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How to Create an Amazing Brand Activation Strategy

In the fast-paced world of marketing, brands are constantly seeking innovative ways to captivate audiences and foster meaningful connections. This brings us to brand activations—a powerful strategy designed to elevate awareness, foster loyalty, and drive engagement by immersing consumers in memorable experiences. From sampling campaigns to pop up events, the possibilities are endless. But how can businesses craft a truly remarkable brand activation strategy that leaves a lasting impression?

What is Brand Activation?

It’s more than knowing what brand activation is. We are brand activation experts. To us, brand activations are when we bring the brand to life for your customers to create an emotional connection and drive customer action.

Understanding the Power of Brand Activation: How We Do It Differently

Brand activation is more than just a marketing tactic—it’s an opportunity to forge deep connections with your target audience. Whether through in-person events or digital experiences, brand activations offer a platform for consumers to interact with your brand in a meaningful way. Telling your brand’s story, connecting your customers with your values, showing your brand’s love for music, sports, or art, and connecting your audience with your philanthropy efforts all play a role in bringing your brand to life.

Setting Clear Goals and Metrics

Before planning a brand activation, it’s essential to define your objectives. What do you hope to achieve with your activation? Are you looking to gather valuable customer data, amplify your social media presence, drive sales, or create an emotional bond with your audience? By clarifying your goals upfront, you can tailor your strategy to deliver measurable results.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) serve as the compass guiding your brand activation journey. These measurable metrics allow you to gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns and track progress toward your goals. Whether measuring engagement metrics, conversion rates, or brand sentiment, selecting the right KPIs ensures that your activations align with your overarching business objectives.

Crafting Compelling Campaigns

With goals and KPIs in place, it’s time to bring your brand activation strategy to life. Whether planning a flagship event, launching a sampling campaign, or orchestrating a social media contest, creativity is key to capturing your audience’s attention. Leverage your brand playbook—a comprehensive guide outlining your brand’s vision, values, personality, and voice—to ensure consistency across all touchpoints.

Keep in mind that brand activations extend beyond traditional events. Decide what type of brand activation you want to do. Here is a list of some of our favorite activation types.

  • Event Brand Activations
  • Influencer Marketing Activation
  • In-Store Retail Activation
  • Social Media Activation
  • Brand Collaboration Activation

Digital Activation

Executing with precision

After deciding on your brand activation, it’s crucial to plan your team’s activities leading up to the event and strategize on how to leverage the activation post-event. Repurpose the gathered data and marketing elements to ensure your audience truly connects with your campaign through repeated exposure.

    Following each activation, conduct a thorough audit to evaluate performance against your established KPIs. Analyze data, gather feedback, and identify areas for improvement to refine future campaigns and maximize impact.

    Brand Activation Examples:

    Southwest Airlines & Shane Smith & the Saints:

    What a unique concept! Southwest Airlines obviously provides a service many musicians have used for years. Why not find a unique way to build a relationship with them and help them gain more exposure?

      American Eagle Cafe pop-up in Austin

      The pop-up offered free coffee, pastries, and key denim styles that displayed QR codes for customers to shop on AE.com. The campaign was used to kick off its “Back to Blues” campaign and collection. This is an excellent example of a brand coming back to life to stay relevant and connect to customers.

      Nike & Dick’s Sporting Goods Truck Campaign with a 6-stop tour with fully vinyl branded trucks and mobile heat press units. Customized basketball jerseys with their names for the youth athletes. This campaign did a great job connecting with youth athletes and their parents. These young athletes won’t forget this experience and are now emotionally attached to both brands!

      In conclusion, brand activation is a powerful tool for building awareness, fostering loyalty, and driving engagement with your target audience. By setting clear goals, defining relevant KPIs, and executing with precision, businesses can create unforgettable experiences that leave a lasting impression on consumers.

      Ready to take your brand activation strategy to the next level? Sign up for a 15-minute consultation with our team to discover how we can help you craft a fantastic brand activation strategy tailored to your unique needs and objectives. We work with brands to create campaigns that can be taken beyond the one-time event.

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      Tracy Gafford

      Graphic Extraordinaire

      Tracy Gafford is a self-created graphic design artist and entrepreneur hailing from Tulsa, Oklahoma. With a focus on branding and growth, Tracy ventured into the world of design to not only support her children but also escape the monotonous sales industry where she thrived for over 15 years. Her passion for graphic design, art, branding, growth, and the reasons behind it drive her creative pursuits.

      Outside of work, Tracy is a loving mother of two and finds joy in various activities. She has a green thumb and loves to spend time gardening. On top of that, she has an adventurous side you can often catch her driving her hot rod 42’ Ford or riding her BMX downtown, embracing the historical streets of Tulsa. Tracy is an avid fan of local live music shows, immersing herself in the vibrant music scene in Tulsa.

      Tracy’s expertise lies in creating visually captivating designs that help businesses establish their unique identities and propel their growth. With her innovative approach and dedication to her craft, Tracy has become a respected figure in the field. Whether it’s designing compelling logos, eye-catching merchandise, or engaging marketing materials, Tracy Gafford transforms ideas into impactful visual solutions that leave a lasting impression.

      Brandie Weaver

      Founder and Head Strategist

      Once upon a time, I was a 25-year-old driven, hungry female sitting behind a desk in an alcohol distributor office. I answered a craigslist ad (Yes! This was a way of life for us entrepreneurs at the time) for someone who needed an event coordinator and a sponsorship salesperson.

      I had been planning parties since I was 15 years old and I had a marketing degree so I convinced him I was the woman for the job.  This is how my “side hustle” began. I had never sold a sponsorship in my life, but I knew I worked at the liquor company so I had an edge over most people. 

      I dove in! I mean I really dove in and taught myself everything I could about sponsorships. At that time there really wasn’t a ton of information out there. I researched packages for hours on hours trying to come up with the most creative packages I could. 

      Little did I know that creating the packages was just the beginning of my long uphill battle. I spent ten years independently selling sponsorships at the local and national level for a professional boxing and MMA company. I did this while working full-time in the alcohol industry, getting an MBA, and partying like a rockstar! 

      In 2017 I saw a Facebook Post looking for an intern to work at a music festival. My first love has always been music so I responded to that post and continued to follow up until I got the meeting. I obtained the opportunity to work on my first music festival in Key West selling sponsorships.  I was working full time selling liquor at a liquor wholesaler, selling pro boxing and MMA sponsorships, and now I was finally selling something I was truly passionate about.

      I left the liquor company and started my own consulting company in 2018. Fast forward to today my team and I have sold over 4 million dollars in sponsorships for events and individuals. We have produced over 40 events for brands, companies, festivals, and musicians.  I have built my brand on doing honest deals and creating intimate experiences that BUILD RELATIONSHIPS that LAST!