Have you ever walked into an event and welcomed by a sales agent offering a free taste or a free trial? Or maybe drop by an office building and unexpectedly get a freebie or chance upon huge discounts? These activities are not staged in these specific locations for nothing. This is one of the marketing efforts organized by companies to support their business. Today, let me tell you about the wonder that is called brand activation.
Let us look at this concept this way. Say for example you are a new business that sells high-quality shoes. Your friends and relatives know of your business, sure, but they are not enough to give you the number of sales you need, are they? Hence, it doesn’t matter if your business is successful in its operations if your target market does not even know who you are. This is where brand activation enters the equation. Brand activation is when you use different innovative methods and experiences that create a positive emotional reaction in your audience and encourage them to use this emotion to choose your brand over your competitors. To describe it in a few words, brand activation is bringing your brand to life. In fact, this is a step that leads to brand awareness. In your marketing plate, it goes under the P for Promotion.
Still, as a business coach, I am surprised when a client has little to no idea about the advantages of this marketing concept. As a response, I ask them the same examples I mentioned above.
Methods of Brand Activation
There are many creative ideas that businesses come up with to complete their brand activation strategy. Below are three methods that could inspire you.
1. Sampling Campaign
Usually implemented by those in the food and beverage industry, sampling campaigns reach out to the target market by providing them with free samples of their products. This is done with the hope that those who are able to taste it would be a loyal customer and endorse the product to their friends.
2. Experiential Marketing
This is commonly embraced by the real estate industry and uses state-of-the-art technology. Top developers in the country today provide clients with a 3D walk-through of a specific property and virtual tours of pre-selling and master-planned communities. Through these efforts, they succeed in raising brand awareness as well as instigating a memorable experience for their prospective customers.
3. In-Store Brand Activation
We see this done by real estate companies, which put up their booth inside malls in order to establish brand awareness. Luxury cars often use this strategy, too. If you’ve seen a car display in one of the malls, that’s a brand activation scheme. It allows clients to have further exposure with the product (and even try it) so that it stays on top of mind in purchasing decisions.
There are also other means of brand activation, such as participating in trade shows, festivals, sporting events, and sponsorship. Of course it would depend on your budget and your target market.
Benefits of Brand Activation
Here are reasons why you need to do brand activation as part of your marketing. This goes for both small and big businesses that still grapple with leads, sales, and profit. In general, brand activation highlights your brand presence. Specifically, it does the following:
Gets direct feedback from clients
Brand activation is different from brand marketing because the latter is a continuous effort of maintaining the brand’s image, whereas, the former is short-term. As such, the feedback is also received immediately. For instance, in a sampling campaign, you could ask the customers to tell you what they think of your product, what they like best, and how they think it could be improved.
Generates brand recall
Brand activation helps to create brand recall. You can do this by providing an easy-to-remember and/or unforgettable setup or experience. For example, I will remember an exhibit that has eye-catching details compared to a clumsily put up one. In other words, the experiential space should work to promote your brand.
Strengthens connection with customers
Brand activation aims to emotionally connect with the clients, in a positive way, so that they will decide to build a relationship with your brand. A parent with a child is most likely to choose a clothing brand that she has an emotional connection with, such as participation in an event, freebies, or a special sponsorship.
Engages prospective clients
All these being said, the end goal is to engage potential customers into buying your product or service. The elements you’ve put together in brand activation campaign work to pull the customers into making the decision to choose you among their many other options.
As an entrepreneur, you have to consider the repercussions of every marketing activity. Rest assured that if done properly, brand activation won’t let you down. After all, your brand speaks about and for you.
This is Joey Gurango, your Business Technology Coach!