Brand Activation – Why Do Brands Need It?

Brand activation is a new word in business. The brand activation is the process of attract the consumer to your brand through campaign, events, promotion, digital campaigns. Brand activation permits to consumers/customers to find your new products and re-launched products. The brand activation is a strong connection built between the brand and the customers which permit to him to proceed to the purchase action. In certain words, this is a way to educate your clients. The goal of a brand activation strategy is not necessarily an increase of purchase but more about the human dimension, the goal is to increase the brand image, the brand loyalty.

We can split the process of brand activation in five steps: start with what do you want from your customer, what is your audience and what they currently think about you, plan your objectives, what is your power in the brand activation, think about the future and try to know what will be possible in the future with this action, the continuity.

The brand activation aims at developing a sustainable and emotional link between the customer and the brand by putting the customer experience at the heart of the reflection. The objective of the leading activation is to generate some commitment for booster sales. The brand activation works in the form of annual program integrated to develop the synergies. It consists in organizing multiple speaking on all the touch relevant points so inside as outside of the point of sale. If the message has to remain coherent, the speaking has to be adapted according to the public, the timing and the environment.

The idea for brands is to find a solution attract more potential consumers, this is going to change the perceptions of the brand and create a consideration for the brand and why not an engagement. Brands, as mentioned earlier, have to make this symbiosis through events, and ideas to switch potential clients to clients to loyal customers. Organizing original and special events is one of the them, people can be bored to be invited and attend to events which are the same from a brand to another, they want to live unique experience through events and the more you are going to be original, the more the customer will remember you and associate your brand to this event. During this events you have to give to the client the possibility to try products, and push them to ask question about products and the brand, this is the best way to convince, brands have to engage the client in the event, he is not a guest, he is a participant. At the end, the goal for the attendee is to be engaged and let him know more about the brand and its specifications.

Today, this activation can be done thanks to the blend of physical and digital elements which we will analyse in detail later. The purpose is to reach people on multiple levels: emotional, rational and psychological. How do you measure it? Quite difficult to answer because it is quite new, it is not a scientific process or quantitative one. But there are some questions to answer. According to an article the first one concerns the consumer directly and would be “How many targeted consumers would this campaign activation touch and reach?  Is it a national scale, worldwide tour, city wide or hyper local?” In a sense, if we analyze this question, the importance is to know the consumer and do we want to reach all the consumers, we have to define a special geographical area; do we have to include in the strategy any specific cross-cultural management? This is lots of questions that brands have to answer before launching a brand activation campaign.

The second question has a link with the brand relevance, “Is this activation strategy and campaign relevant to the brand’s message and core values?” We can ask more questions to understand that one is it necessary to launch a new activation campaign? Is there a link? Are we coherent? Do we neglect our storytelling, our current clientele? This part of analysis is the core reflection for the brand. The brand has to ask itself all these questions to do not run into the wall.

The brand activation strategy is not a part of the all strategy; it is taking part of the company and the brand coherence. Nothing has to be neglect and all the elements have to be taken into account before launching something which will have necessary an impact on the brand.

Third element is that each time a brand spent money on the project, the return on investment is the priority, 10$ invested has to bring 1000$ to the company, has an example. In the case of the brand activation, “Can you measure the benefits vs the cost? Activation awareness campaigns should not always be measured in financial terms and sales. Were you able to capture consumer data, such as emails, social media followers and other future marketing leads and opportunities?” The brand activation, as mentioned is hard to measure. Brands have to ask themselves if they are ready to do not see any return on investment (financial return) but more about brand awareness. The idea, has mentioned in the question is not necessary about the financial side of the investment but more about the marketing side, are we able to collect data, and use it, after, with a relevant manner.

The next question was more about the time, how long does the brand activation campaign will last. “Do these activations campaigns give the brand any potential to gain sizeable long term benefits?” In a brand activation campaign the idea is to have a direct impact on the awareness of the brand but more of that, to have to long term benefit in order to evolve the customer base. Short term benefits can deform the expected results. The brand wants client remember them has long as possible, always with a good opinion. In this question, long term benefits are about the image reflected, financial benefits (easier to measure on the long term).

The following question was linked to the integration capabilities. “Will this brand activation campaign compliment and have the ability to integrate with other types of marketing channels within the company?” In fact, this question is one of the most important of the article. As I had the opportunity to say before, the brand activation is taking part of the all brand’s strategy. All the tools and campaigns have to be in coherence, digital tools, printed toosl (catalogue, brochure, press release), events, advertising. The idea is the image, when a client or a potential client will see your brand somewhere he/she has to determine easily the brand and the message, and if he/she hears something after, he/she has to determine very quickly that it is the same brand in question. The communication strategies, the marketing strategies, the brand activation strategies, the financial strategies, the product development strategy, have to go in the same way for the successful campaign and future.

Penultimate question: “Does your brand have a unique value or selling proposition that get consumers attention and make them want to talk about it?” No company can run correctly a business if it does not have a USP: unique selling proposition. The question is divided into two parts, the USP and the word-of-mouth. The USP is also the promise of the brand to their customers and potential customers. The USP must not be able to be used by competition and must be based on a truly differentiating element. The second part of the question if about the communication by the consumer to the other. The second part of the question concerns the attention of the consumer to your USP. Does you USP is enough different, remarkable, that the consumer will remember it and broadcast it to his entourage? What is your strength? In Marketing we always analyse the SWOT, there what is your real added value compare to your competitor or added value on the market. For example, if you are on a blue ocean, consumer will very rapidly differentiate you and talk about you, because you are the only one. Push the customer to talk about your brand is the key to success.              .

Last but not least, the question is “Is it possible if needed to be able to make changes in order to increase amplification of the overall activation campaign?”. It is a tricky question; does a brand can change its activation campaign if needed? It is not the idea! You can improve it, evolve it but still keep the direction. Improve it to increase the amplification; I can just encourage brands to do this. Brands do not have to be afraid to dare something that they never have done before. If it is well though, with a precise strategy. Brand which does not dare will definitely die within few months. A brand, a company is like a human being: you can achieve results, but you always want more because it is what keeps you alive.

To conclude this part, the brand activation strategy is mandatory, nowadays for every brand which want to continue to run the business. It is a part of the marketing strategy, but more of that a part of the overall strategy of the company. The brand activation can sometimes be difficult to understand, and understand the purpose of it, but once it is done it has its complete place in mind.

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