4 Brand Activation Strategies Every Marketer Should Use

August 24, 20234 MinutesBy Natalya Jaime

At the heart of it all, brand activation is simple. The foundation of brand activation is one-time, in-person, interactive experiences (Southern California News Group, 2023). Every marketer should implement at least one type of activation in their marketing strategy — here’s a rundown of the 4 types of brand activation to know.

1. Experiential Marketing

Create an immersive experience for consumers with experiential marketing. This strategy is usually a small part of a larger brand activation, like events or in-store campaigns. 

Let’s say you are posted up at a trade show for your travel company. You have a food and drinks tent designed to look just like the ones on the beaches of Jamaica. Guests can enjoy “local” snacks and beverages, listen to music, and feel like they’re already on vacation. These details are crucial to giving consumers an experience that can lead to the real thing. 

The great part of experiential marketing is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be in-person anymore. Thanks to AR and VR technology, consumers can be immersed in these experiences from their phones or desktops.

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2. Sample Campaigns

Grocery stores have been on top of this brand activation for decades — samples. Sample or freebie campaigns are great for brand awareness. And if you’re trying to gain new customers organically, this is the way to go. These campaigns can work well as giveaways, where you can partner with influencers or other brands to grow your audience.

This strategy is also great for retaining customers. With every purchase, add in a free product. Or, also very commonly, provide a coupon for the next purchase. These small but effective tactics can lead to major growth and customer retention.

3. In-Store Activation

80% of purchases happen in a store (National Retail Federation, 2022). That’s why in-store activations can prove extra effective for your business. Hosting events at your HQ with vendors, music, and activities will allow people to get to know your brand in a fun, interactive way! Showcase your products, introduce your teams to customers, and overall build a relationship with people while increasing brand recognition. 

If you’re a B2B brand, this might not be the best option for you — this is more for retail brands with brick and mortar locations. However, B2B businesses can still organize events at a remote location.

4. Trade Shows and Events

Trade shows and events offer amazing brand activation opportunities for all sorts of companies. Companies from every industry can participate in trade shows, and live events for different audiences can be a good choice for you, too. 

Industry trade shows can put you in front of people you know are interested in your products and services. And live events can be more targeted for certain demographics — age, location, and personal interest. At these events, try out some of the other brand activations we mentioned. 

When it comes to brand activations, use what works best for your goals. And don’t be afraid to combine different brand activations. The more chances you give yourself to grow, make more sales, or achieve more recognition, the better.

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