made their brands special. Investing in a well-informed and dedicated team can make all the difference, showcasing your brand's authenticity and building meaningful connections with potential customers.

2. Creating immersive experiences

The festival featured brands that spared no expense in creating captivating stands and activations. The most successful brands went beyond aesthetics; they crafted immersive experiences that encouraged visitors to linger and explore. By cleverly utilising height, sound, and colour, these brands made it easy for people to locate them, even without a map. In contrast, some brands appeared apologetic and hidden away, missing out on a golden opportunity to leave a lasting impression. Regardless of budget, brands can transform their presence by maximising the potential of their stands, ensuring they stand out and engage attendees.

3. Adding value to the experience

Attending events like Taste of London comes with a price tag, £24 entry, £13 burger, £11 cocktail, £7-9 for a pint, and £3 for a bag of crisps (yes that figure IS correct - but we won’t name the brand). So it’s easy for people to spend £100 - £150 without trying too hard.

This makes it essential for brands to offer added value to justify attendees' investment. Simply asking visitors to scan a QR code to enter a competition, which may result in unwanted email correspondence, falls short of expectations. Instead, brands should focus on providing an exceptional overall experience. Consider offering exclusive tastings, live demonstrations, or interactive activities that allow visitors to connect with your brand in a meaningful way. By going above and beyond, you can create a lasting impression and foster loyalty among your audience.

4. Maintaining relevance and authenticity

During our time at the festival, we noticed some brands that left us scratching our heads as to ‘why’ they were there. Their products or services felt disconnected from the event's theme, resulting in empty stands and disinterested attendees. Shoehorning collaborations with unrelated names didn't yield the desired impact either.

Consumers are savvy and can easily discern authenticity. It is crucial for brands to ensure that their participation aligns with the event's purpose and resonates with the target audience. By staying true to your brand's identity and offering a relevant experience, you can attract and engage the right customers.

5. Crafting memorable sampling experiences

The art of sampling is more than simply offering a taste of your product. Brands that put thought into the presentation and the first taste experience stood out from the rest. They understood that capturing consumers' attention and leaving a lasting impression required creativity and careful planning. By going beyond a simple bowl of crisps and offering an intriguing presentation or an unexpected twist, these brands created a memorable experience that resonated long after the event. Investing in innovative sampling strategies can elevate your brand and drive positive word-of-mouth, extending your reach beyond the festival grounds.

What have we learnt?

Taste of London Festival 2023 provided us with invaluable insights into the power of brand experience. By prioritising knowledgeable staff, creating immersive experiences, adding value, maintaining relevance, and perfecting the art of sampling, brands can elevate their impact and leave a lasting impression on their target audience. As a leading brand agency, we understand the significance of these elements and can guide you in maximising your brand's potential. If you exhibited at Taste of London or have an upcoming trade event reach out to us.

Let's explore together how your brand can embrace these principles and set the stage for even greater success in future years.

Brand experience key outtakes

  • Emphasising the human element

  • Create immersive experiences

  • Add value to the experience

  • Maintain relevance and authenticity

  • Crafting memorable sampling experiences

  • Aligning with business goals


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