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Brand activation and its role in driving consumer engagement and awareness

A great article by econsutancy about brand activation and its role with consumer engagement.

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

What is brand activation?

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 it is virtually unknown to the general public.

Take Volvo as an example. when the company tried to enter into the US car market in 1962, Americans knew very little about this Swedish car maker.

Through the uses of consumer engagement marketing channels, such as memorable ad campaigns, experiential events, viral growth, and consumer participation strategies, Volvo managed to gain the acceptance of the American consumer as being a tough and reliable automobile.

Sales tripled within five years with the campaign “drive it like you hate it” 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 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.

Pirelli-tires-formula-1-brand-activation

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 apart of the brand.

This can be achieved by blending physical and digital experiences together, so that the participants are encouraged to play apps and games, have their photos taken or ride on virtual reality car and bike simulators.

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 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.

Business promotions can used in workshops, event sponsorships, trade show booths and direct mail campaigns.  Wholesale trade promotions may consist of using incentives, or providing entertainment value or other methods like bonuses to reward resllers.

In store retail marketing

Ray-Ban-never-hide-consumer-activation

In store retail marketing activations can help a customer choose one brand over another inside a department store. It helps to enhance the image of a product or brand and as well as feature the benefits it offers or introduce the lifestyle associated with purchasing the product.

There are different types of retail marketing, a brand can be activated using point of purchase displays, attractive design or hosting, retail product launch experiences that allow consumers to experience and try a particular product.

For example, Ray-Ban launched a retail consumer activation tour called ‘Never Hide’ inside a number of high department stores, which engaged consumers by allowing them to try on the new polarized sunglasses and encouraged them have their photos taken inside a branded Ray-Ban photo booth.

Other engagement activities involved participants playing the Guitar hero simulator while wearing the shades.

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 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?
  • Amplification. Is it possible if needed to be able to make changes in order to increase the amplification of the overall activation campaign?

Advantages of consumer brand activations

Here are a few of the benefits of consumer activations:

  • 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.

Conclusion

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

  1. Brand activations 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.

WHY FACE-TO-FACE COMMUNICATION WITH CONSUMERS IS IMPORTANT AT EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING EVENTS

Here is a great article by Factory. This article explains the benefits of why being face to face with your consumers at experiential marketing events is important and how these events build better relationships with your targeted audience.

WHY FACE-TO-FACE COMMUNICATION WITH CONSUMERS IS IMPORTANT AT EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING EVENTS.

One of the ways that experiential marketing differentiates itself from other forms of marketing is it allows brands to engage in face-to-face communication with their target audience. Regardless of what type event you plan on hosting, it’s strongly recommended that you have brand ambassadors communicating with your guests in some way. Why is this so important? Here are some of the many benefits of engaging in face-to-face communication with consumers:

Ask and answer questions

Using traditional forms of marketing such as TV commercials, print, or radio advertisements, brands are only able to engage in one-way communication with consumers. Brands can speak to the consumer, but the consumer cannot respond to the message. Unfortunately, this means that consumers won’t be able to get their questions answered. At an experiential marketing event, consumers have the chance to speak directly to the face of the brand and ask as many questions as they’d like to learn more about the brand and its products or services.

Letting consumers ask your brand ambassadors questions also helps clear up any misconceptions that the consumer may have about your products. For example, let’s say a company that sells allergy medications is hosting an experiential marketing event. As a brand ambassador talks to a guest, he may realize that the guest is under the impression that the allergy medication is available by prescription only, when it is actually sold as an over-the-counter medication. By engaging in face-to-face communication and asking each other questions, the brand ambassador has the opportunity to identify and clear up misconceptions.

Interpret reactions

There are other ways for brands to engage in two-way communication with consumers, such as on social media channels, so what makes face-to-face communication so important? Using social media channels, brands only get to see what consumers say, but they don’t get to see their nonverbal cues, which are sometimes more important than the words that have been spoken. A brand ambassador who is engaging in face-to-face communication with a consumer has the opportunity to listen to what each consumer has to say while also picking up on nonverbal cues. For example, let’s say a brand ambassador is speaking with an event attendee who asks the ambassador about the retail price of a certain product. Upon hearing the price, the attendee responds politely, but the ambassador is able to pick up on nonverbal cues that indicate he is not happy. The brand ambassador now has the unique opportunity to tailor the

conversation based on how he has interpreted the guest’s reaction. Instead of continuing to talk about the features of the product, the ambassador could begin to discuss rebates or special discounts to draw the consumer back in.

By interpreting nonverbal reactions during face-to-face communication, brand ambassadors can adjust the conversation as needed to ensure that the consumer remains engaged.

