What is Brand Activation?
When a buyer actually comes into contact with your products or services and tries it then the same is called activation. Different products and services term it differently to gauge the effectiveness of their efforts. For example for a car company the activation can be when a buyer test drives the car. However for a much lower budget item say candy it may be when a child submit the wrapper for a contest.
The marketing and branding divisions of large Companies have realized the value of activation to increase their goal. They know that heavy advertising will give them ‘awareness’ about the product or services but that is only the beginning. The next step in the cycle is the ‘consideration’ which brings us to identifying the target audience for the product or services. The third step is the ‘trial’ and through activation the trials are increased so that satisfied consumers can become regular ‘users’ and thereby regular buyers.
Different products or service needs different game plan to achieve their objectives. ECommerce players are discounting heavily to increase their new customer base and are trying to retain those customers with regular offers. Retail players are running big discount days around republic days to create hype and pulling large crowds for a better deal. Taxi operators are giving first free ride to both the introduce and the new joiner to experience the ride and change his old habit.
Brand Activation’s Role in Driving Consumers
Activation is so important that venture capitalist don’t mind spending big cash as long as desired activation is taking place and set targets are achieved. In few businesses the numbers can’t be increased by discounting old habits but wherever the business model is new and by discounting the habits can be created then it is worth spending and cornering the trials and activation to create the arrival of new disruptive technologies.
If your product or services can tilt the market to one side due to disruptive technologies then it is worth trying to corner the customers overnight instead of doing it slowly and steadily. However all products and services may not have the advantage of disruptive technologies and there you need to activate the new customers in a strategic manner.
However activation is a must and to make the concept more crystal clear imagine the number of stores you have never stepped in your lifetime though you cross them regularly while in transit from home to office to back home. However there are many where you frequent depending on your needs and leisure time, why? Somehow they have activated you or you are comfortable walking in and checking your requirements with them. It’s only when they fail you for whatever reason (no stock, price doubt, comparison etc.) you do walk in to another place to try out your requirements.
These shops or stores which you never walked in can create some kind of pull for you to at least stop and take a look at their differentiated offerings. Naturally the store should do the homework as to what is their strength and which type of buyers they can attract and service best so that when you do walk in you are hooked for good and become a regular visitor there.
To conclude Awareness, Consideration, Trial, Usage, Regular are the steps in buying process which all marketing, branding and sales personnel’s should plan and work to increase their sales and thereby market share.
Activation is an important step here as that ensures that trial takes place and Corporate Gifts can play a large role here in making sure that trial goes through comfortably with a good satisfying experience. In case of a car trial a gift as giveaway to remind the person about your brand. The child who has sent you the wrappers will appreciate an eraser or pencil cap with your brand as part of that drawing contest. You can make it sweeter by involving parents, school and by having a competition between students of same school of different classes ensuring mass activation and in the process guaranteed regular users. The top winners carrying contest award will prominently display their trophies activating more peers, parents, neighbors and thereby schools ensuring more and more users of the brand.
When you are emotionally connected with a product or brand then chances is that will pay you handsomely for times to come.