What is brand activation and how do you get it right?

Stand out from the crowd with a Honeycomb Activation

If you haven’t heard of brand activation, it’s a relatively recent term that relates to creating a genuinely personal connection with your leads.

Think of a new brand of salami. You may have seen an ad online or on a billboard and even walked past it on the supermarket shelves. However, when you go shopping and try a free sample, it gets ‘activated’ in your mind. Hey presto; your new favourite deli meat!

Free samples are all well and good for food products… but how do you activate your brand when you have something less tangible (and less tasty) to offer?

There are a couple of options:

Go digital

Creating a fun or compelling online experience can be a simple way to activate your brand. Many businesses use TikTok, Instagram and other platforms to create engagement and make connections that feel personal.

The advantage of this is that a pair of smiling eyes looking right at you always feels friendly. However, even if a user gets a kick out of seeing a fun video, they don’t have the opportunity to directly interact with a brand unless they take the next step. You’re also a very small fish in a very big and very diverse pond.

Product Giveaways

Like our supermarket example, the trusted ‘try before you buy’ method can work well. It presents the opportunity to share samples, but it can be a costly exercise.

What’s more, an attention-catching giveaway might get you noticed, but if you’re not capturing people’s details, you don’t really have the opportunity to continue the conversation.

Experiential campaigns

An experiential campaign can be a highly effective way to do something ‘out of the box’, make a personal connection and incorporate a branded giveaway.

A recent brand activation campaign that the Honeycomb team lent our support to was at a major conference (on a side note, isn’t it fantastic to be able to get together again in person?).

Here’s how it worked:

  • Our client set up a stall at the entry to the event and offered high quality branded journals to event delegates.
  • To create a point of difference, people were able to have their choice of text added to the front of the journal (usually their initials).
  • iPads at the front of the stall provided a place for the delegates to share their name, mobile number, email address and preferred text.
  • They then received an SMS when their journal was ready and were invited back to the stall to collect it. This gave the reps the opportunity to have a quick chat and make a personal connection.
  • Over the next couple of weeks, a follow up series of follow up emails drew the new leads further down the sales funnel.
Stand out at your next event

It’s human nature to want to do business with people you like.

A well-thought-out brand activation campaign that offers personalised items, almost on the spot, is one of the best ways to launch that connection. Your lead will have the opportunity to meet your people in person and then receive a gift that helps strengthen brand recognition.

Those personalised journals given out by our previous client are now being used at offices all over the country. They are a great talking point and feature the brand’s logo. They were selected to meet the needs of the target audience; busy professionals, and reflect the brand itself, which is a major publisher.

If you’re interacting in the digital realm and not back at in-person events yet, brand activation is still possible. Share a QR code on a Zoom conference screen, direct people to a link where they can upload their details and send your branded gifts through the post. You could even create a personalised video to send with it, encouraging leads to take up another special offer.

Why brand activation works

As shared by ecoconsultancy.com, it is important to “elicit an emotional reaction through content.”

Brand activation helps you to do this. Often a brand activation experience will be the first interaction someone has with your brand where they give it more than a passing glance. Providing them with a personalised gift that genuinely makes their day and delivers a memorable experience will create that emotional connection that you’re looking for.

Want to know more about creative and effective brand activation strategies at trade shows, conferences and events? Reach out to the Honeycomb team and learn how an activation can work for you.

Share This

Related Posts