Guide to Brand Activation

The Brand Activation Guide For Connecting With Your Target Audience

Brand activation is an important process within event marketing. Learn everything there is to know about getting your audience to engage with your brand.
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September 11, 2022

A key factor in getting your business’ name out there is getting people familiar with your brand. This is known as brand activation. You may be wondering how to go about starting your brand activation journey, but in this guide we’ll show you how! 

What Is Brand Activation?

Brand activation is providing an experience to your target audience to increase awareness of the brand itself. Bringing awareness to your company will help to engage your target audience and makes for a better overall experience.

Guide to Brand Activation

Companies of all types, such as restaurants, music festivals and retail stores use brand activation to introduce a new feature or service, giveaways or even a change in messaging! If your company is a new start up or just starting out, using marketing activation will help to generate an audience that will remain loyal to you and your brand! 

The Benefits of Brand Activation

Brand activation comes with many benefits, for not only the consumer but also the company! Brand activation helps to build interaction between the customers and the company. Using different methods to increase brand loyalty will create your target audience and have them return to your brand in the future. 

  • Improved Communication 

Marketing activation will help companies to communicate better with customers and connect with them on a personal level. When you choose to connect with your customers on a personal and emotional level, they are more likely to choose your brand over competitors. 

  • Increased Industry Awareness 

If your company is going through a rebrand or you are introducing a new feature or service, reaching out to your audience is crucial. Awareness is the key to sharing the message you want your audience to resonate with your company. 

  • Audience Loyalty

Thanks to digital marketing, your company is able to deliver any marketing campaigns, contests or giveaways directly to your target audience. With events such as contests and giveaways, you are able to reward your most loyal customers and even thank them for their years of loyalty. 

4 Types Of Brand Activation

When it comes to brand activation, your strategy needs to be successful, but also fun and interactive for your audience. The great thing about brand activation is that it’s able to be done in person and virtually! There are 4 types of brand activation that will help to engage your target audience and introduce new consumers to your brand. 

1. Digital Marketing Campaigns 

People love to interact with online experiences! Whether you’re trying to promote your business or display a new product with an online marketing campaign, you are able to reach a much larger audience. With the use of digital marketing campaigns, you are also able to collect data from your consumers and use it for any marketing campaigns in the future. 

2. Experimental Events 

Engaging with your audience and ensuring they have the best experience possible is the ultimate goal of brand activation. With experimental events, you are able to engage directly with your target audience, both in person and on a digital platform. If your event is being hosted in person, you can have the attendees demo a new product or even talk to experts about this product. If your event needs to be virtual, don’t worry about any gaps in engagement! Having your audience participate in things like virtual simulators or playing games will still get them to engage with your brand. Connecting with your audience and listening to their feedback is the most important part of brand activation, and as long as your audience is having a good time, that is all that matters! 

3. In-Store Marketing 

When people decide to shop in stores rather than online, they usually have their minds made up on which stores they want to shop in. Brand activation helps to market new products to consumers in your store. Offering demos, free samples or having a new product launch in your store will drive traffic to your store and gain new customers! 

4. Social Media

It comes as no surprise that social media has seen a boom, compared to even 5 years ago. Social media has become such a popular way for brands to market themselves, as well as engage and interact with their target audience. Social media can become competitive between brands, however. Make sure that you set the tone of your brand on your social media channels, and stick to it! By using social media to promote an event or new product you are able to get consumers chatting about your brand. Using brand activation combined with social media is a great way to keep in contact with your audience as well as gain new consumers. 

10 Event Activation Ideas To Best Engage Your Audience 

How to increase brand awareness

If you’re looking to boost your interaction and engagement with your audience, trying out creative brand activation ideas can help you with that! Changing up the way you engage with your audience is a great way to keep your brand up to date in this ever changing world. One key factor to bring to these ideas is your energy - you want to get others excited for your brand, and that’s dependent on what you bring to these ideas. 

1. Giveaways 

Different types of businesses, such as food brands, clothing companies or even cleaning product companies will give away products to their loyal customers and target audience for them to try, with the promise of a review on social media. From there, the audience will go onto social media and post a picture, along with a hashtag provided by the brand. This method will increase brand awareness and will also be a fun and interactive experience for your customers. 

2. Host Influencers 

Everyone knows how an influencer can either make or break your brand or product. Influencers have thousands or even millions of followers who are ready to be a part of your target audience if they hear good things about your brand. Keeping your audience engaged as well as gaining new members of your audience will be beneficial to you and your brand in the long run! Reaching out to several influencers in different fields will help to gain a larger audience of all different kinds of people! 

3. Find Out What Your Audience Likes 

Having a target audience and knowing their likes and dislikes is crucial to your brand and your success. Listening to your audience and connecting with them on a personal level will allow you to truly understand what they like and what they hope to see from you in the future. 

