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Paypal, AirBnB and Lululemon Create Brand Experiences Consumers Connect With

Paypal, AirBnB and Lululemon Create Brand Experiences Consumers Feel Connected ToDeveloping a distinct brand identity is central to modern marketing. This is how you want consumers to perceive your business. Particularly on social media, companies create brand experience as an important way to link brand image -- how the public views you -- with brand identity -- how you want the public to view you.

Experience means invoking a feeling unlike your competitors, so potential customers know not only what you sell but how you'll make them feel. This is a tall order, but some brands are getting it right. Here are a few examples and notes about how they're doing it.

Paypal: Living the Life You Want

At its most basic, Paypal offers a simple (read: boring) service -- facilitating global payments. By sharing stories of how customers have used Paypal to reframe their lives, the brand has sold itself as a tool of human potential. By using Paypal, customers have been able to facilitate small businesses, becoming self-employed and following their dreams.

Through a focus on what Paypal can do, the brand has set itself apart from other financial institutions which may fail to meet the needs of this niche market.

AirBnB: Selling the Experience

AirBnB could be nothing more exciting than an online booking service. But as most users of the company know, it's not quite the same as a site to reserve a hotel or book a flight. AirBnB matches individual homeowners with travelers, possibly creating a unpredictable series of events.

New customers might want to know what's different about staying at an AirBnB, to put potential fears at ease. The company invites hosts and guests to share their experiences on the brand's website. In the process, they are sharing information and developing a kind of fear of missing out (FOMO) around choosing this route instead of chain hotels.

Lululemon: Creating Community

Lululemon is a clothing company, focusing on athletic wear, but its marketing focuses largely on lifestyle. Through social media posts, the company strives to create a community of people involved in yoga, mindfulness and overall fitness.

The brand focuses on nutrition, health and activity in its online offerings, inviting customers to take part, literally and figuratively. In this way, customers are buying into a way of being, instead of just taking home a pair of yoga pants.

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Vera K. Fischer is the CEO of the brand marketing agency, 97 Degrees West, an integrated marketing expert, speaker and the host of System Execution Podcast.

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Vera Fischer

By Vera Fischer

The visionary of 97 Degrees West for more than thirteen years, Vera has served as the CEO and President since 2004. During Vera’s tenure, the agency has achieved steady growth while surviving both economic recessions in Austin, Texas. Vera began her advertising career at GSD&M where she worked on accounts: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Houston Rockets, Dollar Rent-A-Car, Pearl Vision, SeaWorld and DoubleTree Hotels. Her next stop was the nationally recognized T3 known as “The Think Tank.” While at T3, Vera spearheaded the Dell Computers launch of the Preferred Accounts Division and lead national projects for the ESL and Enterprise Divisions. Other notable accounts included Quintiles Oncology, Austin Lyric Opera and St. David’s Hospital. In 2001, Vera left the agency world to embark on the client side as Director of Marketing for Forgent Networks, the software spin-off of VTEL video conferencing. Vera managed an annual multi-million dollar marketing budget, developed online lead generation programs, managed the inside sales team and consistently delivered high-quality MQLs to the sales team. In 2004, after a company wide re-org, Vera was laid off while on maternity leave. Within the day, she founded her agency, 97 Degrees West. Vera’s weekly podcast entitled, “System Execution”, launched in mid-2016 with notable guests like Ari Weinzweig, Jeff Smith, Gary Bizzo, Dr. Alan Pitt, and other business and thought leaders. Vera is the first woman to host a podcast devoted to systems and processes of successful companies. She is quickly becoming one of the country’s leading authorities on the topic of execution Vera is a member of the Austin University Area Rotary Club, an advisory board member for the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Texas State University and a Mentor at Capital Factory in Austin, Texas. Vera is completing her Master’s in Strategic Communications at Texas State University in May 2018.