It’s 2019. You know that marketing matters. Brands that capture the public’s attention also earn their business, but the question is: what is the best way to convert people into or retain them as fans of your brand?
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What if we told you that there isn’t a best way, but it takes a marketing plan involving multiple channels? You need an agency experienced with creating events that amplify the experience beyond the event. What if we told you that what works well today will work less well in six months? You need a visionary team of marketers who are going to adapt their strategy as culture changes.
The one thing that will remain constant is that experience matters.
What is Brand Activation?
Brand Activation, simply defined, is when a business engages directly with the public. This type of marketing gives your business the chance to share its personality, connect with the community, and sample your products or services. Being a part of events is an effective way to support different communities: country music, LGBTQ Pride, sporting events, art festivals, or foodie gatherings. Being a generous presence at a community event is a great way to create a positive imprint in people’s minds and hearts. There’s no better way to convert someone into a fan of your brand than through face-to-face personal engagement.
The great advantage of experiential marketing is that it engages people with all of their senses. Some people learn by listening, others are visual, and many are kinetic. When you set up a footprint at an event, you can speak about, show, and sample your product or service. While social media matters, there is no digital way to replicate your brand’s smells, taste, and feel. When you create a Brand Activation, you give the public a much stronger sensory experience. Sometimes all it takes is one taste to convert a curious person into a loyal customer.
What does creating a Brand Activation entail?
While this may sound simple, keeping the experience for the potential customer free of complications is difficult to achieve. What you don’t see is a huge part of the effect you want to achieve. A skilled team of marketers can help you to do the heavy lifting so that the people attending the event can enjoy a seamless experience.
In addition to interacting with people about how they learn best, it’s also vital to connect with potential customers when they are open to new ideas. Someone attending an event is usually looking for new experiences. The excitement of the day often elevates their mood and can make them more receptive to new products. When someone is at work or home scrolling through social media, it’s not hard to imagine the fragment of attention you can hope to capture. When your potential customers are out in the world mixing with other people, there is a wider and much more powerful window of attention. After experiencing a brand in person, the things they see in social media will be that much more meaningful.
There are many ways to build a Brand Activation and you may want to consider a combination of the following:
• Brand Ambassadors interacting with the public
• Touring your experience around the country or world to reach new markets
• Samples of your product
• Influencers doing meet and greet experiences
• Multimedia displays that showcase your brand’s innovative character
• Selfie opportunities for the social share
• Branded giveaways (keychains, sunglasses, etc.)
• Contests, games, or raffles
• Measurement methods to show the reach of the experience
What are the most important considerations in designing a Brand Activation?
To stage a successful Brand Activation, you have to consider many factors. The design of the space is critical for creating brand recognition. It is essential to create a comfortable environment for the public, and it really matters that the space represents your brand with an appropriate level of professionalism. Working with an agency that designs brand experiences daily increases your chances of building a footprint that gives the public a positive and accurate sense of your brand. The goal is to create an authentic and digestible experience.
There are many logistical considerations. Will you need security? What will you do with the waste? Will you be providing food or beverages? Will you have screens or sound systems that require power? How do you get the best placement at an event? Who will be communicating with the event coordinator? Do you need permits? How to ship the product? How to manage the integrity of your products during travel and on the event site? How to activate in multiple cities at the same time? What is the most cost-effective way to plan and execute each event without lowering ROI? Before the time of the event, there are lots of important decisions to consider.
It’s also crucial to understand your target market and the events where your Brand Activation will occur. Do you know where your potential customers will likely be? Will they be attending baseball games or maker’s fairs? Some strategy is necessary to choose the best events for your activation. It’s also a good idea to think through the conditions that will be part of the event, whether it’s outside, at night, hot or cold, etc.
What will people who are attending the event need? For example: if it takes place in the hot sun during the summer months, you might want to give away branded sunscreen samples, cold waters, a visor, etc. If it is at night during colder months of the year, it might be wise to raffle off branded sweatshirts, give away coffee, etc. What demographics will be present? What would they like to receive? How can you best customize your presence at an event to be suited to the public in attendance?
In 2021, Experiential Marketing matters more than ever, and hiring an experienced agency is the best way to ensure a successful Brand Activation. At Evolve Activation, we understand the importance and challenges of creating a successful footprint. We are here to help you put your best footprint forward.