With over 60 years in the live event industry, one thing we can attest to is that change is constant. One of the many changes we’ve seen recently is the need for companies to augment their trade show exhibits with branded experiences that live outside the traditional event space. A key driver in this has been the rise of brand activations and pop-up displays. We’ll talk about the latter in a future blog, but for today, let’s grab a coffee and explore the important, emerging trend for brand activations.
What is a Brand Activation?
Brand activations are marketing campaigns or events designed to engage consumers, build brand awareness, and foster a deeper connection between the brand and its target audience. These activations typically involve interactive experiences that allow consumers to directly interact with the brand’s products, services, or values. They are often carried out through live events, social media campaigns, experiential marketing efforts, or all of the above.
Here’s our expert list for why brand activations should be part of your marketing strategy.
Drive Engagement: Brand activations are interactive by nature, encouraging active participation from consumers. Imagine allowing your customers to sample your products while snapping selfies next to life-size displays and answering questions from large-screen TVs about your brand: in the middle of the Big Apple. Fratelli Beretta did just that with a brand activation at the New York City Wine and Food Festival. They created an immersive Italian experience for attendees to experience their fresh Italian snacks.
Expand Brand Awareness: These experiences are often larger than life. They live outside an event center’s sometimes restrictive booth spaces and allow for bigger, bolder, and more adventurous statements in areas your brand wouldn’t reach before. They generate buzz, social media mentions, and word-of-mouth recommendations, expanding the brand’s reach to a wider audience. In a crowded marketplace, brand activations can help a company stand out and WOW, making for unique and memorable experiences, and leaving a lasting impression on consumers.
Community Building: Activations can help build a sense of community among consumers who share an interest in the brand. This can be especially powerful for lifestyle and niche brands. One of our long-time trade show exhibit clients, FAGE, tasked us with the mission to bring their brand to life for their sponsorship of the US Tennis Open. Together we created a dynamic environment to connect the tennis fans and FAGE’s healthy yogurt cups.
Accelerate Product Launches: Bringing a new product to market can be challenging. By allowing consumers to experience the product firsthand, brands can turn excitement and anticipation into sales upon launch. Activations provide opportunities to collect valuable consumer data on new (and existing) products. Companies can gather insights about consumer preferences, behaviors, and demographics before a full product roll-out.
Adaptability: Whether it’s a pop-up store in a city square or viral digital contests, brand activations can meet your ideal customers wherever they are. This adaptability allows brands to unleash their creativity to astound their target audience and reach their marketing objectives. Positive experiences with brand activations means increased brand loyalty and repeat business with consumers.
Brand activations are powerful marketing tools that go beyond traditional advertising by creating immersive and interactive experiences for consumers. Drawing on our extensive experience with trade show exhibits, Nationwide 360 thrives on the unique nature and creativity of these experiences. Crafting experiences and bespoke brand narratives designed to resonate, engage, and transform — it’s the stuff our dreams are made of. Drop us a line to start brainstorming where your brand will go next!