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C2 Montréal

Five ways to bring your brand to life

C2 creator and Sid Lee CEO Jean François Bouchard presents a workshop on how brands can engage customers in more meaningful, immersive and intimate ways ...

Jean François Bouchard presented a workshop on how brands can engage customers
Jean François Bouchard presented a workshop on how brands can engage customers

1. Digital needs physical 
Brands want to engage in a meaningful way with customers. Bouchard says: "Digital must be complimented by actual physical experience. Without it, there's a level of intimacy you can't reach — saying things and doing things are different." 

2. Event production is not just about event production anymore
The nature of events are changing. They are more complex so it must be about creating an experience. Bouchard explains: "Production is just one part of producing an event — it needs to be about creating an experience."

3. Be a producer, not just a sponsor 
"Don't delegate the task of engaging with a live audience — brands should think of themselves as producers. Red Bull are a brand who really understand how to produce. If you're not going to be the sole producer, collaborate with a co-producer but be involved in engaging with a live audience," says Bouchard.  Will Travis, CEO of Sid Lee USA, adds: "Think like a producer rather than a marketer and then you'll start building something."

4. Amplification is easier said than done
"Understand what needs to happen before, during and after the event," Bouchard says. A common mistake is not having media partners in place. Don't assume media will organically be interested, or audiences who aren't there will engage with and share your content. 

5. The test is money
If your event is worthwhile charge for it, says the C2 creator. "Rarely do brands charge clients to come to an event. But it's a good acid test of whether what you're doing is worthwhile." 

There's much work to be done before brands begin to really engage an audience. Will Travis says brands are "five years behind in terms of how you engage with a live audience".

Bouchard adds: "One common mistake marketers make is around interruption: don't interrupt an audience to serve your purpose but answer their purpose."

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