Aug 2017

Brand Activation

Brand activation and its role in driving consumer engagement and awareness….

A lot of popular brands are using activations to build popularity and give consumers an experience that will make them feel a real personal connection to the company.

What is brand activation you may ASK?

Have you ever noticed when you go to buy a popular brand’s product, do you ever stop to ask yourself, how did they become so trustworthy and admired?

When a product is first manufactured or a service first offered on the market it is virtually unknown to the general public.

Take Trade Kings as an example. when the company tried to enter into the detergents market in the country, Zambians knew very little about Trade Kings.

Through the uses of consumer engagement marketing channels, such as memorable ad campaigns, experiential events, and consumer participation strategies, Trade Kings managed to gain the acceptance of the Zambian consumer as being a largest and reliable FMCG (Liquid, Pastes & Powders) manufacture in the country.

Sales increased in recent years with the campaigns like “boom, every mom has a story” and “Buy Zambian” being a huge success.

The process of making a brand well known and loved by consumers is called brand activation.

Consumer brand activations are a very crucial part of building a positive perception of a brand

This can be done through product samplings, in-store retail marketing, sponsorships, and experiential events.

This also encompasses the brand figuring out a few core features that will distinguish them amongst their competition in crowded marketplaces. They have to find brand positioning that will uncover assets that will highlight long term benefits to the company.

Brands must find a way to reach potential customers that can shift perceptions and create a real emotional engagement. These marketing events must bring up a positive feeling in the minds about them in order for them to become loyal customers and purchase their products.

Key principles  

To inspire demand for a particular brand, they must tap into the consumers’ passions using creative strategies and ideas.

Timing plays an important role in connecting consumers at the right time, and the right place so that the consumer becomes a motivated user and fan of the brand.

Using activation strategies, such as in person experience events, this can lead to the consumer starting to believe in the brand and what it stands for, which is a closer step in the path to purchase.

Brand activation case study     

Here is an example of how brand activation can work. Pirelli Tires relies heavily on a strategy built on key partnerships with Formula One grand prix events, in order to promote its tires as being high performance.

There is a huge value with being a part of this world class racing event, as is the value of the premier performance and technology of the tires.

Having the name and logo as a part of the F1 racing circuit emotionally engages the consumer and all fans of racing, since the events are associated with high performance vehicles and expert driving.


Strategies for implementing a consumer brand activation campaign:

Experiential events:

Live experiential marketing events are being used by global brands to help position the brand into the consumers’ minds by attracting and emotionally engaging them in personal experience.

These events give people a chance to try a product, ask questions about it and participate in some way that makes them feel a part of the brand.

This can be achieved by blending physical and digital experiences together, so that the participants are encouraged to use or sample the products.

The purpose is to reach people on multiple levels (emotional, rational, psychological) so that they walk away from event remembering what is was like to touch, taste, and feel the product rather than just reading about it.

Promotional marketing: 

Promotional marketing involves raising awareness of your brand and its products in order to generate more sales and gain a loyal customer base.

The targeting of promotional marketing can take many forms, it can be targeted at businesses, to retail and wholesale companies or it can be targeted at the end consumer.  Consumer promotions can be executed by using reward loyalty programs, giveaways, special offers, product samplings as well as point of sale displays.

Metrics for brand activation campaigns

When you want to create a brand activation campaign, the underlying objective should be to develop a face-to-face two-way conversation with your customers.

Consumer brand activations help to bring life into a company and can build a very loyal fan base. The caveat is you need to create engaging and memorable experiences that strike real emotions with your consumer.

Here is a list of some of the measurement factors to keep in mind.

Consumer reach. How many targeted consumers would this campaign activation touch and reach?  Is it on a national scale, worldwide tour, city wide or hyper local?

Brand relevance. Is this activation strategy and campaign relevant to the brand’s message and core values?

Return on investment. 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?

Long term potential. Do these activations campaigns give the brand any potential to gain sizeable long term benefits?

Integration capabilities. Will this brand activation campaign compliment and have the ability to integrate with other types of marketing channels within the company?

Uniqueness. Does your brand have a unique value or selling proposition that get consumers attention and make them want to talk about it?

Advantages of consumer brand activations 

Here are a few of the benefits of consumer activation:

Brand activation events, the consumer can give you feedback on what to change or improve as they are interacting with you.

It can bring life into an aging brand and even reach younger Millennials audiences.

It can help to reinforce the brand’s positioning in the minds of the consumer.

Helps to cut through the traditional advertising clutter (TV Commercials, Print, Web Ads)

It makes your brand more prominent.



Do not underestimate the influence experiential brand activation can play shaping the future and now relevance of a brand.

Brand activation are not meant to be measured in terms of sales made. Instead, they should be viewed as a way to generate awareness and visibility for a company through cultivating real life engagement experiences with the target consumer.

With the just ended 91st Agriculture and Commercial Show we at I-Rock hope you had the chance to exhibit and interact with your customers and increase awareness on your products and services. From all of us at I-Rock we wish you success and have a lovely week.

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