Experiential web connects brands with their audiences on a very human level.
By Kyleene Finley, Associate Creative Director
The pandemic shifted the world to love (or hate) the great indoors, and with that, everything moved online. Virtual experiences took the lead, and brands that innovated paved the way for the internet of tomorrow. They took on new challenges and new opportunities. While everyone binged Netflix until their eyes fell out, tech brands asked themselves, “How do you reach people without events and commercials?”—and the surprising answer was, “Become more human.”
Experiential web uses storytelling, interactive design like parallax, 3D content, augmented reality, virtual reality, or AI to simulate an experience users will associate with the image and desirability of a brand and its products. In a sense, it helps the users to personify the brand. It gives the audience a sense of a brand’s purpose by interacting with them in a human way, rather than making them read a wall of text to figure it out on their own.
This approach to web design breaks free from traditional stacked modular layouts, loosening design constraints to create infinite potential for beautiful interaction. Multimedia content of all kinds shape the encounter, from video, infographics, and podcasts to whitepapers and e-books. Experiences can be activated with live events, or they can live on indefinitely as an exploration ground. With this less rigid structure, thoughtful storytelling and design can pull the audience into real conversations that elicit a quicker voluntary interaction from the user.
Experiential web opens buyers’ minds to new information by disrupting their everyday expectations.
From loading scenes to navigation and beyond, we tap into the human desire to solve problems as users encounter site-specific interactions that are out of the norm. Since research suggests that novel, stimulating environments boost learning and memory1 an interactive experience can boost audience attention more than a traditional site.
Weaving a memorable story into a brand’s services and products, experiential design provides an unexpected, game-like experience that enhances customer perceptions of the brand’s usefulness2. The terms “account-based marketing” and “personalized marketing” get thrown around a lot, but the idea is to give customers exactly what they want and nothing they don’t. When buyers feel a brand speaks directly to them, the encounter seems like it was simply meant to be.
Unique web experiences drive higher order conversations in a manner represented in Harvard’s B2B Elements of Value Pyramid3. Rather than focusing solely on the features of a product, businesses can connect with users on a deeper level by showing their brands hold a greater purpose. Similarly, the proven Double Diamond4 approach suggests brands shouldn’t simply jump into products and solutions, but instead envision the possibilities of a future state.
Put another way, to help your customers, you must address their human problems and talk about the “why” behind your technology. When big companies are solving big problems, being ordinary doesn’t suffice. They want to see you’re invested in solving those problems with them, and this impacts your entire business. From customer communications to segmentation to calls to action, you need to generate a human experience. If your users share a bit of information, for example, that shows they care about one slice of your offerings, the experience could adapt to focus on that one storyline and let them drill in for more information. Or maybe the experience could be used as a workshop tool to gauge the maturity of your website and rate the importance of items. By personalizing the interaction, you focus on the things your audience needs to drive real change in their business.
True thought leadership is about driving value and serving the wholeness of the individual. B2B is blossoming as companies take on best practices of values-based brands. Tech companies are gaining their humanity and we are here to help them achieve that.
Interested in learning more about how Experiential Web can help drive customer engagement with your brand? We’re here to help! To set up a brainstorming session, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
 “Video games show potential in improving key aspects of memory in older adults,” National Institute on Aging, September 24, 2020.
 Hafizul Islam, Charles Jebarajakirthy, and Amit Shankar (2021) “An experimental-based investigation into the effects of website interactivity on customer behavior in on-line purchase context, Journal of Strategic Marketing, 29:2, 117-140, DOI: 10.1080/0965254X.2019.1637923.
 Eric Almquist, Jamie Cleghorn, and Lori Sherer, “The B2B Elements of Value,” Harvard Business Review, March–April 2018.
 “Framework for Innovation: Design Council's Evolved Double Diamond,” British Design Council, May 17, 2019.
Associate Creative Director
Sr. Technical Writer and Editor