Brand Activation Events: Using Technology to Build Excitement
The term brand activation refers to the interactions a company can use to drive the actions and attitudes of its audiences. Its primary goals are increasing brand awareness, developing strong relationships with the target market, and generating customer loyalty. Brand activation can take various forms, including events, campaigns, and digital experiences.
A brand activation event is designed to engage potential customers interactively and dynamically (see our activation events page here). Through these events, businesses can showcase their products or services, create brand advocacy and generate leads. Some examples of brand activation events include product launches, pop-up stores, and interactive experiences. Based on recent stats, 75% of consumers claim that being engaged in branded event experiences makes them more likely to purchase promoted offerings.
Over the years, we have witnessed an increasing use of technology in events with the goal of increasing attendees’ satisfaction. From virtual reality activities to interactive gaming, modern technological solutions allow marketers to think outside the box and create more immersive customer experiences. By leveraging the right tools, companies can build excitement around their offerings and inspire audiences to take the desired actions.
After illustrating the benefits of event activation, this article will provide examples of successful brand activation events that use technological tools to maximize their results. Finally, we will give you some handy tips to plan and organize technology-driven events like a pro.
The Benefits of Event Activation
Activation events allow companies to interact with their target audiences more meaningfully and memorably than traditional forms of advertising. They can be used as experiential tools to launch new products or to further engage current customers.
Unlike impersonal marketing tools, these events can reinforce trust in the brand by providing tangible evidence of the quality of the company’s offerings, as well as increase positive brand associations by allowing attendees to enjoy unforgettable experiences.
Event activation is also a great tool to generate leads. After obtaining attendees’ details through data capture technologies, companies can reach out and follow up with target customers. Moreover, these events provide the opportunity to create content for social media and other digital platforms, further expanding brand awareness in the process.
Another benefit of event activation is its flexibility. Brand activation events can be highly experimental and are an excellent way for companies to test new products and ideas. By doing so, they can assess how well-received their offerings are in a limited sample of customers that is highly representative of the brand’s target market.
Examples of Technology-Driven Brand Activation Events
Here are some practical examples of how using technology in events can improve brand activation by amplifying the attendee’s experience.
Virtual reality (VR) is a great way to engage people during brand activation events. This technology allows you to offer attendees the chance to virtually explore your products as well as travel to fictional or far-away environments where they can enjoy unprecedented experiences. For example, a coffee brand could use VR to make the audience embark on a virtual trip through the different stages of coffee production, from the South American field where coffee is harvested to the customer’s sofa where it’s finally ready for consumption.
Another technological solution that can help companies engage event attendees is augmented reality (AR). Through these tools, participants can interact with the company’s products or services in innovative ways that would otherwise not be possible. For example, a fashion brand could organize an event where visitors can virtually “try on” t-shirts, pants, jackets, or shoes without having to wear them physically.
Live Social Media Streaming
Streaming an activation event live on social media can help a brand reach wider audiences than just those present at the event. Social media can also help event organizers create a more interactive experience, as viewers can participate in polls and games directly from their phones. A perfect example is the product lunch we organized for XOS Trucks, and event which involved the continuous and strategic use of hashtags. It also featured a 40×13 curved LED backdrop to the stage, seamless screens that were added to the speakers’ presentation, and a LED display podium for the engine that displayed content about the engine itself. On top of that, VR and XR (extended reality) technologies were used to help prospective investors and buyers better understand the product by going on a virtual tour of the inside of the engine.
In our collective mind, nothing symbolizes technological progress as much as robots. You’ll be surprised to learn that robots are becoming increasingly prevalent in activation events thanks to their ability to provide unique customer experiences. Companies such as SoftBank Robotics in Japan have created humanoid robots that can be used for non-conventional interactions with customers during brand activation events and other face-to-face marketing activities.
Companies can also use modern technologies to create entertaining gaming experiences for their attendees. These can involve both individual and group games. For example, a car company could set up an event where participants compete against each other in a virtual race game using a VR headset. In the game, attendees can select their “virtual cars” from a collection of models that are produced and sold by the company and accurately replicate the original features.
How to Plan and Organize a Successful Brand Activation Event
Planning and organizing an effective brand activation event requires a thoughtful approach.
First, you should define the WHO, that is, the audience the event is trying to engage. Are you trying to attract a specific group of customers? Do you want to reinforce relationships with your existing clients? Are you looking for new investors for your company? You can’t plan a successful event without knowing the main traits of the audience you’re trying to reach. Defining your target attendees is also essential to market the events and ensure it has a good turnout.
Then comes the WHAT, meaning the goals you are trying to achieve by organizing the event. Do you want to launch a new product in a unique way to overshadow the competition? Are you trying to improve the way your brand is perceived in the market by evoking new positive feelings in your target market? Are you trying to reinforce the loyalty of your existing customers by rewarding them with a unique experience? Clearly define your objective in the planning stage of the event.
The next step is defining the HOW. Now that you know who you’re trying to reach and what you’re trying to accomplish, you must come up with effective and original ideas to get it done. Every event should be unique to the company it represents and the audience that is trying to engage. An event organized by a cupcake producer that wants to target its regular clients will be very different from a car manufacturer’s product launch. Depending on these factors, the event can revolve around product sampling, brand storytelling, “shock and awe” experiences, customer incentives, or charity activities. Make sure the event has distinctive elements that make it truly unique. One example is an event for a Palo Alto’s digital company that we helped set up. The business wanted a futuristic theme for their conference kickoff party. After considering their goals and target audience, we organized a photo booth where the attendees could paint with light… like actual light! We also included stilt walkers with LEDs that displayed targeted messages, and a memorable percussion show in which drums were synched with the lights.
Finally, you need to define the logistical aspects of the event, that is, the WHERE and WHEN, as well as make sure that the overall cost of the event falls within your available budget.
Create Memorable Activation Events with the Right Event Partner at Your Side
Support from an experienced event manager is essential to organize a successful brand activation event. This refers to all the stages of the event’s preparation. A partner like Event Solutions can guide you through the process of conceiving, planning, and managing the event, as well as evaluating results after the event is over.
After analyzing your goals and target audience, we will help you generate tailored event ideas and show you the steps to turn them into reality, all while taking into account your budget and any other operational, bureaucratic, and legal constraint that you may have. We’ll be at your side from conception to promotion to post-evaluation and give you all the advice and support you need at every step.
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