Knowledge Library

The Rise of Brand Activation Solutions

Brand Marketing

Experience has more impact than exposure

By Lauren Durant of Isilumko Activate

The term ‘brand activation’ may not mean much to the average consumer, but if they’ve ever watched a live product demonstration in a supermarket, or been handed a discount voucher for a particular cleaning detergent at a traffic light, or sampled a new brand of sports drink at an event, then they’ve certainly been the target of this kind of brand-building exercise. Whether we want it to be or not, the world is a branded place and activation solutions can help distinguish brands in a crowded marketplace.

Providing the much sought after two-way conversation between brand and consumer, brand activation campaigns generate interest by allowing the customer to experience a product or service in a personal way. Experiences are often aimed at educating and motivating, so that the customer begins to appreciate the brand, and this involves making sure that the brand connects on an emotional level with the customer. The stronger the emotional connection, the more meaningful the interaction between consumer and brand – resulting in customers re-buying a brand more frequently.
While traditional marketing is based on a volume of target audience impressions, activations involve engaging with consumers in a manner that enables them to ‘feel’ the brand versus simply being exposed to it. Perhaps only 1000 people experience a new product launch at a popular shopping mall, by the time the event is shared on Instagram or YouTube, the impact is far greater. Human beings are highly social animals and have the innate need to communicate and interact. So even if an event is really small, what better way to spend marketing budget and make an impact than through brand activation?

The quality of the impact a brand has, is therefore often times more important than the high reach of the message. Maximising reach will mean very little if the message isn’t heard and internalised in some way by the target audience. If the audience is disconnected and regards the message as white noise, then they’ll probably ignore it altogether. The cost per reach is therefore directly related to the quality of the impact. When the cost per reach reduces, so too does the impact of the message. In contrast; as impact increases, so too does the cost per reach. As such, best practice brand activation campaigns must be strategically-led in order to deliver measurable results with a focus on ROI (Return on Investment).
While activations can achieve outstanding results, conducting a campaign that is not aligned with the brand strategy should be avoided. To complete a successful activation, a mix of the right elements is needed. If the campaign is not captivating, the product or service not aspirational, the campaign not promoted or the promotion not given enough time in market, etc., the activation may not meet the objectives set at the very beginning.
Some of these strategic elements include:

  • Communication Targets: determine beforehand how many engagements/ direct communications are to take place with the audience

  • Distribution of Material/ Giveaways: determine upfront how many units of product are to be issued to the audience during the campaign

  • Sales Targets: Is there a direct action that must be measured at a till point or through a coupon redemption

  • Other Call-to-Action Activities: execute well-structure digital media initiatives in support of the campaign

  • Conversion Targets: determine the measure of communication versus the actual action. E.G.: sample product is distributed to 10 customers, resulting in one sale = 10% conversion

  • Measurement of the influence on/ changing in consumer perceptions or behaviour, must be measured through independent market research at activation and /or beyond

About Lauren Durant
Lauren Durant is Director at Isilumko Activate. She’s been with the company since its inception over two decades ago, and has contributed significantly to the evolution of the business to one of the market leaders in the activations space. Durant spends much of her time with clients, understanding their needs and assisting in the development of cutting edge activations strategies. Parallel to this, she mentors members of the team to do the same, often lauding the value of co-operation and communication – all of which contributes customer-centric culture of the organisation which is built from the heart and soul of its people.
About Isilumko Activate
Isilumko Activate (powered by Studentwise) is a company focused on facilitating creative, integrated one-on-one interactions between a brand and the consumer. With impressive credentials built up over almost 22 years in the in the industry, this level 2 BBBEE accredited company has a rock-solid reputation that attracts and retains staff that are as passionate about activations as the company’s original founder members. For details visit:

Drafted and distributed by SIMONSAYS communications and to contact for further information:   
Tamryn Sher
011 465-9815
076 235 8230                  

Share The Knowledge
Building Brands in a World we can’t Control

Brand Marketing

It used to be that people only had a few TV channels to watch and radio stations to listen to. Routines were planned around what time their favourite programmes were aired.

Share The Knowledge
The real-time future of visual brand storytelling has arrived

Brand Marketing

The revolution of the future may continue to be televised, but more and more consumers will be watching it unfold on their mobile devices rather than on their TVs.

Share The Knowledge
Understanding a brand and connecting it digitally

Brand Marketing

Brands have been around as long as there have been things to sell. The term ‘brand’ originated from the stamp carved onto a product to certify its purity, authenticity and origin.

Share The Knowledge
Are Brands that don’t stand for anything redundant?

Brand Marketing

One of the major trends shaping consumer behaviour today is that, while the desire for status hasn’t gone away and we still seek social currency, we now seek it through experiences, stories, and moments we can share.

Share The Knowledge
How to deal with a brand crisis caused by poor customer service

Brand Marketing

Brand crises are a harsh reality for all organisations. Dealing with them is not becoming any easier. Instead they have become complex tasks that require constant supervision.

Share The Knowledge