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Embrace Fan Zone’s Power: 3 Ways You Can Create Captivating Brand Experiences Outside the Arena

When you hear “Fan Zone,” you probably envision brand experiences such as those hosted by Olympic Games sponsors, an activity for a stadium full of screaming fans or an interactive sports brand activation.

However, the growing experiential marketing trend of the Fan Zone isn’t just for sports teams, athletics organizations & sponsoring brands. Whether you’re B2C or B2B, harness these uniquely engaging experiences to more deeply connect with your audiences & stakeholders and nurture your brand community.

Fan Zone Experiences give your most passionate fans—your brand advocates—the opportunity to connect with like-minded audiences & wholeheartedly express their love for your brand, while your brand shows them some love in return. This leads to stronger relationships, greater brand loyalty & other value-generating results such as user-generated content & positive word of mouth.

So, brand marketers: How can you give your fans the experience they crave?  

Use these three insights to embrace the power of the Fan Zone:

1. Think outside the box to surprise & delight your audiences.

The Barbie Malibu Café is a new twist on grabbing brunch—inviting visitors to experience a moment in Malibu Barbie’s life. Featuring beach décor, exclusive merch & a menu designed by Master Chef finalist Becky Brown, the limited-run eateries take audiences on a nostalgic trip to the beach while showcasing the brand’s original Malibu Barbie that debuted in 1971.

B2B & B2C brands alike can capitalize on trends by leaning into current cultural zeitgeists—or by offering brand activations & experiences that enable your audiences to interact with your brand in a different way.

This doesn’t have to blow your event & brand experience budget. Instead, tap into what your customers & stakeholders really care about, and design experiences to match. Use innovation & event tech in ways that match audience behaviors—whether it’s redesigning your event reception & breakout sessions, or crafting a micro-moment such as Google’s pink filter & animated stars that cover search results when users type in “Barbie.”

2. Invest in savvy partnerships.

Collaborating with others—either in your industry or outside your normal scope—can expand your brand’s reach & help you connect with other audiences. Partnering can also help you strengthen relationships with your existing customers & stakeholders—and help you offer more innovative experiences within your budget.

At the 2023 New York Auto Show, Hyundai collaborated with The Walt Disney Company to showcase the IONIQ 5 Disney100 Platinum Concept car experience—a special version of Hyundai’s flagship EV, celebrating Disney’s 100th anniversary. Auto Show audiences experienced an electric vehicle with magical features that included lamp screens that played Disney’s pixie dust animation across the car’s headlights & taillights, along with an interior light show, custom colors & themed intro featuring Disney music that plays on the center console when the car is turned on.

The partnership weaves the two brands into an experience that appeals to both car enthusiasts & Disney fans—and while the homage to a certain mouse on the wheels may escape the notice of some, Disney fans were delighted with the integration that Hyundai thoughtfully offered.

3. Give your fans the space & opportunity to connect, celebrate & strengthen brand community.

By using innovative spatial design & interactive event technologies, you can invite your audiences to step into the world of your brand—literally encouraging them to become a piece of your brand’s story. When you give your fans the chance to become a part of the brand’s story, you give them the space to build, thrive & promote the community that carries on long after your event ends.

The World of Barbie Immersive Experience does this by enabling Barbie fans to step into the doll’s world-famous dreamhouse, walk the pink carpet & create the kind of user-generated content that helps brands increase recognition, showcase authenticity & strengthen brand community. Mattel’s experience offered audiences the chance to photograph themselves in the iconic pink box, record a hit song & interact with Barbie through the years inside their museum.

Design experiences tailored to your audiences in ways that innovatively invites them to interact with your brand. Set your sights beyond a single food truck & pop-up tent selling merch. Instead, implement immersive activities & touchpoints to give your customers & stakeholders a brand experience that deeply connects them to your brand & ultimately leads to brand community. 

We create experiences that bond brand & customer. Ready for yours? Contact us here.