What is Brand Activation and Why It’s Essential

Every time you step into a store to buy something, you immediately encounter thousands of brands competing for your attention.

But amongst the countless different products, there are those that immediately grab your attention, no matter how much else is going on. You will never mistake a Coca Cola brand with anything else, and it’s the same with a fast-food chain like McDonalds or even car brands such as Mercedes.

Did you ever stop to wonder how did these brands become so ingrained into our minds?

It surely didn’t happen by accident.

Any brand, at least in the beginning, is nothing more than an idea. And in order for that idea to become known and accepted by the market, it has to receive sufficient exposure.

This is where brand activation comes in – to put in shortly, it is a process of forming strong and long-lasting positive emotional connections between consumers and a brand. The most popular and effective approach for brand activation is through event activations – special promotional events that help the brand to quickly reach a wide audience.

Do you need brand activation?

In today’s saturated markets, a new brand cannot expect success without a clearly defined and carefully executed brand activation approach. Even more established brands must continue creating brand activation events, because it’s the only way to maintain and grow the share of the market.

But how to implement a brand activation?

There are different approaches, but all of them must aim to form a connection to the target audience’s emotions and passions by using strategies such as experiential marketing, digital campaigns, sampling campaigns and consumer promotions.

The main aim of any well-organized brand activation event is to drive the target consumer audience to action by using brand interactions and forming experience patterns in the mind of the consumer. The brands need to become associated with certain experiences and emotions, making the brand a living part of the experience.

A great brand activation method is to use experiential events to get publicity and quickly generate a buzz associated with a particular brand. Red Bull is a great example of an event activation– the company is consistently a part of the extreme sports industry, both as a sponsor and events host, and recently has made another splash with the very successful Felix Baumgartner’s Stratos Jump.

Another noteworthy example is the Mercedes Smart Car brand activation event, which has helped Mercedes increase brand awareness within the target demographic, increase exposure, as well as engage hundreds of people at the event and get over 300 registrations for test drives.

Finally, the Voltaren Pain Management Week managed to not only grab attention of thousands of people and promote healthy movement in the general public, but also successfully attempted a Guinness World Record for the “largest exercise ball fitness class” at the launch of the event.

These are just a few of the examples that clearly illustrate just how successful brand activations can be, therefore they should be considered an integral part of any comprehensive marketing campaign, and should not be viewed as a short-term or one-and-done project. Regularly creating experiential brand activation events that reach the right audience can ensure that a brand stays in the minds of its target audience and gains a significant edge over the competition.

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Acknowledgement of country

Alive Events Agency acknowledges the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first inhabitants of the nation and the traditional custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work.