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Understanding Brand Activation

What is Brand Activation

Brand Activation is an aspect of field marketing whose core mandate is driving consumer action through brand interaction and experiences. The fundamental aim of brand activations is to get prospective customers to take a specific action. They focus on creating delightful experiences for consumers, establishing a lasting emotional connection with the brand and ultimately making the brand a real-life entity they can interact with directly.

Brand activations are strategic activities that deliver quantifiable results. They are designed to be highly interactive and immersive, allowing for more direct experiences for the consumer. When executed effectively, brand activations stimulate a consumer’s interest in the brand, invite them to try the brand’s products and ultimately inspire loyalty to the brand. Further to that, brand activations deliver a measurable return on investment.

Types of Brand Activation

Brand Activation is particularly robust because it focuses on the main objective of marketing, which is landing a conversion. It takes a consumer through the entire sales funnel in one interactive and memorable experience. There are a variety of ways to execute a brand activation, such as product sampling, experiential marketing, and in-store or mall activation.

Product Sampling

Brands interact directly with their prospective customers at retail outlets, distributing free samples of their products. It is usually carried out for products that are about to launch or that have just launched. It is a fantastic way to promote a new product while simultaneously gathering market data about that specific product.

Experiential Marketing

As the name suggests, this particular activity focuses on getting the customer to experience the product. It involves a variety of techniques, all designed to immerse the consumer in the product and engage them in as many ways as possible. Innovations in technology have opened up avenues for even more immersive experiences through the use of virtual and augmented reality.

In-Store/Mall Brand Activation

In-Store activation involves the use of visually striking displays to draw the attention of consumers as they shop in stores or malls. In-store Activations can include product stands, promotional areas, floats, and banners. The objective is to capture the attention of the consumer right as they are about to make a purchasing choice and influencing them to pick a specific brand.

Why Brand Activation Matters

As a marketing activity, brand activation can boost sales, improve brand awareness, and harness consumer engagement to inspire loyalty to the brand. It is a vital aspect of marketing efforts that directly reaches the consumer, gathers feedback, and builds brand awareness.

Direct Reach

Most other marketing activities involve the use of media to send one-way communication to the consumer. The brand is often a nebulous entity that the consumer cannot relate to or interact with personally. Brand Activation closes the communication chasm and manifests the brand as a part of the consumer’s reality. The consumer can feel heard and even join a community of other consumers loyal to the brand.

Consumer Feedback

With personnel on the ground directly interacting with consumers, and consumers themselves interacting with the product, a brand can collect customer feedback in real-time. The information gathered during a brand activation can be invaluable for a new product.

Brand Awareness

The human mind is hardwired to seek novelty and retain information about anything that is out of the ordinary or breaks an established pattern. What was once a survival tool that allowed humans to identify poisonous and edible plants can now be harnessed by marketers to make a brand more recognizable and memorable to a consumer.


Brand activations are about transforming the brand from the abstract to the tangible and having a meaningful, memorable, and delightful interaction with the consumer. They inform the consumer of your existence and show them why they should choose your brand over any of your competitors. As a sub-discipline of field marketing, brand activation can feel like a brand reaching out to a consumer and taking them on an exciting journey of discovery.

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