Brand activation, a catchphrase that is used with abandon in the marketing sphere of business; such a positive phrase, to activate your brand, with connotations of growth and je de vivre. Get right down to the nitty gritty however and many in business will struggle to pin down just what a brand activation is.
Even the description available on Wikipedia, ‘the execution of the marketing mix as part of the marketing process. The activation phase typically comes after the planning phase…leaves much to be desired for any but the hardened branding specialist.
Let’s break this down for a second: Basically the friendly contributors over at Wikipedia are trying to tell us that a brand activation involves using the elements of the marketing mix (above the line, below the line and through the line advertising channels) to carry out a marketing plan or idea; Still a very general description at best.
Lets zoom in a little more and examine brand activation ideas for the South African SMME.
When people think, ‘brand activation’ many conjure up images of shopping mall centre courts filled with high definition televisions and eager promotional staff. Great for a brand like Samsung, with massive budget and a great collection of High-def TV’s to promote on their brand activation roadshow.
For the SMME, however, we need to look at brand activation as a holistic concept. A chain of marketing and media processes, reactions, campaigns and strategies, all concentrated under one ‘big idea’ with targeted objectives and a system of analysing results.
The brand activation blog gives a fantastic definition of brand activation from the perspective of the SMME, describing it as, ‘the seamless integration of all available communication means in a creative platform in order to activate consumers.’
As the brand manager at Bangula I’ve had personal experience with a company that has weathered the storms of over 10 years in the small business and entrepreneurial sector of the South African economy.
In 2003 we began with two entrepreneurs. Han and her first partner combined their South African language, translation and editing skills to form a small business. Since then Bangula has grown from strength to strength. We have managed to expand our language services with an exciting array of new options, as well as adding a prestigious branding and web service portfolio.
In an economy where five out of seven small businesses fail in the first year we have picked up many tips, tricks and tools to thrive as a small business.
The most important of these is a solid marketing plan. Many people focus on the creativity of their campaign and although this is an imperative step, without a solid and realistic foundation, even the most creative activations will be doomed to failure. A great foundation lays out the following:
Realistic and measurable goals, with objectives to obtain set at even periods.
Well-researched target markets and an understanding of how to reach them.
Well-managed and regularly updated media platforms to reach your target market:
According to the Brand Activation Blog, new media has caused a revolution in communication: the simplicity of interaction. Almost everyone has access to the internet and brand activations should stimulate people to interact. A brand activation platform often has a website as it’s basis. The consumer accesses the site of his/her own accord and therefore wants interact. This is a wonderful opportunity to offer an experience that influences the buying process.
At Bangula we combine a regularly updated WordPress website and blog with a host of connected social media platforms to reach a large percentage of our target market online. This combined with a well-managed Google Adwords account and intelligent keyword management has ensured that we have remained competitive. We recommend this mix for many SMME’s.
A versatile online network of web and social media platforms, combined with a thorough understanding of your target market provides a world of digital brand activation opportunities for the SMME owner.
The key to brand activation as an SMME is to constantly breathe life into your brand, keeping up with the wants, needs and expectations of your target market and making sure potential consumers can find and interact with you on their media portal of choice.
Bangula specializes in language, translation and branding services. We’d love to help you with the strategic insights and creative content needed for your next brand activation today.