How do Event Marketing and Community Engagement Relate?
Event marketing is effective because it is so special. Even with a brief engagement, an event marketing campaign can quickly move consumers through the four-stage purchase cycle: need, awareness, trial, and purchase. These activations have spatial, temporal, and cultural effects on the community in which you hold your marketing event. Experiential event marketing always has the potential to engage the entire community, whether the promotion is out of civic responsibility or a marketing strategy to associate a brand with the event.
L.L. Bean Commerce
L.L. Bean is a great example of a brand that benefits the community and benefits from community engagement. Its brand is inextricably identified with Maine. You can’t put your feet into a pair of Bean Boots without thinking about Maine. (Does everyone in Maine have Bean Boots?) The association with Maine is so successful that in 2011, during the mainstreaming process of hipsterdom and just as L.L. Bean had gotten its Signature collection comfortably underway, America had its “Maine-stream” moment. L.L. Bean took off as the brand even non-Mainers appreciate today. After Vogue did a spread on Maine fashion, it seemed as though everyone was wearing checkered flannel, buying reclaimed wood furniture, drinking craft beer, and buying Bean Boots.
L.L. Bean Community
Beyond L.L. Bean’s relevance that people remember as the Down East digression of the 2010s, the company is highly involved in the Maine community. Some of this is the result of place and time. L.L. Bean had existed for more than a century before becoming one of the region’s largest employers. Some of its growth is a result of the company’s own nurturing. The company gives generously to outdoor conservation and recreation. With regular hiking, fishing, and kayaking outings, they engage people with their products while promoting the outdoors. They host a free summer concert series at the L.L. Bean campus in Freeport and engage attendees with coupons and in-store specials.
Lessons Learned from L.L. Bean
I appreciate the ways that brands engage their communities without seeming so self-interested. L.L. Bean’s charitable donations support health, education, arts and culture in Maine. We, too, see it as our responsibility to give back to the community. What we have to enjoy is begotten from the conditions our communities cultivate: resources, technology, culture, education, arts, law, and order. Event marketing reaches the community. Consider whether your next campaign should make a positive impact in your community.