Personal connections are important for the success of any business because it often influences buying decisions more than product value, especially in the B2B marketplace. Marketers are constantly looking for ways to develop strong relationships with existing and potential clients because of its powerful benefits.
Here is where brand activation comes in.
Brand activation involves increasing your brand awareness and building lasting connections with your target audiences through specific campaigns and events. Your target customers get the chance to interact with your brand and products directly.
Brand activation boosts your brand by gaining attention from new prospects, while also redefining how existing customers perceive you. It has been proven to be so effective that 98% of people who attend a brand activation event feel inclined to purchase your products.
The key point here? The human touch and immersive experience pay off massively for brands in the long run.
Brand activation refers to the process of creating an emotional connection between your brand and consumers through interactions and experiences with your products. Brand activations build your brand’s image and drive specific consumer behaviors or actions.
Imagine when you start a company. Nobody knows who you are and are not even aware of your brand. Technically, your brand is lifeless. It has to be brought to life through activation before you can grow your business to the next level. Brand activation can also apply to big brands. If a big company wants to rebrand itself, it cannot just do a few changes and hope that prospects will notice. This business has to do a comprehensive brand activation (or rather reactivation) that completely shifts people’s minds to their new brand.
Let me use this metaphor.
If your brand is a cold and lifeless lump of charcoal, then brand activation is the lighter which transforms it into the hot and bright fire that everyone can see.
Brand activation is done for the purpose of increasing brand awareness and developing deep relationships with your existing customers. Brand awareness is important for the success of your business because without people knowing about your existence, then how will you get clients?
Engaging in brand activation creates a buzz around your business as people learn more about your products and how you can help them solve their problems. For example, when you create a website and don’t go ahead to market it, how will you gain traffic? Through brand activation methods such as content marketing and social media marketing, potential customers will know about your existence and visit your site to get help.
Brand activation is also crucial to retaining existing customers. When customers interact directly with your business and get guidance on how to handle your products, they grow closer to your brand. These customers develop a positive impression about your business and share their experience with friends who transform into potential customers.
Without brand activation and marketing, your business cannot grow. You have to consistently inform prospects and remind existing customers about the existence of your business. Show them that you are ready to help them solve their problems using your products. And allow these customers to get an experience with your products through free trials and freemium models. The result will be strong brand loyalty due to the immense emotional connection with your business.
Activating a brand requires dedicated marketing because to create lasting connections, your customers need to interact with your brand multiple times. Whether you own a website or you are introducing a new product into the market, to generate leads and establish yourself as a thought-leader in your industry, effective branding strategies are imperative.
Without consistent branding and marketing, no one will know who you are and what your business does. Period.
Because we’ve all got to start somewhere, here are some of the ways to activate your brand.
Content marketing involves creating and sharing of online materials such as videos, blog articles, whitepapers, and case studies to draw in prospects to your brand. When used effectively, content marketing can stimulate interest in your products and brand, because content marketing focuses solely on answering questions instead of selling.
As a result, content marketing focuses on building brand authority. Customers visit websites that they believe have the most trustworthy information. To build trust among consumers, you have to consistently publish high-quality content around the challenges of your target customers. You can also leverage different forms of inbound marketing such as SEO to grow organic traffic to your site. This is because inbound marketing methods such as content marketing are preferred by prospects compared to ads when it comes to boost your brand.
Copywriting gives your brand a personality which is critical if you intend to increase brand awareness. Choose a specific style of communicating about your products to your audience and retain that style throughout all the marketing platforms. These styles can be the vocabulary you use, your tone, formal or informal, etc. The key is to remain consistent in your style to give your brand a unique personality.
Marketing automation involves the use of software to automate your activities such as email marketing, social media posting, and ad campaigns. It improves efficiency on repetitive tasks and helps to provide the much needed personalized content for each of your customers.
Marketing automation is crucial for brand activation because it allows you to create a sales funnel with personalized content that scales over time. When you do this from the beginning of your brand, it’s easier because you begin with a streamlined process, meaning a fully integrated marketing strategy and scalable sales funnel. So, all the brand activation efforts you do will grow your business quickly when you combine it with marketing automation.
Lead generation is the process of identifying and nurturing prospects to eventually become customers. Lead generation is the main activity within brand activation because, without customers, a company cannot survive.
Lead generation strategies for brand activation vary from hosting events, to downloadable lead magnets like ebooks and cheat sheets. Lead generation and marketing automation are important parts of branding because they enable customer segmentation and testing in order to scale your business. By using customer segmentation, you place prospects and existing clients into groups based on certain buyer characteristics. It is then easier to develop a strong connection with people who have similar needs because the marketing message will be clear.
Social media marketing involves the use of social media platforms to connect with potential customers, build your brand, and increase sales. Dedicated social media marketing can activate your brand through interactions with your audience.
Even better, social media is free (unless you are using ads) and is the most personal form of marketing possible with a low investment. Customers interact with your brand directly through engagement and get the impression of your values. Using platforms such as LinkedIn you can grow your personal brand by showcasing your skills and potential customers will end up connecting with you if they are convinced about your ability to solve their problems based on the skills you present.
Achieving a successful brand activation requires you to evoke a strong emotional response from your customers. You need to clearly understand your brand as well as the needs of your customers to develop the strong connection that brand activations are about. Without branding no one will know about the existence of your business, so you need to prioritize branding efforts to get noticed by potential customers. Here are the tips for effective brand activation.
It’s not about you, it is about them. Every brand activation should be centered around the needs of your customers. Your prospects are not interested in hearing an aggressive pitch about your brand and your products. Rather, they want to listen to someone who empathizes with their problems. Customers want to feel like they are in control and you are merely helping them solve their problems. Apply this simple concept in your brand activation strategy and you will see much better results.
Human interaction is the quickest way to develop lasting relationships between brands and target customers. Regardless of the brand activation you use, ensure to involve real human beings. For example, a huge billboard along a busy highway may gain the attention of target audiences but a pop-up booth run by three employees has a much more powerful effect. Human interaction makes your company appear trustable.
Storytelling is an effective way of gaining the trust of your target audience and is a component of creative brand activation. Create stories in which the customers are the hero and your product is merely helping them to achieve their desires. When you craft stories that have the consumer as the primary player, then you will get a positive response.
There is a reason why marketers borrow the concept from Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote:
“Tell me and I will forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
It proves the reason why traditional marketing such as TV ads are not as successful as experiential marketing. When customers participate in the activities rather than remaining a passive bystander, your brand sticks longer in their minds.
One of the best ways to do precisely that is to utilize social media. We all voluntarily sign up for social media, because we see some benefit from it – despite the fact that it’s a massive platform for marketing and advertising. More simply, we volunteer to see ads on social media. If you asked someone 20 years ago about whether the premise would work, they’d probably laugh it off.
So, if you want to encourage user-generated content and get as close as possible to your target audience, use social media.
Now that you have learned about the importance of brand activation, what are you going to do next?
I am an expert in brand activation and can help you increase brand awareness by creating strong personal connections between your potential customers and your brand by using methods like:
Whether you are a startup looking to drive brand awareness or a big company undergoing rebranding, I can help you develop a brand activation strategy that leaves an everlasting impression. Get in touch with me today!
Adriana Stein is an Online Marketing Consultant based in Hamburg, Germany. Originally from the US, she is a native English speaker and specializes in helping companies with their SEO & content marketing strategies, along with graphic design, brand copy and website development.