Build relationships by establishing trust

In order to sell to a consumer, you must have some sort of relationship with him, and there’s no better way to build the foundation of a relationship than with face-to-face communication. Why? Researchers have found that face-to-face communication is essential for building authentic relationships with other people. More specifically, studies have shown that making eye contact while engaging in face-to-face communication is key to building trust. If a brand ambassador at your event gets the chance to speak and make eye contact with consumers, these consumers may begin to trust your brand as a result of the conversation. Although trust can be established with consumers in other ways, it is typically created much faster during face-to-face communication than it would be using other methods.

Opportunity to show the brand’s personality

It can be difficult to show your brand’s personality using traditional forms of marketing. After all, there’s only so much that you can say and do within a thirty second commercial or a one-page magazine advertisement. However, it’s much easier to help consumers understand who you are as a brand using face-to-face communication at an experiential marketing event.

In order to show your brand’s personality, it’s important that you take the time to thoroughly train brand ambassadors so they understand how they can best represent you. For example, if you want consumers to see that you are a fun and playful brand, brand ambassadors should be relaxed, talkative, and friendly when speaking to consumers. If you use words such as “wise” and “reliable” to describe your brand, then your brand ambassadors should be trained in a different way. In this case, brand ambassadors should be able to answer every question thrown their way and should remain professional and courteous at all times. Properly training your brand ambassadors can ensure that they are ready to communicate directly with consumers and convey your brand’s personality to your target audience.

Gather feedback

Companies often pay thousands of dollars to market research firms so they can gather feedback about their products, messaging, and brand in general. But, why waste thousands of dollars on this research when you can gather feedback from consumers at experiential marketing events? Brand ambassadors have the unique opportunity to speak one-on-one with guests at the event and hear what they have to say. As long as brand ambassadors are trained properly, they should be able to collect all of this feedback so you can thoroughly review it after the event.

 

Vodka Absolut Mule Mug Event

This was a great event we did with Absolut Vodka. We personalized mule mugs on-site! The event was a great success with all the men who attended.

                                         

                     

                   t

Nike Event at the 2016 Olympics

During the 2016 Olympics we teamed up with Nike and personalized the new line of sunglasses for customers and Olympic team members. Below are some of the great pictures of the event.

This writing wall was amazing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customers checking out all the newest styles of sunglasses!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another great photo of the vision sunglass wall display!

 

 

The deeper connection: Corporate Activations and extraordinary experiences

A great article focusing on activations, events and the emotional experiences they create.

Found on The Media Online. http://themediaonline.co.za/

The deeper connection: Activations and extraordinary experiences

Done well, brand experiences such as activations, events and experiences can create emotional connections between consumers and brands, but done poorly, they can have the opposite effect.

I’m often asked by clients and peers to define the difference between brand experience, experiential marketing, and event marketing.

It’s a good question, because there are no universally accepted definitions of these terms. And like all areas of marketing communications – particularly since the advent of digital, social and mobile as mediums – there will always be a lot of overlap and blurring at the edges in these and other marketing strategies.

This creates a dilemma for marketers when choosing an agency, as many agency types lay claim to creating brand experiences.

But some types of experiences require a great deal of specific expertise to conceive and execute, and others require less.

That’s why it’s worth working to establish a common understanding of these tools, how and when they can be used effectively, and who might be best suited to engage for a given brand experience because the wrong choice can mean the difference between success and failure.

Brand experience

There are a wide range of activities that take place in the physical and digital worlds that could accurately be described as brand experiences, including experiential stunts, corporate events, employee/consumer interactions in-store or via phone, or even the use of a brand’s app or site.

That’s because each of these things offers a meaningful experience that can either increase or reduce a person’s brand affinity.

In a world of ever-expanding tactics, I find it simpler and more useful to define and describe brand experience – in all its forms – by what it delivers rather than by the shape the activity takes.

Specifically, if advertising (in all media channels) is intended to create awareness of a brand promise, successful brand experiences deliver proof of a brand’s promise or the benefits of a product or service.

Meaning, effective brand experiences are designed to create specific, valuable interactions between brands and/or products and services and the people that matter most to them.

Done well, these interactions result in deeper emotional connections and greater brand affinity. Done poorly, they can have the opposite effect.

Experiential activations

We think of experiential activations as more consumer-oriented experiences, often promotional in nature and geared toward more general audiences.

Why do marketers do experiential activations? Again, there are many reasons, but these are key:

  • To create physical and emotional engagement with a brand or product
  • To associate the product with the equity of another brand (sports or music sponsorships)
  • To gain earned media through social and press mentions
  • To create an opportunity to grow relationships with participants beyond the physical experience through digital interactions

Like events, experiential activations – often integrated with digital activations – offer prolonged, meaningful interactions with a brand that can help build brand affinity.

