At the heart of every good marketing strategy lies impeccable branding that employs the values, persona and identity of the brand and helps it rise above the competitive market. All these key facets come together to build a story that resonates with people, raises the awareness of the brand and helps to form a more personal connection with your target audience. So what exactly is the best way to build this relationship? This article aims to cover all you need to know about brand activation strategy, the different types of experiential marketing, and the approaches for creating a successful brand activation experience.
What is a Brand Activation Strategy?
Brand activation strategy helps to connect with your customers directly, foster brand engagement and purchase decisions. Usually held in conjunction with a new product launch, showcase of a limited-edition collection or as a part of a rebranding initiative, it aims to increase your brand’s presence and engage customers on a personal level. Bringing your audience through an engaging and memorable brand activation experience gives them a chance to understand your brand better and foster meaningful relationships, building customer loyalty in the process.
Experiential marketing events have been statistically shown to bring colossal growth in engagement rates and brand loyalty, directly increasing brand awareness and profit sales. 91% of consumers reported that they would be more inclined to purchase the brand’s product or service after participating in a brand activation or experience, and 40% felt they became more loyal to the brand.
Prada ‘Outdoor – Coast’ Pop-Up is one of the successful examples of a brand activation campaign, designed and fabricated by Dezign Format. By bringing the themed display and products outside of its conventional retail store space, shoppers were offered a refreshing and engaging experience. Creative presentation of the brand’s collection complemented the launch of clothes and accessories, capturing the mood of summer days at the beach while being indoors.
The Importance of Brand Activation
While traditional marketing focuses solely on the product and its features, brand activation campaigns are aimed to foster a genuine relationship between the brand and the consumer. A successful event includes a detailed study of a target audience accompanied by a selection of immersive experiences that encourage shoppers to engage with a brand. Launching a successful brand activation campaign leads to a memorable experience and a better understanding of brand’s value – both of which are a substantial part of every marketing strategy today.
Interactive content is particularly effective when it comes to younger millennials and Gen Zs. Time and time again, research has shown that Gen Zs place a higher value on brand authenticity when it comes to products and services. Young consumers are no longer solely interested in just products but place a higher importance and regard with its story, the values it upholds and represents.
As a leading events management company in Singapore with an extensive experience in marketing and experiential campaigns, the team at Dezign Format has the key expertise in brand activation and event planning strategy. From conceptualisation to building, fabrication and project management, we are a conclusive end-to-end agency that curates brand activation solutions and events.
Key Approaches to a Successful Brand Activation Event
When it comes to planning a brand activation experience, there really is no answer that fits for all brands. It’s a delicate mix of different components such as your brand story, desired brand positioning, target audience and their preferences. Here are some different approaches your brand can adapt when designing a brand activation event.
There are three key points to consider before leaping into the world of brand activations and experiential marketing campaigns. The first is understanding your customers’ standpoint on products, the second is knowing your brand story well, and the third is finding the elusive sweet spot where both of the first two points meet.
Experiential marketing revolves around branded engagement and authenticity because they build memories with your consumers, instead of flashy gimmicks that may fade away in time.
Dezign Format partnered with Singapore Airlines to launch an experiential marketing experience for their Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, recreating a true-to-life remodel of the in-flight cabin with actual seats from the aircraft. Aiming to provide an unforgettable brand experience for passengers both old and new, the brand activation allowed guests to experience all the iconic airline has to offer, from the seats, to the food served as well as the inflight entertainment programmes.
Sampling campaigns are a type of a brand activation strategy that brings customers up-close and personal with a chance to get acquainted with products and services. Highly effective, it creates an incomparable positive reinforcement of your brand within the customers, for they manage to experience first-hand what your brand has to offer. The crucial determining factor of a sampling campaign is identifying your target audience and knowing where and when to reach them.
Sampling campaigns go far beyond just handing out products to interested passersby on the street. The interaction between consumer and brand needs to be an authentic brand moment, such as Estée Lauder’s sampling campaign where make-up artists offered personalised makeovers to customers. While waiting for make-up masterclasses to begin, the participants could try their luck at an interactive gift vending machine that gave them a chance to win unique Estée Lauder gift products.
In-store events are a great brand activation strategy that brings audiences into your space, offering an interactive realm where shoppers can experience your products or services by touch. Reimagined fresh ideas can often bring about high revenue sales, which can be tracked by establishing goals, measuring foot traffic, as well as evaluating competing promotions.
Inspired by the fun and sun-soaked beachside days, The Dior Beach Club Summer Pop-Up @ Sephora ION Orchard featured some of the brand’s summer-ready essentials, including dazzling powders, long-lasting lip tints and perfumes.
As part of the brand activation strategy, the store was furnished in complementary colours to portray the atmosphere of a summer beach party with an uplifting mood in an enclosed store set-up. While the enticing display and product presentation caught the attention of the public, it was vital to create an inviting themed environment with different touchpoints to encourage shoppers to post snippets about the event on their social media channels.
Step-By-Step Guide to Kickstart and Plan for A Successful Experiential Event
Experiential events could be daunting to tackle with various little facets that need to be carefully planned out. Here, we break down the steps you can take before executing your brand activation campaign and event.
Step 1: Identify the part of your brand character or story that speaks to your target audience for a more genuine emotional connection.
Step 2: Build a comprehensive plan that covers all bases, from marketing, to customer service touchpoints, public relations and everything that may go hand in hand with a uniquely designed brand activation experience.
Step 3: Establish a brand playbook that encompasses all your brand speaks of: a clear vision, value propositions aimed at key targets, a brand personality, voice, and experiences that should each be offered, packed with “emotional and functional reasons to believe” in the brand.
Step 4: Consider different touchpoints and elements of your brand activation that can bring your event to life, such as the brand activities, the location and branding style.
Step 5: Conduct regular meeting updates to monitor progress on the plans and troubleshoot problems. This should also include dry run rehearsals to factor in any potential issues or back-up plans needed.
Strategising and running an experiential event can be challenging, especially if you’ve never tackled one before. For brands new to the industry, we highly recommend engaging the services of an events management or project management company in Singapore with a deep knowledge of branding and brand activation strategies.
Ultimately, there is no denying that brand activation is the next big leap in marketing where experiences and emotions triumph over product-push approach. In our highly digitalised landscape where physical experiences have become rarer, brand activation strategies now more than ever, create a bigger impact that businesses focus on.
At Dezign Format, we are committed to delivering quality and innovative build services that will not only accentuate the best parts of your brand but also produce unforgettable experiences with your customers. Contact us today to learn more!