THE KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL BRAND ACTIVATION

With plenty of noise circulating the Internet and rowdy competitors, it’s often hard for a brand to get noticed. That’s why many businesses choose to stand out with a memorable brand activation. If you’re looking to grow brand awareness and connect with an audience that matters, you’re going to want to keep reading. What you might really need is a brand activation strategy that will truly deliver.

Brand activation ideas promote brands in an experience-based way that generates interest and allows an audience a true first-hand experience. Your brand activations can form part of an overall marketing strategy and help create positive brand perceptions that stick.

BRAND ACTIVATIONS AND BEST PRACTICES

Brand activation ideas can take many shapes and forms, with the right recipe at hand. To name just a few, your activation could include:

Experiential marketing
• Sampling campaigns
• Digital marketing
• In-store events
• Outdoor events
• Campaign promotions

According to Repsly, some of the most effective best practices for brand activations include;

a) Using your activation to boost sales by linking the event with a new release
b) Evoking an emotional response and ensuring people walk away feeling something
c) Leveraging different types of media to reach unique audiences and tell your story from a variety of angles

But before your brand activation becomes a big hit, it takes in-depth strategies, executable ideas and a hell-of-a-lot of planning. To get those inspiration juices flowing, we’ve outlined a few winning steps to creating a successful brand activation.

1. Focus on your audience
2. Build a strong concept
3. Be prepared
4. Be authentic
5. Do something really different
6. Measure your ROI
7. Follow up

FOCUS ON YOUR AUDIENCE

As simple as it sounds, the best and only place to start is to think about your audience every step of the way. Create detailed target audience profiles with qualitative and quantitative research to get to know your audience as best you can. Also keep in mind how people behave in activations so that you can create your campaign accordingly.

When you really know your audience, you’ll have the insight you need to create an entire campaign tailored towards their needs, problems or interests. It also gives you the upper hand in the opportunity to deliver over and above what they expect.

BUILD A STRONG CONCEPT

The big idea is everything. And it could mean a make or break in your brand activation. The creative concept needs to be something completely unique and intriguing in order to leave a mark in the audience’s mind.

If you’re looking for brainstorming tips and tricks, the best way to build a strong concept is to keep it in line with the nature of the brand, especially when searching for inspiration. Ideas don’t work if they’re not a right fit. If it is right, think about how you can incorporate technology like virtual reality and visuals.

But you’ll also need to be practical and lean in to an idea that is feasible, too. It’ll mean nothing if you can’t execute it properly.

BE PREPARED

Life happens, and there are often factors out of your control. When it comes to brand activations, it’s wise to consider the worst case scenarios so you can decide how you’ll overcome them. Have a back-up plan (or multiple) so that if someone falls ill, or the weather bombs out, you know exactly what to do. When you plan for every possible issue, there are no issues.

You can also consider what else you might need to be prepared for on the day, other than the resources, logistics or sustainability. For example, think about what languages might be spoken at the activation location, especially in our multicultural South Africa. This might require hiring a team that can speak different languages.

BE AUTHENTIC

The last thing any brand wants to come across as is pushy and sales driven. Yet so often many activations make it their aim to push sales. Show that your brand has personality by being genuine and authentic. You want your audience to get to know your brand in a way that’s real and true. This can be done by getting to know your audience better by asking questions, or hiring staff that fit the brand. Doing this can help gain valuable insights about your audience to better serve them next time.

DO SOMETHING REALLY DIFFERENT

Choosing to create a brand activation is definitely a way to stand out from the crowd, but make sure to do homework beforehand so that you can deliver something truly different. When it comes to brand activations and experiential marketing, the sky is the limit, and the crazier the idea, the more interesting. Look for gaps in the industry to introduce different, compelling messages and concepts that will sway your audience away from your competitors.

MEASURE YOUR ROI

One of the many questions business owners and marketing managers want to know is what the return on investment for brand activations looks like. Yes, brand activations do really work and you can measure them!

In order to measure ROI correctly, it’s crucial to set out clearly defined goals so you know exactly what you want to get out of the brand activation (and that the teams you’re working with are all in line with that vision, too). The cost of a brand activation should return in the form of leads, sales, conversions, brand ambassadors and social traction.

Keep in mind that when it comes to activations and ROI, there is no one-size-fits-all and it depends on the type of activation to begin with, of course.

FOLLOW-UP

It’s no secret that humans have a short attention span, and it’s not surprising either, considering that marketing constantly bombards us from all angles. That’s why it’s important that you don’t let your brand activation die out straight away when it’s over.

Create a way to connect via a follow-up activity. This could be another activation, an email, or even a discount code on a product to help your audience keep you top of mind.

WORK WITH THE RIGHT COMPANY

Great brand activations are changing the way people experience brands. And the difference between a mediocre event and a great one, means choosing the right events company to work with in the first place.

If you’re looking for brand activation services in South Africa, we know all about how to gain maximum engagement and exposure at the right place and time. Get in touch with the Jawbone crew to find out about the services we offer.

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