Let’s talk about brand activation. Your company has plans to launch a strategy to generate buzz and increase awareness of your brand. And it might include ad campaigns, launch events, or live demonstrations. But what can you be doing to promote your brand activation efforts more effectively? How do you know if you’re including all the critical components for brand activation success? And how are you supposed to measure results?

You have questions. We have answers. Keep reading to explore some of the most common questions we see about brand activation and marketing. We’ll provide all the clarity and answers you need to be confident in your brand activation strategies.

1. What is brand activation, anyway?

It might sound like a buzzword, but there is relevance behind the concept. In its more basic form, a brand activation is ANY experience you create to introduce or further drive awareness of your brand to your target audience. It’s not about advertising, though. Brand activation is a dedicated event or campaign designed to authentically engage with your top prospects in a meaningful way.

Here are some examples of brand activation events from some pretty well-known brands:

Lipton Iced Tea: In London, Lipton set up a giant lemon bathtub in the streets and encouraged passers-by to “Be a Daybreaker” and jump in.

Starbucks: In Canada, Starbucks created a “Sparkle Shop,” which was essentially a pop-up store campaign to surprise local customers with a fresh line of new, cold beverages.

Dunkin’ Donuts: In their “Dunkin’ Donuts Giveaway RV” campaign, DD offered portable giveaways, handing out cold drinks and donut favorites to RV drivers passing through.

2. How does a company ‘activate’ a brand?

Another common brand activation question is, “how in the world can a brand be activated, especially if it already exists?” Even if your brand has been around for decades, like some of the examples mentioned above, you can still use a brand activation event or campaign as a form of experiential marketing to get prospects to interact with your products or services and gain a better understanding of what your brand is all about. Each new potential interaction is essentially an activation since new people are experiencing your product or service. And growing awareness of your offerings is the primary objective.

3. Does my company need brand activation?

Any company can benefit from a brand activation. New startups, of course, can use brand activations to launch their brands. Established brands can use activation campaigns to rebrand or introduce new products. And anytime there’s a market share opportunity, your company can leverage brand activations to engage new customers in an authentic way.

4. Do brand activations actually work?

Yes! Brand activations are great for putting products and services in the hands of your ideal audiences. They’re essential for creating emotional responses from your customers, too, solidifying their connection to your brand. A hands-on, product-sampling and in-person approach will ensure audiences remember you.

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5. What does brand activation typically include?

Your brand activation campaigns can be entirely customized to suit your brand, your products or services, and your target audience. There isn’t a cookie-cutter template to follow. However, you can look to incorporate certain attributes into each marketing endeavor, assigning rules to how you execute your brand activation event or initiative. From campaigns and demos to product launches and activation events, be diligent about the following:

  • Every engagement should be interactive in a meaningful way
  • Every engagement should build a connection between your brand and your audience
  • Every engagement should seek to achieve precise brand activation goals
  • Every engagement should align with your brand image and values
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6. What are the benefits of brand activation?

This multi-faceted approach to marketing can help your company establish a one-to-one relationship with your potential customers. This connection, rooted in authenticity, will elevate your brand beyond the products and services you offer. Here are a few core advantages of a brilliantly executed brand activation.

  • Provides direct engagement with your market
  • Strengthens the relationships your brand has with your ideal customers
  • Creates a ripple effect of adoption throughout all your marketing campaigns

7. Is brand activation similar to experiential marketing?

Brand activations and experiential marketing do have a lot in common. Both allow companies like yours to create interactions with your offerings and your customers. Samples, demos, and live events, typically associated with experiential marketing, allow your ideal customers to interact and interface with your products or services directly. This hands-on approach to marketing is a common characteristic of brand activations, as well. And you can leverage both simultaneously to achieve a highly engaged experience.

8. What are the psychological strategies behind brand activation?

Brand activations aren’t just marketing buzzwords. There’s actual science and psychology behind getting a product into a customer’s hands or engaging with an audience with an activation campaign. Emotional components and FOMO are great examples of psychological benefits. Here are just a few more of the psychological tactics marketers tap into when executing a brand activation:

  • Color Psychology: Emotional connections with your brand image, using color. Within the first 90 seconds of interacting with your brand, between 62% and 90% of those assessments are associated with colors.
  • Customer Experience: Personalized and first-hand product experiences are more impactful than any traditional marketing
  • Social Proof: Sharing your brand activation on social media, along with campaigns that inspire your customers to share their experiences, will only reinforce your brand and offerings
  • Visual Storytelling: Brand activations are great channels for experience storytelling, which is more effective when attracting new customers.

9. How does brand activation work with other marketing strategies?

Brand activations won’t carry your entire marketing efforts alone. But they’re exceptionally great at working with and boosting all of your other marketing strategies. For best results, make sure your activation campaigns are cross-implemented throughout all of your channels, including social media, email marketing, digital ads, and online.

10. What if my company needs help with planning and/or implementing a brand activation?

If you’re planning to move forward with a brand activation initiative and you still need guidance, let ONE MEDIA MARKETING be your guide! With extensive experience spanning decades in helping brands and companies like yours elevate brand and product experiences, we can provide the strategies and resources you need to execute your activation event seamlessly!

ONE MEDIA MARKETING is your partner with all your brand activation marketing efforts. And whatever questions you have about creating an effective marketing strategy, our team has the answers!