Are you looking to elevate your brand, impress customers, take audience engagement to new heights, and get people excited to interact with your organization? If so, consider adding brand activation to your event marketing strategy.
While bringing your brand to life may sound difficult, it is easier than you might think. Keep the following five tips in mind to create a more successful brand activation on any budget. Then, download your free eBook filled with Surefire Marketing Tactics Any Team Can Use at the end.
What is Brand Activation?
“Brand activation” is an immersive marketing strategy that utilizes events, campaigns, and activities to generate brand awareness, boost customer loyalty, and build lasting connections with target audiences. Most brand activations are in-person experiences with hands-on, branded activities for people to participate in.
The biggest goal of hosting an activation is to elevate your brand. Fostering engagement through immersive experiences is one of the smartest ways to make your brand more meaningful, recognizable, and trustworthy to your target audience.
Brand Activation Examples and Ideas
Done right, brand activations can nurture business opportunities and build long-term customer loyalty. Types of activations include the following:
- Experiential Marketing: Strategies that foster brand engagement through immersive experiences. Examples of experiential marketing include fun challenges, social media contests, interactive booths, and memorable displays.
- Experiential Events: Social gatherings that allow organizations to promote their brand, products, and services in interactive ways. Examples of experiential events include auctions, ceremonies, community events, conferences, festivals, fundraisers, lunch-and-learns, networking events, open houses, pop-up shops, and retreats.
- Games and Activities: Playful experiences that actively engage prospects and customers. Examples include raffles, claw machines, photo booths, spin-to-win games, arcade-style games, and other sponsored activities. Read a full list of interactive trade show games here.
- Samples and Free Trials: Free giveaways that delight prospects and give them the confidence to pay full price for your item. Samples are highly effective as they put your product or service directly in the hands of people who are likely to use them. Pair your sampling strategy with a useful demonstration or feedback survey.
Remember, the best activations help bring your brand to life. Use them to draw the attention of new audiences and reengage existing ones. You will find that memorable event experiences leave people wanting to interact with your brand in the future (which, in turn, will boost event ROI).
Brand Activation Strategy Tips to Make You Stand Out
- Meet your target audience where they’re at.
Knowing your audience, their challenges, and their passions can help take a “good” marketing activation to a “great” one. That’s why it’s a good idea to do research ahead of time and position yourself where your customers already spend their time.
Reach out to popular events in your area that draw in your target customer base. Then, find ways to engage with the audience using an experience they’ll enjoy. For instance, an audience of social media enthusiasts will love a photo-worthy backdrop or interactive photo booth experience for them to use.
- Use marketing activation to solve customer challenges.
What are the top challenges that your customers experience? Create a list, then find interactive activities that can prove to them that your offerings can help. For instance, if your brand sells athletic gear, set up a “misting station” at the end of a marathon, then give out branded water bottles to runners.
Not only will you hydrate them after the race, but you’ll also provide a gift that helps prospects recall your brand long after the event is over. Highlighting the need for a product through a creative brand experience is both strategic and effective. Your mission is to help people realize they need your products or services without being overly “salesy.”
- Use social media marketing to improve brand recognition.
Social media marketing is your best friend! Amp up your social presence at events by pairing your brand activation with trending social media concepts to expand your brand’s reach. For example, while exhibiting at a trade show, create a custom Snapchat geofilter or lens for your booth. Encourage visitors to post their photo to social media using the event’s official hashtag.
The size of the area that your geofilter covers as well as the duration of your geofilter will impact how much you’ll pay. Costs start as low as $5 per day. In addition to your filter, create an on-site TikTok video of people participating in your brand activation. Don’t forget to use trending hashtags to help circulate the video to new viewers.
- Delight customers with an unexpected activity or theme.
Don’t be afraid to do something weird, silly, or completely unexpected when designing brand activations. Consumers are more likely to remember an odd yet satisfying experience than a “run-of-the-mill” event experience. Draw attendees’ eyes to your booth and intrigue them enough to participate.
The best activities will surprise, delight, and grab your audience’s attention. For example, instead of handing out food or beverage samples at a table, try setting up a makeshift “food truck” display or a picnic-themed booth. Play into your theme with a photo spot and social media hashtag.
- Use brand activation campaigns to promote your brand’s values.
Consumers love brands that take a stand on their beliefs and values. If your organization is passionate about a cause, use brand activations to highlight what matters to you most. For instance, if your organization values sustainability, provide reusable stainless steel straw sets, recycled cotton tote bags, or other eco-friendly gifts to those who book a demo or make a purchase.
Not only will this gesture create awareness for the environment, but it will also highlight your brand’s dedication to hosting or participating in sustainable events. No matter your organization’s values, provide brandable gifts and giveaways that tie into your mission.
Our Free eBook on Marketing Tactics: Download Yours
While brand activations are exciting, they are just one piece of the marketing strategy puzzle. Our free eBook on Surefire Marketing Tactics Any Team Can Use covers a variety of useful topics, including how to formulate buyer personas, build brand loyalty, boost web traffic, generate sales leads, and strengthen your marketing strategy.
Create an Unforgettable Event Experience
At pc/nametag, we believe meaningful connections are forged through shared experiences. We are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to create a more connected and inclusive world through socially conscious products and services. From high-quality identification items like name badges, lanyards and ribbons to our unrivaled printing and assembly services, we go above and beyond to become an extension of your team and help deliver delightful experiences to your audience and attendees. Visit pcnametag.com to learn more today.