why brands are choosing to activate and how to be part of the movement

Those marketers! Always reinventing the wheel and adding to their repertoire of activity. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with what’s a fad and what’s here to stay, but I think we can safely say that brand activation isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. But as it entrenches itself into marketing plans around the globe, it’s timely to take stock of what exactly it is and what great looks like.

Brand activation is an activity, campaign or event that provides the opportunity for direct engagement between your brand and your consumers. Typically, it is an interactive and inclusive experience that works to build stronger relationships with your consumers and community. It generally covers experiential, sampling, exhibition and in-store activity but as the way we market evolves this list continues to grow. Let’s take a closer look at these four tactics.


We all know the power of experience. Experiential harnesses the insight that when we experience something for ourselves it becomes our own story, therefore, becoming more memorable, relatable and shareable and, by proxy, strengthening the relationship with the brand.
Experiential activity is built around providing opportunities for consumers to experience your brand. Not see it or hear about it but experience it. That means hands-on experience of the products, benefits or key selling points and the personification of the brand.


When you say sampling, the old taste test at the supermarket tends to spring to mind, but it can be so much more than that. Don’t get me wrong, there absolutely is a place for getting new products into the mouths of prospective consumers, but it is how this is actioned and targeted that is important. It needs to be timely, it needs to target the right audience, be relevant and creative to get the best cut through and the best results. A plaster station at a music festival, sunblock at the beach, tea at the train station – much more compelling than aisle 12 right? And if you are there where your consumers need you, the engagement is rich and the relationship with your brand strengthened.


The beauty about exhibitions is that your audience comes engaged and receptive. By being part of an exhibition event, you are surrounded by like brands or products and the audience in attendance is seeking out information centred on one theme, like boats or babies or “free-from” foods. The key to success at exhibition though is to find a way to stand out. Typically, it’s a big space with hundreds of exhibitors and products on display so how do you make your space stand out in this busy environment? Clever design, lighting and an engaging component are some of the best ways to do this.

in-store activity

Brand activation at point of purchase makes complete sense, you have a captive audience right at the point where you can quickly convert interaction to purchase. But in-store promotions or events can’t just be about discounts or deals. This is the opportunity to get your customers to touch and interact with your brand, to understand the story and the unique selling proposition that makes you different.


No matter which tactic you employ there are some common themes that help your activation come to life in a compelling way. Our top five things to consider in your design and execution are:

  1. Foot flow – consider how you want your audience to move through your brand activation. Do the entry and exit points match that? Is it attractive from all angles? Does the flow of information match the flow of people?
  2. Materials – considering budget, space, portability and flexibility will determine what kind of materials you should use to build the assets for your activation. A firm favourite of the activation trendsetters is fabric solutions. Not only is it lightweight, it doesn’t crease so its super portable and reusable, it’s easy to install, cost effective and it is visually arresting as it maximises space for imagery and can be down or back lit. Check out our blog on SEG graphics, a brand activation hero.
  3. Staff – your staff on your stand should be the personification of your brand. They are the face of your business, the human element, so how they interact with your audience is key to their perceptions and brand experience.
  4. Lighting – there is a universal agreement that humans are attracted to light. Clean, bright, attractive light disrupts the dim and contrasts from flat visual media. It becomes a beacon and lightboxes are becoming a key component of activation design as its power to draw in the crowds is acknowledged.
  5. Leverage – make the brand activations work hard and seamlessly across all touch points. Social media, digital communications, public relations, internal communications and advertising should all be considered when the activity is planned.

Whatever you do, build your strategy around the emotional reaction you want to elicit from your consumers. You can’t get emotional without engaging and engagement is the fundamental reason for brand activations. Let’s get emotional and talk to us about how we can help with fabric and light solutions.

what is brand activation