Marketing – Brand Activation Brings Your Brands to Life

When I first discovered or used brand activation as a marketing tool I was amazed at its simplicity and its ability to bring instant results. Yes, I said it, instant results. Most marketers are interested in the brand equity side of brand building because it is easy to execute and is not easily measurable in the short – term, that is, it takes a commissioned market research in order to measure attitude changes that have been brought about by the consumption of media products such as print, electronic and outdoor advertising whilst the value, that is sales volume side of the brand can be measured instantly by carrying out a volume drive which you can set specific volume targets for.

Brand activation in its simplest form is a road show where you take a brand to the people so that they can experience the brand. Your favorite band is a brand and when you attend their live show and experience their brand of music first hand, that is activation. It is known as experiential marketing and is a popular method for creating experiences with the brand for the customer or consumer. It works brilliantly for Fast Moving Consumer Goods according to my experience.

There are products which are not always on demand and sometimes there is a dip in demand. Brand activation is a tactic you can use to gain sales over a limited period of time. The objective may be to inform and to educate members of the public on the key attributes of the product and demonstrate it in use. The benefit of this is that the response is immediate as it is interactive. It can be a launch or post – launch event.

I am intrigued by the concept because a bar of soap is a bar of soap, and brands do not exist except in the minds of consumers where perception is reality. When you activate a brand be it in – home o r in store or even outdoor you are re- enforcing the attributes of the brand and etching even deeper into the psyche of the consumer as they touch feel and get to sample and use your product.

This activity doesn’t just create excitement and leaves the business wondering why so much money was invested and what the return was. Participation in the fun activities around the brand where lots of prizes may be awarded is based on actual purchase of that brand so it is easy for the sales manager to measure effectiveness through incremental sales. When you create opportunities for the brand to come to life in the relevant channels you connect well with consumers and thereby achieving awareness of the brand.

Internet Marketing – Brand Vs Direct Response Advertising

Most businesses get advertising wrong. Online is no exception, as a matter of fact, in some sense it may be worse. Businesses both offline and online get brand vs. direct response advertising mixed up. Essentially, there’s no reason any business other than very large corporations needs to do brand advertising. Let’s talk more about this.

Everything about advertising has been thought of before. All this stuff you see on the Internet, free ebooks for the price of your email address, software you download and pay for a month later only after you’re sure you like it, tracking codes, A/B split testing, …all this stuff was invented before the 1920s!

Most of what we use in internet marketing is an application of the principals of the greats like Claude Hopkins, the advertising genius who thought of using coupons to track results of ads. (If you haven’t read Hopkins’ book The Science of Advertising then you’re in for a real treat!)

So, why is it that advertising is so misunderstood when applied to Internet marketing.

I can’t tell you how many times I get emails that say: “Help, I’ve got this great website, but no traffic and no sales! What do I do?”

Okay, in a nutshell, here’s the problem.

Let’s suppose you build a great looking website and put it on the Internet. Let’s also suppose you do some basic search engine optimization and, maybe, pay per click advertising so that you’re actually getting some decent traffic.

The question is what are you doing with the traffic? What do you expect your visitors to do?

Most websites ask their visitors to do too much thinking.

Suppose you search for plumbing tips. One of the search results intrigues you and you click through to the home page of a high-end fixture and plumbing supply company. There’s the usual About Us, Contact, Blog, Articles, Recent Jobs buttons on the navigation bar. What are you the visitor going to do? Probably you’re going to hit the back button and leave. If you stay on the site, you’ll bounce around some, then click out.

Really what could happen here? I believe most website owners with websites like this believe the quality of their website will convince visitors they are the ones to do business with.

I got news for you. There are a ton of great looking websites out there, all competing for your prospect’s attention. The best thing would be for the prospect to pick up the phone and call the company and talk to a real live sales person. That’s probably not going to happen, at least in 99 out of 100 visits.

What needs to happen is you need to take a page from the world of direct marketing and offer your visitor something free (but worthwhile!) in exchange for their email address. According to what you sell, you could offer your visitor a free trial of something.

Anything! to keep them and to get their email address!

Once you’ve got that, then you can start really marketing to them and building a relationship.

Your Best Online Marketing Brand Will Be Invisible

Recently I was chatting with “Mary,” a neighbor who holds a responsible senior position in a major hospital. I told her I had just reviewed a really awful book on personal branding.

Mary frowned. “I hate all this branding stuff,” she said. “I don’t want a brand. I don’t have a brand. I’m just me.”

“But I bet you’ve got a reputation,” I said. “You’ve been around awhile. People say things like, ‘Mary’s the go-to person when we have a crisis.’ Or, ‘Mary’s completely reliable: when she says something, you know she’s as good as her word.

Mary nodded slowly. You could see the wheels turning as she realized she had plenty to brag about… and her brag would be the beginnings of her brand.

“You know, you’re right,” she said. “I guess I do have a brand after all.”

Mary is not unique. Many business owners claim they don’t have a brand. Sometimes they tell me they can’t see other people’s brands either. “Sam is a famous millionaire marketer,” they say, “and he doesn’t have a brand. He’s just… Sam. He doesn’t even have a logo!”

Of course Sam has a brand. It’s just invisible. And that means it’s even more effective. It’s stealth marketing: you don’t realize it till you’ve experienced the power.

It’s like make-up or a really good hair coloring job. “Professional make-up job” means people assume tell you’re wearing any. And we compliment our hair stylist when people say, “Oh, do you color you hair? It looks so natural.”

Bottom line: When it’s invisible, we feel we’ve reached the real YOU.

Recently I was listening to a teleseminar by a well-known media coach. I was struck by her unique speaking style, which communicates her brand: smooth, confident and completely different from most presenters. She doesn’t seem to be selling. She sounds casual and conversational.

But if you listen closely you will recognize some fine-ly developed marketing techniques. She seems to be telling stories but every line and every anecdote has a purpose. I sounds effortless but I bet she’s worked a LONG time to create that impact.

Some other examples:

– A successful marketer brands herself on her personal story, from fumbling start-up to confident international success (and a bank account that’s growing along with her business).

– A consultant brands himself by his experience in an unusual occupation that seems completely unrelated to his present field… until you learn the whole story.

That’s REAL Branding

These business owners feel comfortable sharing their strengths and claiming their bragging rights. They haven’t gotten hung up on colors or catchy slogans; in fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find logos or slogans on their websites or even business cards. Their brand is about recognizing who they are.