Brand activation. It sounds like someone put all the marketing buzzwords in a bag and drew two out, doesn’t it?
Eye rolls aside, brand activation is an intriguing concept, and one that’s entirely new to marketing as a whole. It’s about making increasing engagement and interaction through an experience, ultimately raising awareness and perception. It sounds like it might be just for new products or brands, but that’s not the case.
What sets it apart from brand marketing is that brand activation is tied to some sense of change. It’s about revitalization, reinvigorating, bringing life or a sense or something new back. Brand marketing is ongoing promotion; brand activation is a jumpstart. It applies to you whether you’ve been in the business for ages or just starting out.
Per April5, a brand activation campaign typically includes some elements of:
- consumer promotions
- experiential marketing
- shopper marketing
- digital campaigns
- sampling campaigns
Building a Successful Brand Activation Strategy
The best initiatives are strategic and driven by return on investment (ROI). Activating your brand should be strategically embedded in your marketing mix, not assigned or done as a standalone project. This allows your organization to budget appropriately and align objectives with existing measures for success. You can also use research previously done to sound out a campaign before rollout.
But this doesn’t mean you should follow existing templates to measure success. As influencer marketing is showing us, it’s not all about sales at the end of the day. Brand activation campaigns generate awareness, brand switching, brand loyalty, and more. It’s more about employing the right tactics to influence behavior, leading to sales.
Brand Activation Examples
EConsultancy points out a few examples of campaigns which used a variety of channels and touchpoints to connect with customers:
- In-store brand activation: Monty the Penguin
This campaign featured a wide variety of media, but the in-store activities are what made it blow up. Spaces uses Antarctica as a theme, Oculus Rift-like glasses to create a VR component, a storybook, and more. Building an in-store experience is our domain–we’re no stranger building displays–and can help create products in line with your vision.
- Sampling campaigns: Mountain Dew
We’ve all avoided eye contact with someone standing on a street corner trying to push tiny samples int our hands. Harrying busy commuters is hardly the kind of awareness you want to build. But Mountain Dew, in their sampling brand activation campaign, opted to go with the flow. They created an experience team that traveled around the country, sharing samples at festivals and popular events.
These campaigns might not sound like anything overly impressive or amazing. But that’s a great feature of these kinds of campaigns: the innovation lies with the users. These allow brands to use user-generated content for marketing, and they’re the ones who carry it on.
When you’re ready for some materials in your next brand activation campaign, we’ll be waiting.