4. Be Mindful Of Trends and Participate In Them

It seems as though there is a new trend emerging weekly. As a company and a brand, try to be mindful of these trends, and participate in them if you’re able to. Consumers enjoy seeing companies participating in trends; it gives them more of a connection to you! Using trends will attract customers, especially if they were unaware of your brand before. 

5. Create Loyalty Programs 

Customers, who truly enjoy your brand, are able to participate in your company’s loyalty program. Brand loyalty has many benefits for your audience, like turning into rewards! Reward packages can be sent to your loyal customers who can then promote those rewards on social media. 

6. Host Themed Parties 

Throwing a party for your company’s brand activation is a great and memorable way for people to engage with one another! Giving people a chance to mingle with the company and talk to others within the audience will allow for networking and the possibility of brainstorming new ideas. 

7. Host A Virtual Reality Event 

Engaging with your audience while using technology is a great way to interact, and virtual reality is the perfect tool! With a variety of different virtual reality options to choose from, your audience can choose which view they like best! Understanding what your audience enjoys will help you to connect with them on a more personal level. 

8. Try Out Food Printing

If you’re hosting an in-person event, you can have food and drink created with your company logo printed on! Company branded water bottles, or even desserts with your company logo printed on them are a great way to showcase your brand! They will be a topic of conversation during your event and even after the event is over. 

9. Try To Problem Solve As A Team

Problem solving happens every day, and how your brand solves a problem can have a huge impact on your audience. When an audience acknowledges a problem, and even tries to help solve that problem, they will remember how they worked together with the brand activation team and will remain loyal to your brand. 

10. Host Annual Events 

Celebrating anniversaries and achievements every year is a great way to gather customers. If your company has a new product they would like to showcase, an annual event is the place to announce it! The following year, you are able to look back at the year you’ve had and share the success. 

Ways to grow your brand

Examples Of Successful Brand Activation 

Hundreds of companies have gone through brand activation that has turned out to be very successful for them. Whether your event results in a giveaway or posting on social media, getting your audience engaged will help them create that personal connection. 

Use these examples to inspire your next event!

1. Hubilo x BizBash

Hubilo recently partnered with BizBash to host a retreat at the International Festival of Creativity in Cannes, located on the gorgeous French Riviera! At this festival, brand and event leaders came together to discuss marketing, creating new opportunities, and the future of events. These executive meetings took place on a yacht (how fun!) and were used to discuss how the digital and virtual business world is here to stay. Taking your meetings to the next level and having out of the box events(or booths) is a fun way to get work done, get real-time feedback from your audience and as always, network, network, network!

2. Starbucks Design A Cup 

Everyone knows the iconic white cup from Starbucks. And back in 2014, Starbucks held a contest for consumers to draw a design on the white cup, submit the design on social media with the hashtag #WhiteCupContest. The winning design was used for a reusable plastic cup. This contest allowed consumers to express their creativity while also promoting the company on social media. 

3. Pepsi Challenge

It’s been a question people have been asking for years: Pepsi or Coke? Starting back in the 1980’s, Pepsi held pop up stands and challenged their consumers to a blind taste test. Participants had to sample two cups of cola and try to determine which one was Pepsi and which one was Coca Cola. According to the results, people picked Pepsi over Coke in a landslide. It was a brilliant idea and it got people talking about the Pepsi Challenge. Small prizes such as keychains, pens and hats were given away to people who chose correctly. 

4 Tips For Effective Brand Activation 

When activating your brand, understand that everyone may not be receptive to it. However, loyal audiences will always stick with your brand and these 3 tips will help you retain your audience. 

  1. Respect Your Audience 

Some people will look at your brand activation as a publicity stunt, but don’t let that bring you down! Respecting and understanding your audience and what their needs are will guide you in the direction in which your audience wants. 

  1. Find Inspiration Everywhere

If you’re stuck thinking of ideas for brand activation, look at what your peers are doing to gather inspiration. You can see from your peers what audiences positively respond to versus what they don’t like. Just ensure the idea is your own by adding your own brand’s touch! 

  1. Be Human 

It’s important to remember that your audience are real humans with real emotions. Trying to connect with them and trying to better understand who they are will be beneficial for everyone. Putting names to faces will make your company that much more trustworthy and approachable. 

  1. Listen To Feedback 

Your audience are the ones you’re trying to target, and what they have to say matters! Having open lines of communication between you and your audience will help clear up any misunderstandings or blurred lines and allows for a pleasant user experience. 

Examples of brand activations

How To Activate Your Brand 

Brand activation can come in a variety of different options. Companies can hold contests, pop up events or partner with influencers. The main thing to remember is to make that long lasting connection with your target audience. Listening to your audience on their likes can help to improve your brand and listening to their dislikes helps you to avoid something that won’t go over well in the future. Thinking of out-of-the-box ideas for meeting spaces is a fun and interactive way to host your event! When activating your brand, thinking of ideas that are fresh and innovative will help keep your brand top of mind.

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