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Press Release - features & benefits marketing is over


 October 2002

 Encore Strategic Marketing, long-recognized as a leader in integrated 'big idea' event/experiential marketing, is now expanding its services and launching a new division dedicated to transforming employee, business and consumer audiences. In the final analysis, "it's people that will get you where you need to be"!

 Encore's ground breaking marketing programs such as "Best Seat in the House", "Miller Jet Tour", "Molson Blind Date" and "Molson Polar Beach Party" (Arctic, Canada) were developed and staged based on the simple premise that consumers are living human beings with experiential needs. As Jennifer Lukas (VP Event) notes,

"typical feature and benefit marketing is over – consumers want (and need) to be inspired, engaged, stimulated, entertained and educated – this can only be achieved through transformational experience staging and execution."

 Experiences that 'take you places you've never been' create lasting impressions that ultimately elicit transformations within individuals and companies.

Today, Experiential Marketing is widely embraced, and according to Forrester Research, it will capture nearly 80% of marketing service dollars by 2003. As pioneers in integrated Experiential Marketing,  Encore have always taken pride in staying ahead of this emerging market trend.

Encore believes that companies can do a better job of motivating their internal and external audiences. By staging 'transformation eliciting' experiences that inspire and motivate, Encore believes that it can truly affect employee, business and consumer audiences. Companies inform, educate, motivate and reward employees using techniques such as sales meetings, recognition events, product launches, annual meetings, training programs, incentive travel and corporate communication programs. Encore endorses the potential effectiveness of these techniques only if they lead to transformation. Unfortunately many of these events have a traditional 'sameness' that is unlikely to inspire anything but traditional thinking.

"Sticking people in a hotel for two days and bludgeoning them with motivational speakers simply doesn’t realize a return on investment, says Lukas".

 Transformational events require inspiring locations, environments and mediums. The ability to change a person’s mental and emotional state is sometimes done by guiding them out of their "Comfort Zone"  to the “Adventure Zone™”.

Ted Rakoczy of Encore says that “the job of anyone in our industry is to motivate."

 Whether it’s to motivate a consumer to buy a product; motivate a salesperson to put in extra time following up on leads; or motive a manager to think outside the box; all require a change in behavior. As long as people are comfortable there is simply no reason to change their behavior. Adventure is simply one catalyst for change, Jeff Salz defines adventure as:

 "any intentional experience that substantially alters our perspective long enough to see things we have never before seen – and to see familiar things in ways we have never before seen them."

Transformational experiences can and should be created across several experience realms. Entertainment experiences can alter our view of the world; educational experiences can make us re-think how we fit into that world; esthetic experiences can instill a sense of wonder; and adventure experiences can alter our perspective. Encore believes that fundamental change occurs only when all these experience realms work in harmony and then are staged in a truly innovative, unique, creative and holistic way – "we take you places that you've never been". Christopher Grimston (Encore's VP Creative) believes that:

"the experience is the message and the individual is the product."

 The Transformation Guiding Process™ involves consultative outcome identification, extensive research, Holistic Experience Design™, innovative and creative brilliance and one-stop flawless execution all under one roof designed to 'take you places you've never been'.

 It’s something they know alot about. Since 1990, Encore have been creative in creating inspiring product launches, once-in-a-lifetime adventure incentive programs, and emotional multi-media events for many blue chip companies. They know that nothing within a company happens in isolation.

Andrew White, Director of Destination Arctic, the Adventure arm of Encore, believes that unfamiliar locations and experiences force people to look at reality in a completely different way. He notes that,

 "if you put a group of people together and give them a task that is completely alien to all their previous experiences they will change to cope with that reality. I’ve seen a dozen senior executives work together to build an igloo on the shelf ice of the Arctic Ocean and then spend a night in that igloo. Not only were they truly affected by the experience which will last forever in their memory, the experience also transformed the participants, there were permanent changes in attitude and performance. Not to mention they returned home with a break-through solution to a specific business challenge."

 Encore also attributes it's  success to "brand vigilance", as Rick Shaver notes,

"brands and experiences should be symbiotic and aligning employees to corporate brands is key to an organization's ability to deliver the brand promise to the marketplace."

 Marketing and H.R  are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they must work in tandem to retain employees and inspire them to deliver the brand promise to the customer. Aligning employees to brands is key to an organization’s competitive advantage and getting employees to “live the brand” involves transforming an organization and the people in it.

 Ensuring return on investment is fundamental to Encore’s philosophy. Their long history in the integrated marketing services industry has helped structure their work to always target measurable results not industry awards. Typically companies approach employee development with vague, or more often, non-measurable goals. Encore takes a problem-solving approach. Rick Shaver, says that

“we like nothing better than having a client ask us to help solve a specific problem. By focusing on that problem we can tailor a solution-driven program. Our job isn’t over when the audience goes home; it’s over when we’ve achieved sustainable results . . . a real return on investment for our client. If you're in the transformation business you charge for outcomes”

 Paraphrasing James Gilmore, co-author of The Experience Economy, "unless  experiences are transformational they have no lasting consequence beyond their consumption – even memories fade over time."

  • Experiences are usually not self-generated but induced!
  • "We will dazzle their senses, touch their hearts and stimulate their minds"
  • Experiences produce memories – it's as simple as that!
  • Memories are the hallmark of experiences – it's the memory that extends the experience over time!