Brand activations: the Do’s and Don’ts

brand activations at Cabana Pool bar

What is a brand activation?

A brand activation is a strategy that drives consumers to your brand through meaningful interactions. This may come about as a product sampling at a festival or a conversation with a branded street team on your walk to work. Regardless, both types of activations have the same goals of creating a memorable experience that’ll inspire you to buy a product or invest in a service.   While this type of marketing can be effective for any brand, it only works if it’s executed correctly. Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when designing a brand activation for your company.

The Do’s

Hire energetic and enthusiastic brand ambassadors

You may think that anyone can hand out free samples and talk about your brand. But for an effective activation, that’s simply not the case. Future customers will be more engaged with your brand if your ambassadors are passionate about the brand they’re representing. High engagement will lead to a higher return of investment as consumers remember their interaction with your brand and ambassadors the next time they’re looking for a product like yours.  

Plan a targeted brand activation 

While you may think that going to wherever there’s lots of people will drive traffic towards your brand, this may not be the most financially rewarding approach. Brand activations do cost money, especially if you’re distributing free samples. Target your activation by considering your typical buyer and align your brand with events and locations that share a similar audience. Ensuring you’re getting those free samples into the hands of people likely to purchase your product will yield better ROI.

The Don’ts

Don’t rush your activation for expedited results

It may be true that the sooner you’re doing activations the sooner people will learn about your brand, but this strategy won’t be effective if your activation is sloppy and unorganized. Make sure you ambassadors are thoroughly educated about your brand and your activation in clean, creative and engaging before you start interacting with the public. Without these important pieces of the puzzle in place, the only message your activation will send is that your brand is unprofessional and untrustworthy.

Don’t assume you can do it on your own

There are a lot of elements that go into an activation including a creative activation idea, a team of enthusiastic brand ambassadors, branded activation equipment, strategic messaging, and targeted audience research, just to name a few. If you’re unsure where to start, or need a hand assembling the components of your activation, trust an accomplished experiential marketing agency to bring your brand to life. At Reef, we’ve partnered with a variety of brands to design custom brand activations that help them stand out from the crowd. Don’t leave your activation to just anyone. Contact our experts and let’s discuss strategy.