Build a solid foundation
You wouldn't build your house on unstable ground, right? To begin constructing a memorable experience around your brand, establish an activation foundation that suits your brand and captures your audience's interest. Knowing a brand's objective is crucial - does the company want to sample a new product to their audience; or is it more of a brand placement and knowledge accumulation exercise? Understand your audience
Talking about your audience is easy, but knowing who they are and how they communicate is an art. Researching a brand's prospect is standard procedure for top brand managers across South Africa, and there are many talented companies out there who will assist in the science of gathering and compiling this material. But having a team activating your brand who know how to speak to your market in their 'language', within the culture of your brand, is the art. In South Africa, the ability to communicate a message simply and succinctly to large groups of people is critical, and advances in technology have allowed activation campaigns to expand their impact. These days, the universal language is text-speak, social media posts and cell phone interaction. Value for money
Activating a brand experience is an exercise in budget balancing; it takes people, equipment, vehicles and some serious planning to put your brand in people's eyes and minds. It's easy to get bogged down in spending too much in order to achieve the result. Having said that, proper planning and the value of experienced teams running activations is enormous, and can save you a great deal of money. Just like the construction of your dream home, it all fits into place on top of a well-structured plan. In addition, remember that activations always work better as part of a long term campaign.Are you making an impact or just making noise?
In the words of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu: "Don't raise your voice, improve your argument." This is very much the case within the activation environment. Some companies make the mistake of focussing on loud sound systems and MCs who spend their day losing their voices as they shout at a crowd. While that approach definitely fits certain markets, we believe that the right message, passed along in the right way, is far more constructive. Is it measurable?
Activations are not only about putting your brand out there...stakeholders need measurable results. Returning detailed feedback and measurable data is a crucial step in the growth of an activation campaign and gives clients the opportunity to measure the ongoing success of the campaign - as well as how that success was gained throughout the lifespan of any activation campaign. Putting theory into practice
A practical version of all of these lessons can be seen in a recent, very large scale activation campaign we recently hosted for a tech savvy SA bank. Our client wanted to do a large scale sales and acquisition drive to lower income level customers, both within the bank branches and at community orientated points such as taxi ranks, community centres, etc. A two-tiered activation which encompassed 156 show days in 56 destinations on one side and 82 sites activated in 6 days on the other meant that the foundation had to be absolutely rock solid in order for the activations to happen on time, perfectly to brief and without any hitches. Conversion rates and on-site activation of accounts gave us a very measurable response platform, and the clever use of iPads to educate as well as convert clients meant that we weren't just there making a noise - we were there making an impact.