In a nutshell, brand activation is the process of driving consumer actions through interaction and experiences centred around the brand. It is a new approach towards marketing and is achieved by innovative concepts like experiential marketing and other activation solutions. Brand activation is a highly effective marketing paradigm, especially with the younger millennials and Gen Z.
Any campaign, experience, or event that enables a brand to interact directly with the consumer with the intention of building brand loyalty and a community around the brand’s product and services is considered as brand activation. BTL marketing activities for brand activations have grown in popularity in response to the changing attitude towards traditional marketing and the rise of experiential technology.
More and more people are becoming distrustful of the traditional model of advertising, which was based around highlighting the unique selling points of the product or service. A brand activation agency focuses on creating a genuine relationship between the brand and the consumer instead of just highlighting the product or service. This is usually achieved by using experiential technology to create immersive brand experiences for consumers.
While both of the terms may seem interchangeable, there is a difference between brand activation and experiential marketing. Let’s take a look at some of the differences:
While a brand activation campaign is all about creating a strong, honest impression on the consumer’s mind that the promises made by advertising are true. Marketing based on experiences further amplifies the promises of advertising by creating in-depth experiences which makes the consumer actually understand the brand’s value.
Experiential marketing is often used as a method of brand activation. However, it is important to remember both of them are not the same. Brand activation involves marketing based on experiences, but in totality, it is a broader concept which encompasses a lot of other ideas too.
A brand activation campaign usually involves multiple touchpoints for the consumer. This is done in order to create a multi-sensory immersive experience for the consumer which will connect them with the brand on a genuine level. It is the starting point of an ideally genuine and honest relationship between the brand and the consumer.
Because of these reasons, there are multiple methods used by a brand activation agency when creating a campaign whose objective is to activate a brand. Let’s take a look at some of the most important methods of brand activation that are normally used in a brand activation campaign.
If not the most critical, experiential marketing is a vital part of brand activations.
In today’s age, it is the most effective way of reaching millennials and Generation Z who have grown distrustful of traditional marketing. Experiences matter a lot to the young portion of the population at large and experiential marketing is one of the best ways to leverage experiences for brands.
Products like Wootclub’s Instagram Hashtag Printer, Green Screen Photo Booth, Magic Mirror etc can be used to create a branded experience for consumers to connect with a brand during an event. The idea is to connect the consumer with the brand in a way that is truly integrated. Wootclub’s Social Mosiac is another tool that can be used to make consumers truly feel like they’re a part of the brand instead of being the consumer of the brand.
In-store activations is also a part of brand activation solutions.
The idea is to present the product or service of the brand in direct contact with the consumer so they can experience it first hand themselves.
Experiential technology can be used during in-store activations to create an additional layer of experience and narrative over what used to be a simple demonstration of the product or service. Utilizing in-store activation is best for brands which have highly demonstrable products. Of course, it is up to the brand and the brand activation agency to come up with the most creative way to create experiences that are immersive since the quality of experience matters hugely when it comes to brand activations.
There are different methods of brand activations, too, like sampling campaigns and creating brand experiences at an event.
Sampling campaigns is an event which allows a consumer or group of consumers to experience the product or services of a brand first hand as a sample for free.
The idea behind sampling campaigns is also very simple – let the people have a taste for your product for free and if they find it good, they’ll come back for more. Sampling campaigns can be considered old-school experiential marketing since the entire concept revolves around the consumer, basically experiencing the brand’s products or services.
Another channel for brand activations are events where the consumer can go through a branded experience that is relevant and fun.
This creates a lasting impression on the mind of the consumer about the brand, which can then be used to create a lasting relationship between the brand and the consumer.
Brand activation is the next leap of marketing which is more focused on experiences rather than the brand’s products and services. Brands need brand activation because traditional advertising is becoming ineffective with the new generations like millennials and the new Generation Z, who do not trust the traditional methods of marketing anymore.
With a successful brand activation strategy, brands can create a more immersive and impressive impression in the minds of the consumer leading to higher revenue.