Brand activation is the process of building awareness for a business by engaging directly with customers via some kind of unique brand experience. This can be done using various types of events and marketing campaigns. However, it is absolutely essential to design an event or campaign that best suits your brand identity while also enhancing customer experience; otherwise you may inadvertently hinder the popularity and/or reputation of your business.
There are a number of different methods used to introduce customers to a brand (or rebrand), including experiential marketing, sampling campaigns and in-store brand activation. A business could use one or all of these options in order to raise its profile.
Experiential marketing (otherwise known as engagement marketing) invites an audience to interact with a business in a real-world situation. This marketing strategy provides the perfect opportunities to leave a positive, lasting impression on customers by showing them not just what the business offers, but what it stands for. There is also the possibility of a wide social media reach, as pictures, videos and posts about unique and memorable events are all but guaranteed. Therefore a branded hashtag is always a useful element to add to any experiential marketing campaign, as it is sure to instigate discussions regarding the experience.
According to Forbes, experiential marketing can go a long way to creating a lasting connection between a business and its customers. It also gives the business a chance to collect vital data about participating customers, which can help when formulating future marketing strategies. Because of these reasons, it is reported that more than half of chief marketers will spend at least a fifth of their marketing budget on experiential events in the near future. In fact, 65% of brands that currently use experiential marketing say that it positively correlates with sales.
Past examples of experiential marketing include:
Sampling campaigns give customers the chance to try a business’ products for free. This is a simple yet effective way of introducing potential customers to a business while creating a buzz via social media and word of mouth.
Some of the most popular sampling campaigns in recent years include:
In-store brand activation involves promotions or events within the business’ physical location. This is often combined with experiential marketing in order to engage customers by allowing them to interact with your business premises and brand.
Examples of in-store brand activation include:
Visual Architects have an expertise in brand activation, having created bespoke designs for a number of businesses in recent years. In addition to the Adidas campaign mentioned about, these include:
Adidas x Footasylum x Mason Collective. As mentioned earlier in the blog, the Mason Collective threw a launch event at the Brickworks club in Manchester, alongside Adidas and Footasylum, to be the face of the national campaign for the new Yung-96 trainer. The theme concept brought the event back to the ‘90s rave culture by creating a distinct Hacienda feel with a neon twist and immersive design features to give an underground vibe.