Brand Activation: Bringing Your Brand To Life

Marketing, as we know, is all about waging war against competitive forces to win market share. For this purpose, marketers create warriors which win the perceptual battle for them, and these warriors are called BRANDS. Brands have proved their worth by earning premiums, decimating competitions and even beating time factors (as many brands are still leader as they were a century ago). Owing to this, marketers have stepped up their efforts to build their brands. They are building their marketing programs around their brands.Today, marketplace is replete with competition. Opening up of economy has led to the entry of foreign brands into the marketplace. These brands are also adding to the chorus. Advertising has always been seen as main weapon to build brands by the brand managers. Excessive reliance on this form of communication has resulted in “over communication”. Ad clutter has been increasing gradually and the future shows no sign of relief. Not only has this, advertising also lost its credibility if we compare it to what it used to be decade back. Reasons are many: More knowledgeable customer, comparative advertising, internet etc.Therefore, marketers are exploring new ways of supporting their brand. One such method is called Brand Activation. Brand activation can be defined as marketing process of bringing a brand to life through creating brand experience.Next question now is what to activate? Generally, the core features or brand values of a brand are used for activation. That’s what every brand manager strives to achieve i.e. communicating their brand values to their target customers. But a word of caution here: select only one or two features or brand values to activate. Don’t try to communicate each and every detail of your brand. One has to appreciate the fact that branding is based on the concept of singularity.This concept assumes a greater significance in case of services which are intangible in nature. Let me take example for both products and services to explain brand activation.

B.A. In Products:

Consider a hypothetical shaver brand “X”. Further assume that there are six other brands in this category. All brands are touting themselves as provider of smooth shave in their respective ads. But you are the smoothest one but how do you make your T.A believe of the same. B.A comes handy in case scenario.Create such a platform, where you can meet your T.A and give them free shave so that the can feel the “smoothness”. Allow them to interact with your brands as much as possible. You can do so with the help of road shows and exhibitions etc. Once you have done that, customers will be able to validate your claim. Also, they will relate to your ads.

B.A in Services:

It’s the people in services which actually activate your brand. Consider the case of insurance company which claims to be most caring company. But the problem is that every company is saying that. The company (lets say) which reaches the place of accident, will be considered as most caring.

Benefits of Brand Activation:

1. You can convey your positioning using brand activation.

2. It supports your ad claim if used carefully.

3. Distortion is minimum in this case.

4. It increases your brand salience.

5. Helps in revitalizing a brand. Horlicks is doing it through its campaign which is trying to change its image from fuddy-duddy to an exciting brand among children. Their Wiz-Kid competition across the country is the perfect example of brand activation.

6. Brand activation can elicit customer insights as people interact with the brand.

Limitations of Brand Activation:

1. Lack of initiative on part of brand managers is the major concern.

2. Lack of measurement matrices or indices is the limiting factor.At the end, I would like to say that brand activation should not be confused with the below the line activities. Brand Activation is seen as a tool to build brands through interaction with its target people whereas below the line activities, most of the times, are sales oriented


40 thoughts on “Brand Activation: Bringing Your Brand To Life

  1. Branding is (basically) the activity of making a product meaningful to the consumers … and “bringing that brand meaning to life” to secure a more vivid position in the consumers’ minds is what Brand Activation is as a process …

  2. it’s so interest with Ur articel…i’m a student from indonesia…i was make a proposal for homework and the topic is brand activation…i need Ur help, can U give some more articel or reference about brand activation…i hope the source can be more valid, bcoz it’s for homework..hehehe…thx a lot’s….(i’m sorry for my bad english)..

  3. “Brand Activation is seen as a tool to build brands through interaction with its target people whereas below the line activities, most of the times, are sales oriented.”

    – What do you mean by “below the line activities?” 🙂

    • Below the line or BTL are non traditional ways of advertising or communication.


      3D billboards
      Brand activation activities
      surprise events

      BTL= communication thinking outside the box

  4. Great article. Need some info on how to measure the results/effectiveness of a Brand Activation.

    Should comparing the avg sales before BA and avg sales after BA suffice?

  5. Hi ,I really like your article its very informative I would like to add that the brand activation platform is really a concern matter to be chosen according to your T.A demographic and geographic standards .B.A also increase frequency ,consumption and penetration of your product.

  6. it pretty good article, quite brief and to the point. yet few things are required to be taken into consideration, 1st: measuremnt of BA, 2nd: clear differentiation betwen brand activation , sales promotion and BTL activities.

  7. @Saurav: I dont think sales before BA & sales after BA is the right way to go about it. BA helps in removing any barrier a brand can face from consumers through One To One connect. Sales are important but in this case may not happen immediately. In such cases, it may improve equity which will further ensure sales.
    @Ubaid: Thanks for the inputs.
    @Shahrukh: Thanks to you as well for giving ur POV

  8. great article,,,and really interested to explore about BA.

    Would you mind inform me, where I have to find the literatur book about BA and related to BA for my skripsi? please kindly advice me…thanks

  9. This was a good article, I’ll be working in a Brand Activation program soon enough for an ISP and I am doing my homework on brand activation! This was helpful!!! Thanks

    • I would like to know if you have found book references about B.A.
      I am doing my thesis named country brand activation, and i am in need of help.

      Thank you

  10. I appreciate your blog. I know the term “brand activation” is commonly used in motor sports. I work with a couple of race teams in Indy Car and Modified. I’m glad you’ve introduced the term to the rest of the marketing audience.

  11. i know, BA is something new in integrated marketing communications,
    and i just wanna know BA so deep.
    anyone know, what the title of book that explain all about BA???

  12. Hi! Informative but please fix your grammar. The errors (dropped articles, tenses, spelling) do you no good as a marketer. Thanks.

  13. Hi,
    I agree this is very informative, althoug very short.

    Would like to know more about country brand activation.
    Could someone help me, with book reference about this topic?
    Thank you

  14. wow , i was sort of clueless about this . after reading your article which is explained so beautifully and simple i dont have anything to say more . thanks once again

  15. @Sofia: Sorry for the delayed response. Appreciate your kind words. I don’t know if there is any book available on it or not. I had written this article a long time back.
    On your query, I could try responding to your query if you can be more specific with your query.
    @Kenrick, Ahmed: Thanks a lot!!

  16. @MP: Thank you. I am doing my thesis in Country Branding activation. I want to bring the brand to the lifes of the residents. I would like to know how can this be done. I only find articles about product/services/employees brand activation, but i dont find nothing related to country’s.
    Would someone help me?

  17. Pingback: Brand Activation: Bringing Your Brand To Life | Sandbox Creative

  18. Hello All,
    Speaking of brand activation I would like to know your views. I am doing some work on brand activation and how to shape the future of travel. As far as customer complaints are concern, just wondering which actions and behaviours should we start to do to be able to say that we shape the future of travel? Happy to get your feedback via email as well ( Thanks in advance

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