And, also like events and other brand experiences, the quality of the experience itself will determine the amount of engagement, earned media or brand affinity it produces.

Who to hire? It depends. Ad agencies can do this work, particularly if they have experiential producers on staff or a relationship with an experiential partner who can ensure that all contingencies are accounted for.

Events need expertise

We define events as brand experiences that are targeted towards specific audiences. These can include meetings, trade shows and conferences for participants (often invited) with common interests that determine the theme and content of the event.

There are many reasons to host such events, but these are the most common and important ones:

  • To educate the participants about a topic or product(s)
  • To provide networking opportunities for the participants and the brand
  • To align and inspire the participants behind a new strategy, initiative or product

Most events offer prolonged interaction with a brand, its people, products and/or services. As such, they are a valuable tool to build brand affinity by deepening people’s exposure to – and relationship with – the brand.

Who to hire? An agency with proven meeting and event experience. These types of experiences require a great deal of specific expertise, particularly on the production side.

Extraordinary experiences

Regardless of the agency you choose, for marketers and brands to get the most value from brand experiences, those experiences must be truly extraordinary. Meaning, they must offer something that is memorable and outside of the range of normal experience. Why? Because brands are built on physical and mental availability, and mental availability is built on memory.

As such, we often encourage our clients to offer people bold experiences – of all types – that are simple, novel and emotionally engaging. We find that those types of extraordinary experiences are much more memorable, and help deliver better return on their investments.

Trade Show Giveaway

Valuable information regarding Trade Show giveaway, published by skyline.com

 

7 KINDS OF TRADE SHOW GIVEAWAYS

September 7, 2012

By Mike Thimmesch 

Giveaways are an extremely popular way to get more people into your trade show displays. But not all giveaways are created equal.

To help you whittle through the nearly infinite choices of giveaways, I’ve grouped them into 7 types, with the strengths and weaknesses of each type listed below. Keep this chart handy the next time your team gathers to brainstorm ideas for your upcoming trade show.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Giveaway Type

Cheap stuff

Strength
Doesn’t cost much so you can give them to a lot of people

Weakness
Will not reflect well on your brand if they appear too low in quality, let alone break quickly

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Giveaway Type

Nice stuff

Strength
Will get you noticed favorably by your clients and prospects

Weakness
Usually can’t afford to give to everyone at a show

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Giveaway Type

Trendy stuff

Strength
Can get more people’s attention

Weakness
May not get the right people’s attention

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Giveaway Type

Educational stuff

Strength
Can use to attract only the people who are qualified prospects

Weakness
Takes effort to research and publish, and may not attract all your best prospects

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Giveaway Type

Your stuff

Strength
Can use to attract only the people who are qualified prospects

Weakness
Will not motivate people who only care about themselves personally; plus may get fewer leads (bad if lead quantity, not lead quality, is your sole metric)

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Giveaway Type

Wearable stuff

Strength
High perceived value and can put your logo on it

Weakness
If not good looking no one will want it, and it may end up in a drawer; plus “I’ve got enough t-shirts.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Giveaway Type

Edible stuff

Strength
Will attract grateful attendees

Weakness
Prospects are left with nothing that has your name on it, and you may pay double – cost to buy, plus cost to pay show hall a corking fee to giveaway food and drink

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

I hope that gives you some good ideas about which direction you take next when strategizing for your future events.

And if you get bored saying “giveaway” over and over again, here are 10 more words you can use to describe them:

10 Other Names For Giveaways:

  1. Promos
  2. Promotions
  3. Tchotckes
  4. Premiums
  5. Incentives
  6. Corporate gifts
  7. Swag (acronym for “Samples, Wearables, And Gifts”)
  8. Freebies
  9. Advertising specialties
  10. Bribes

No matter what they are called, a well-chosen giveaway can help you drive more traffic to your trade show booth, boost your brand awareness, and help you deepen relationships with clients and prospects.

Brand Giveaway Ideas

At any brands event or activation you want to stand out of the crowd. With our personalized embroidery and laser engraving items you are sure to grab your customers attention with not only your logo but with the customers name as well.

Here are some great items that we have made for past events and customers. From luggage tags to t-shirts we can customize anything with your logo. We have worked with such names as Nickelodeon to Delta Airlines, no logo is to big or small for us.

im12                                   im

im11                                   im10im9                                    im1 im2                                    im3 im7                                    im8    im5                                 im6 im4

 

To get more ideas and a quote for your next event please contact us.

To get an extraordinary event you need an extraordinary giveaway!