How to foolproof your brand activation ideas for the future?

Standing on the pavement and handing out flyers does not cut it anymore. You can get between one and a hundred printed leaflets per day depending on where you are. If you are crossing a busy New York street, chances are you will come across ten people handing out pamphlets within two intersections. Amidst all the chaos and the competition, how many brands do you really notice? Outdoor marketing with free samples is facing the same problem in the cities. A majority of those with purchasing power hold day jobs. None of those people have the time to stop and appreciate the effort brands put in during a conventional brand launch or a sample drive. They need something magnetic to pull them away from their daily flow of life.

That magnetic attraction might be possible through brand activation. It is the art of inciting customer action. Any marketing campaign that opens the doors for two-way communication between the customer and a new product or brand can become a brand activation campaign. In most of the stellar examples of brand activation from 2018, brands did not offer a sample of their products directly. All they did was provide their patrons with a non-replicable experience that almost immortalized their presence in the customer’s mind. The primary objective of a brand activation campaign is not to push sales, but to establish a strong emotional connection with their customer.

Why is brand activation not a unique discipline?

There have been times when new businesses have been apprehensive about brand activation since these ideas do not provide measurable results. Thankfully, that is not true anymore. The best brand activation ideas always have multiple quantifiable metrics. They encompass several forms of communication and interactions, including –

  1. Experiential marketing
  2. Consumer promotions.
  3. Sponsorship leverage
  4. Brand engagement
  5. Sampling campaigns

Each of the forms we have mentioned above has distinct metrics. Now, most brands use a combination of various methods for their campaigns. That requires a mishmash of event budget, consumer data, market insight, customer intentions, and actionable ideas. A mix and match of these elements will determine the number of measurable metrics you will have at hand for tracking your brand’s progress. In short, you will always be in control of the marketing and the market during a thoroughly well-planned brand activation campaign.

What should every successful brand activation idea contain?

Here are a few things you must keep in mind to keep your brand activation rewarding –

  • The market is forever evolving. The changes depend significantly on the demands on the customers and the available technology. As a result, a campaign that may have been groundbreaking ten years ago may not even impress a child. You need to weigh all the possibilities before launching a campaign. Find out how your consumer base has matured or changed altogether. Converse with the key consumers to learn about their likes and dislikes. If possible, implement a small scale test launch for your brand before the final day.


  • Always remember that brand activation will not show an immediate spike in sales and returns. It is all about building customer relations. The most significant return of an activation should be the data. This data will enable the creation of segmented email lists for your marketing department, categorization of your potential consumers based on demographics, and it will give you a clue about the brand tactics you must employ in the near future for the maximum profits.


  • You should never try to plan the activation in a time crunch. A great idea can take days and weeks to prepare. Some campaigns take months to set up. Toyota built a 1,112 square feet billboard cum climbing wall in the Times Square. The Wall took 2400 hours to make and over a week to set up. Till date, it is one of the most iconic activation ideas ever. Toyota came up with this activation idea for promoting their new RAV4 Hybrid. Check out more outstanding campaigns with brand activation with Roots3 Productions. You need to cover all ground, do repetitive checks and work on the best available options to create something memorable.


  • Brand activation is not the lone warrior of marketing strategies. It is always a mix of different approaches from the various aspects of experiential marketing and consumer communication. It needs to include the brand’s vision, product quality, and buyer persona to be successful. You cannot overlook the data you have collected from the previous runs, old activations, and experiential campaigns. Even if this is going to be the first brand activation campaign for your company, you need to harness the information you have about your (existing and potential) paying customers to attract their attention.


  • The idea your activation team comes up with should facilitate the interaction of your existing communication channels. It should blend the current digital, social and physical platforms through the experience. For example – Toyota’s campaign did not just engage the passersby, travelers and the onlookers present on Times Square, the brand posted live videos on social media channels, released edited exclusives and behind the scene bites from the participants. They engaged social media influences, as well as real-life celebs like Toyota Rally Car Driver, Christina Fate in action. It skyrocketed their popularity on all social media channels and increased the footfall of their brick-and-mortar stores.

Hundreds of successful activations and thousands of not-so-successful ones tell all future businesses merely cooking up a brilliant idea are not enough. Beside the right resources, you will need a thorough understanding of your brand. You need an activation idea that uplifts the overall brand strategy and adds to the brand value. An idea that is not in line with your brand message might not be the best way to spend your marketing capital. Seek expert advice on the matter to minimize the chances of a faux pas.

Today, it is difficult to grab the attention of target users via paid ads, mobile ads, and website ads. They have ad blockers for their browsers, and they mute TVCs or switch channels. Therefore, brands need something as strong and unique as activations to attract the attention of the target audiences. It perfectly blends in all available advertising media into one exclusive experience for the participants.

About the author

Charlie Brown is a marketing manager greatly familiar with digital templates by He is a typical overachiever with a passion for getting the job done right and bringing his team’s visions into reality. 


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