What was your initial thought when you first heard the term ‘brand activation’? Mine was ‘must be another fancy marketing jargon’. I mean, right?
But if we take time to understand what it really means and where it stands in the whole idea of ‘branding’, brand activation is actually quite interesting topic of its own. Every brand has marketing strategies, but not every brand knows how to engage with consumers. This is where brand activation comes into play.
Isn’t it just brand marketing?
Yes, sort of. Except that it is more specific with concrete goals and actions. Brand activation is a part of brand marketing. It actually is a big part of it. It is about interaction and engagement. It adds personality to the impression that precedes.
How important is it?
Now, let’s say we have great visual branding, we also have brilliant content. Our brand is charming, very charming. But without brand activation it is cold and distant. If we shall use a metaphor, our brand is now like Robert Pattinson, the Twilight actor. He is pretty and lovely in interviews. But he is also known to alienate and diss his fans. That is why, let’s be honest, he could be so much more. We don’t want our brand to be Robert Pattinson, we want it to be Hugh Jackman. Or if we are a little ambitious, try Beyonce!
We want our brand to be lively, to interact with the audience and be seen on many activities. Brand activation is all about that.
How do we do it?
Since we live in Surabaya and different places may require different treatments, we are going to talk about some of the effective ways to activate your brand in Surabaya. These are quite generic ways, but the impact may vary depending on your target market and demographic.
- In-store promotions
In-store promotions usually align with holidays and important dates where the sales normally skyrocket. We think most businesses with physical stores run this strategy. A few things to note, however, we need to be wise with the kind of deals and promotions you are offering. Is discount the best way to go? Or does buy X get X work better for your business? Or is it point reward? Different businesses have different consumers and different things that attract them.
- Social Media
Social media is an important part of brand activation. Brands nowadays do giveaways on social media. We can be creative with different competitions that we can do online. But remember to always align any online activation with whatever is happening offline.
- Join local events
If your brand is not a national-scaled brand, then chances are creating an independent event is a risky move. But you still need to get out there. Joining a local market or creating a collaborative event with other local brands would be great for brand awareness and exposure. You may reach new customers you never knew existed.
- Campaign or movement
This relates so much with storytelling. The campaign the brand will introduce and carry should come from what the brand believes in. It should then be launched at the right time (better if it is during an event). Also remember that it has to have a climax or end purpose.
At the end of the day, brand activation is exactly what the name suggests. To be active and get out there is to attract. To activate your brand is ultimately to activate your audience.