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Brand activation and why is it a Necessity

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Ever wondered how some products and brands become so popular and iconic whereas others fail to create even a miniscule impact in the audience’ mind? These popular brands have become so by exploiting various marketing platforms for brand promotion and creating a niche for themselves among the already existing brands in the market. This process of building an image of a brand and bringing it to life is known as Brand Activation.

The idea is to identify and distinguish core values and unique features of the brand. These features will become the pillars of the brand’s identity in the market. The target audience must be able to connect with the brand’s core values. It must strike a chord with the audience; evoke positive emotions and create a lasting impression in their minds.

 

Principles of Brand Activation  

  • Create a Brand Image – Understand and capitalize on the brand’s Unique Selling Point (USP)
  • Connect with the Target Audience – Identify your audience and connect with them
  • Turn words into Action – Make sure your brand does what it claims. This will help in building loyalty and credibility in the long run.

Steps to Brand Activation

  • Promotional Marketing – Promotional marketing involves raising awareness about your brand in order to boost sales and to and promote brand promotion. Promotional marketing can be targeted at the middlemen wholesalers, retailers and/or even to the final consumer, directly. Promotional marketing includes
  1. Celebrity Endorsements
  2. Rewards Programs
  3. Competitions and Shows
  4. Workshops
  5. Conferences
  6. Sponsorship for events
  7. Digital Marketing
  8. Tele-Marketing
  9. Incentive programs
  10. Seller Engagement
  • Events and Exhibitions

Well organized seminars and events helps brand promotion and attracts potential customers. Such events provide a platform to the brand to connect with the buyer personally, engage in discussions and clarify doubts about the product and the brand. Most consumers prefer to buy products after their queries, about the product, have been answered.

  • Retail Marketing

Retail Marketing helps the consumer to see and analyze the product first hand. It helps the seller to explain the product and its features to the consumer. The success of retail marketing depends on the brands presentation and quality of its stall or booth.

  • Evaluating Brand Activation

Since brand activation helps brand promotion, generate brand loyalty and build a healthy relationship with the consumer, your main aim must be to have effective two –way communication with your audience.

Before you chalk out a plan for brand activation, here are some pointers you need to bear in mind.

  • Understand the brand and the products. You must have answers to any question about your brand the product you are selling.
  • Gage your return on investment
  • Gage your target audience and your reach
  • Oversee the brand’s potential and growth
  • Leverage your brand’s USP
  • Make sure your brand activation plans coordinates with your brand’s core values.
  • Exploit various marketing channels and platforms

Advantages of Brand Activation

  • Helps brand promotion
  • Asserts your brand image in the market
  • It minimizes distortion
  • Makes brand prominent among its competitors
  • Helps you gain valuable feedback
  • Helps to create brand recall among the consumers

Drawbacks of Brand Activation

  • Inability to measure growth
  • Brand Activation is a huge undertaking, if not conducted responsibly it could be a failure.

How to execute Brand Activation?

Brand managers must understand the product and the brand. They must know what the brand symbolizes and the kind of image it seeks to create. The Brand Activation strategy must be planned keeping this in mind. Next, draft out the dos and don’ts. After you are clear about what you can and cannot do, it will give you a clear idea how to approach with marketing.

Make sure the Brand Activation strategy is managed by in-house employees instead of third party consultants. Since the in-house employees understand the brand better and are solely dedicated to brand activation, results are most likely going to be positive.

Lastly, never underestimate the power of Brand Activation. It can shape the future of the brand and the company. If you successfully implement Brand Activation Strategy, it could attract more customers and boost sales tremendously.  If not executed efficiently, the brand may lose credibility and market share.

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Brand Activation – Why and How?

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Brand Activation refers to brand promotion and interaction with customers to boost sales. It helps to recreate an image of the brand and distinguishes the product from its competitors.

Over the period, brand activation has become widely popular due to its efficiency and high yielding response. It has grown to encompass various components of marketing like sampling campaigns, off beat marketing, brand engagement, promotions, events, seminars, exhibitions, workshops and various other below- the-line marketing platforms.

Selection of perfect platforms and creating a beneficial mix is crucial to the brand’s image. One has to understand and analyze the brand’s USP and formulate a brand activation plan accordingly.

Brand Activation - Why and How

 

Here’s a list of things you need to bear in mind before chalking out your Brand Activation Plan.

  • Know what you are selling

The underlying strength of any campaign is thorough and indepth knowledge of the brand and its product. Without understanding the product, one cannot market it convincingly and methodically. Before starting any brand promotion or below-the-line marketing, it is recommended that you study the brand and the product or you employ someone that knows the brand in and out and is passionate about it.

  • Target Audience

Gauge your target group and study their purchasing habits. Once you identify and understand your target group, half the task is done! Thoroughly research your audience and learn what excites them. Know your audience’s pulse and explore it. Customize your brand promotion and brand activation plan accordingly. Make sure your promotional activities are in sync with your target group’s sensibilities.

  • Research before executing

Every brand needs to be treated uniquely for it to generate brand recall value among consumers. Most likely, there might be several products like yours, already existing in the market. Learn and understand your competitor’s advertising and below-the-line marketing strategies. This will give you a brief idea what works and what does not with your target audience. Chalk out your brand activation plan accordingly.

  • Select your platforms

Financial constraints main restrict you from exploring all the marketing platforms for brand promotions. Select ones that suit your brand image best and those that give you more exposure in the market. Create a good mix of various below the line marketing activities that reflects your brand’s ideologies and exploit these mediums. It is not necessary that you use all marketing platforms; using a select few exceptionally well will give you better results instead.

  • Adapt and Change

Over exposure of any particular campaign may not result in guaranteed sales. To keep tweaking and changing your marketing plan is the norm. Keep a tab on your competitors and their strategies to understand how they refashion their below-the-line brand promotion. Constantly reinvent your plan to maximize sales.

  • Think Long Term

Brand promotion doesn’t guarantee immediate boost it sales. It is a slow process that assures returns in the long term. Brand Activation builds brand recognition and increases brand recall value. It makes your product stand out among the crowd and adds to the brand’s reputation.   Be patient since below-the-line marketing takes time to create brand recognition but it assures brand loyalty and even creates brand credibility in the long run.

  • Employ Specialist and Experts

Experienced managers are valuable assets. They have insights in the market and know the tricks of the trade. A btl activation specialist understands below-the-line marketing like no one else and knows how to go about it. He will not only give resourceful suggestion but also make sure they are executed proficiently. Formulate a campaign under the supervision of a brand activation specialist and see your brand grow tremendously.

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