Every consumer brand wants to engage their customers. They know it’s a way to forge stronger relationships with those customers, enhance their reputation, and extend their market reach through word of mouth and referrals. Ultimately, all of that can translate into increased sales and greater revenue with 91% of consumers reporting that they are more inclined to purchase from a brand after participating in a brand experience.
While there’s no shortage of tactics companies can use to engage their customers, one of the most effective is creating immersive experiences designed to help them fall in love with your brand. As we’ll see, the key to this kind of engagement marketing isn’t pushing your products or services on your customers, it’s creating meaningful interactions with them. And as many brands have already discovered, offering classes can often be the perfect way to do just that. If you educate your customers, your brand will forever be etched in their brain.
Below we share some pro tips for successfully engaging consumers with classes, highlighting prominent examples from leading brands.
Teaching is Marketing…. without the Marketing
If you want to use classes as a way to connect with new and existing customers, make sure to keep the following best practices in mind:
1. Educate Customers, Don’t Market to Them
The first rule of creating a successful class is sharing the expertise your customers are looking for. Whether that’s advice on how to renovate a bathroom or tips about how to take better photographs, each class should be focused on helping to solve a particular problem. And while your products may offer just the solution, let your customers discover that for themselves rather than making that the focus of the class.
King Arthur Baking Company’s free baking school is a great example. Offered both virtually and in person, there are classes for everyone from novices to professional bakers. And while King Arthur flour is a key ingredient in every scone, biscuit, and pastry recipe, that’s not the point. Rather, the goal is to teach people how to do something they love, to connect them to a community of other people who share the same interest, and to indirectly create positive associations with the brand as a result.
2. Create an Emotional Connection
Never underestimate the power of appealing to your customers’ emotions, especially when you’re teaching them. Creating an emotional tie with your customers can be a highly effective way to engage them and strengthen their ties to your brand.
Japanese skincare and makeup brand Shisiedo does this through classes where it teaches customers makeup techniques that they can then replicate at home that are designed to bring out their natural beauty. It’s a simple but effective way of connecting their products to their customers’ self-image and feelings of being beautiful.
3. Seek Feedback to Enable Continuous Improvement
For classes to be long-term engagement tools, they have to be dynamic and give your customers what they actually want. For that reason, it’s important to collect and analyze customer data and feedback so that you can continuously refine your offerings and optimize them to meet their needs.
TABASCO® regularly hosts guests at its headquarters on Avery Island and recently introduced a series of Cajun-inspired culinary classes where they could learn about classic Southern comfort food using their hot sauces. Offering more impactful and meaningful experiences, learned through feedback from their guests.