When a company is trying to spread the word about its offerings, many seek to provide first-hand experiences and associations with their products. This “brand activation” drives consumer action through interaction and experiences. It’s about bringing brands to life via experiences and forming long-term emotional connections.
There are many ways to get a company’s products into the hands of their targeted consumers. This is where marketers can get a little crazy with ideas, but sometimes, the more off-the-wall an idea is, the more effective it can be. Here’s how smart brand activation ideas like partnerships, problem-solving and moving at the speed of consumers can attract shoppers.
Partnerships for Brand Activation
Ever seen an ad come on during a sporting event proclaiming some company as the official drink, truck or snack of the league? This is a perfect example of a company using a partnership to activate its brand. Companies don’t have to spend millions of dollars on partnerships like this in order to see a large return on investment, though. If you’re like most entrepreneurs who can’t print money, sponsor a local event with which your prospective customers can identify.
These partnerships don’t have to be just event sponsorship, either. Many companies have partnered to provide their customers with two products complementary to each other. One of the biggest partnerships was between Nike and Apple in the early 2000s. The co-branding partnership started as a way to bring music from Apple to Nike customers’ workouts. The partnership has since evolved to become Nike+, which uses activity-tracking technology built into athletic clothing and gear to sync with Apple iPhone apps that track and record workout data. The co-branding move helps both companies provide a better experience to customers.
Problem Solving Brand Activation
Every company has numerous problems to solve, but brand activation problem-solving doesn’t have to be complex. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be your company’s problem that you’re solving. Concerts and outdoor festivals happen every weekend during the summer months. These festivals are loaded with opportunities for companies looking to activate their brands. If the weather is going to be hot, then a good plan for a company would be to set up a mist station or hand out water bottles. Your company doesn’t have to sell water to do something like this. Designing a unique logo and branding a “cool-down lounge” with your company name and tagline, along with handing out swag or engaging info about your company is all you need.
Moving at the Speed of the Customer
Each day seems to move faster in our digital age. Satisfying the needs of consumers has become the new speed with which to keep pace. Whatever customers want, they want it right now. According to Forbes, companies that don’t move at the speed of the customer risk losing out to competitive solutions in the short term and becoming irrelevant over the long term.
One of the best ways to figure out the speed of the customer is through experience marketing. Let your customers get their hands on your products and look to see what kind of reactions they’re giving you — both verbally and physically. These reactions will literally show you how your customers take to your products and it gives you a chance to get immediate, direct feedback on how to improve. Adjusting appropriately and quickly is important for creating the best product for your customers.
Many similar products and companies exist in today’s market. Smart brand activation ideas help companies stand out from their competitors and resonate with consumers via a clearly defined message. Now that you have some initial seeds of inspiration, how will you activate your brand?