With increased availability and choices, the consumer today has become more discerning. They are unlikely to fall for ‘irresistible’ sales and promises that are not real. They have become more and more demanding and thus want tangible experiences beyond the media clutter. A befitting term that has cropped up in today’s marketing field is brand activation.
It is a kind of on-ground activity that helps a brand build a trustful relationship with its target group. It’s more than simply creating a sell-buy relationship. Instead, it aims at establishing an emotional connection with the client and giving them a chance to touch, feel, play and experience your brand. The stronger your bond gets, you will start seeing results in your sale rate.
Brand activation and experiential marketing are two terms that are often used interchangeably. However, despite being similar, they are not the same.
As the term suggests, brand activation aims at ‘activating’ trust and loyalty in a consumer’s mind with regard to a brand. This is usually done by integrating all available communication into a creative platform. On the other hand, experiential marketing aims at creating a fun and memorable ‘experience’ that will strengthen the bond between the consumer and brand.
In the age of distraction, you need something out-of-the-box to capture and sustain the attention of people.
Free Product Sampling: Perhaps one of the best ways to connect with consumers and one thing that is thankfully not on the app store or play store. Handing out product samples at experiential activations helps consumers better understand a company’s product and this increases the likelihood of a purchase. It not just acquaints the customer with your product but also gives them the opportunity to give you their feedback. Not to forget, people like free stuff. If your product manages to hit a sweet spot, it enables consumers to make a calculative purchase decision. FMCG brands usually engage in such activation.
Event Games: Most consumers look at advertising as a very serious concept. The best way to break this misconception is by adding a fun element to your BTL activities. Studies show that event games are a great way to lighten people’s moods and reduce boredom. While a target group is highly focused and engaged in a game, they’re still open to marketing messages. While you could wow fans with interactive installations and virtual reality, you could also have old-school guessing games, raffle draw, tic-tac-toe, or other carnival games that will draw crowds of onlookers. These games will engage with consumers and urge them to ask more about your products/services.
AR-enabled Photo Booth: If you want to take the photo booth experience to another level, how about infusing some Augmented Reality (AR). You can have interactive backgrounds with which people can take selfies. By doing this, consumers will definitely go back with memories and smiles. You can incorporate photo booths in mall activation, in-store activation, or tradeshows.
Cup Branding: Paper cup advertising is another BTL marketing method. Based on the target group, the paper cup ad is placed in corporate offices or colleges to interact with them for nearly 5-7 minutes in the morning, afternoon, and evening. In a literally no distraction environment, they get to touch, feel and hold your brand in their hand by virtue of a paper cup. During tea breaks it activates a fun atmosphere and gets people to discuss their views all centered on your brand (Chai pe charcha).
In the last decade, brand activation and BTL activities have witnessed exemplary growth. Almost every industry including FMCG, telecom, and automobiles are tapping the potential of such promotions. Since delivery from brand activation is almost immediate, more people are choosing it over conventional advertising.
When a customer gets to experience something for themselves, the impact is undeniably long-lasting. What do you think?
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