The San Miguel Experience – Building Brand Loyalty Through Immersive Brand Experiences

 

Author: Katie Warner

You know you’ve had a good evening out when you get home at midnight buzzing with a renewed excitement for life. That’s what happened to me last night at the San Miguel Experience, an evening of bespoke events that echoed the mantra of San Miguel that ‘experiences are best shared over a beer’.

As well as being able to sample their range of beers, there was a masterclass creating ‘hoptails’, (cocktails incorporating citrus and beer infused syrups) which gave me a new appreciation of the complexities of different beers. Complementing the beers, Spanish inspired tapas and a chocolate masterclass by Belgian chocolatier Willem Verlooy created interesting beer pairings.

It was without doubt the individuals that had been chosen to headline the event that were the stand out inspiration for me. Levison Wood, the Channel 4 explorer and San Miguel’s brand ambassador, awed the would-be adventurers in the audience with rich and evocative tales of walking the Nile and meeting the Dalai Lama in Nepal – it made me want to pack my bags and get on the next flight out.

Adventure planning workshops with Belinda Kirk (who not only leads remote expeditions around the world, but has also, as part of a crew, rowed around the British Isles), opened my eyes to the adventures available closer to home and I vowed to swim in the Serpentine which I cycle by daily on my way to work, and to kayak under Tower Bridge before the summer is out. She inspired me to leave my comfort zone, that entering the realms of the ‘as yet unknown’ is where the magic happens. She showed me how to make a camp stove out of a used San Miguel beer can, which may prove useful one day, who knows…

Another great moment was experiencing Birdly, a highly acclaimed Virtual Reality simulator that recreated the wind and sights of flight, transporting me above New York, soaring over the city’s iconic skyline. Exploring just took on a whole new level…

‘Always new places to see, new people to meet and friendships to make along the way’… San Miguel’s tagline rang true throughout the event – this was an evening for sharing not just beer and food but knowledge and stories, planning adventures, being amazed and enthralled at every turn.

Indeed, it is rich, immersive brand experiences like these that form stronger bonds with brand audiences, that forge closer associations through shared values and ultimately build brand loyalty, something that cannot be taken for granted these days with the plethora of similar brands flooding the marketplace. It is no longer enough to rely on product availability alone to boost sales, people now want to feel fully immersed in the culture and ethos of a brand, to live through it and be guided by it. Brands must win over their audiences by tapping into their underlying motives and aspirations.

This is something that we know a lot about at Haines McGregor, having worked on insight and positioning development for San Miguel, calibrating an ownable space within ‘bonding’ which San Miguel could credibly own. We used a range of tools and techniques to understand the complex set of needs and emotions that govern choice and actions, culminating in the bringing to life of an engaging and newly relevant brand manifesto, personality and guidelines.

To see more of the work we have done for San Miguel and other clients, please click here or contact Hayley Roe on (0)20 7352 8322.