How to Plan a Successful Brand Activation Campaign

Follow the five steps listed below when planning a brand activation campaign: 1. Set a goal 2. Create a budget 3. Understand your audience 4. Create a catchy call to action 5. Use all available channels to promote the event.

Brand activation is the ongoing manner in which a brand interacts and engages with the customer to entice customer action. While event marketing is the keystone of planning a successful brand activation campaign, it is important to remember that brand activation continues in all your interactions with the customers after the promotional activation event as well. The momentum set by the brand activation event is to be carried forward in all your marketing messages later - both in traditional outbound channels and the modern inbound channels.

Refinery29 29 Rooms Experiential Marketing Event - Life sized snow globe

Source: Refinery29

Broadly, brand activation is made up of three distinct steps:

Identifying a Big Idea

You have to have something to activate – this could be launching a new brand, a rebranding exercise, the launch of a new product line among others. For example, Lenscrafter worked with two big ideas across all their marketing and promotional activation campaigns – One, talk of vision enhancement rather than vision correction, and two, show people what they want to see, that is good things. Also look out for more outstanding examples of experiential marketing campaigns before beginning to plan your brand activation campaign.



This is the promotional event where you present your big idea to your customers. Here you get to interact face to face with your customers and give them an immersive brand experience. A couple of things to keep in mind when planning your brand activation event:

  • Make sure that it is fun, your customers already have enough seriousness in their lives.
  • Make sure it adds value to the customer.

One of the more successful brand activation events is Mountain Dew’s Dew Tour. It is fun, adds value to their customer’s day through entertainment, and is in line with their Big Idea.


Source: BNQT


Brand Activation does not end with the promotional event. You have to create a multi-touch interactive experience that drives your big idea home and delivers measurable results. Your efforts across traditional and modern marketing channels vis print and web entertainment, television and radio spots, and btl marketing through social media, blogs, videos, email marketing campaigns etc. should build upon what was started at the promotional activation event. Remember that none of the channels are working in isolation; your communication to your customers must be consistent and part of a larger continuum even as they switch channels. Your focus must be to build a fan base starting with the core group of interested participants from the marketing activation event.

21 Brand Activation Ideas to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing


Simple steps to keep in mind while planning a successful brand activation campaign

It may all sound a little daunting, but planning for a successful brand activation campaign includes five simple steps:

1. Set a SMART Goal

Before you mount your engagement marketing campaign you must decide what your goals are. Remember, goals should always be SMART:

  • Specific: Who the participants are, and what the action or activity is.
  • Measurable: Quantity of change that is to be expected throughout the objective.
  • Achievable: The objective must be attainable with the amount of time and resources available.
  • Realistic: Create an objective that is reasonable to ensure achievement with the available time and resources.
  • Time-bound: Provide a timeline to outline when the objective will be achieved.

Also see: How to Measure Experiential Marketing Without Losing your Mind? - Metrics, Goals, and Tips

2. Create a Budget

A successful brand activation campaign does not necessarily require a huge budget. That said, various components that make up the promotional activation campaign and measures that you need to take will require you to spend at least some of your monies. It is advisable that you decide on your budget upfront and then design a campaign that will fit your budget. This will also help you to measure the return on investment after the brand activation campaign is over.

3. Understand Your Audience

This is true for all promotional marketing activities, in fact for all communication. You need to develop an understanding of what appeals to your audience, their likes and the challenges they face – and address them accordingly. Remember that what appeals to an audience may vary from location to location even. An event conducted at Lucknow may not be same as an event conducted in Bangalore – the experiences and tastes of the audience in these cities are different even if the need that your brand is addressing is the same.

4. Create a Catchy Call-to-Action

You have reached out to your ideal audience, held their attention, told them about your brand, the product or service you offer and why it is beneficial to them. Now, don’t let them go without a call to action. Remember the goal of your campaign is to entice customer action – and if you don’t tell them how to act NOW, they may never. After they have participated in your brand activation activity, they are primed to act – use a call to action as the final push. Remember that the call to action need not always be at the event – your engagement marketing campaign does not end with the brand activation event but starts with it.

Also see: How to Create a Killer Experiential Marketing Event This Festival Season


For example. Refinery29’s 29Rooms does not immediately ask the audience to order their products. But they ensure to remind their audience of the promotional activation event when they communicate with them later. Of course, the goal for 29Rooms is to get exposure – and towards that Refinery29 keeps reminding its participants that they are in an “Instagram Paradise”, and encourage participants to create user generated content by posting videos and even vlogging reviews of the experiential marketing event. Remember that your call to action must be in line with your SMART goal, and should not always be about getting more orders immediately.



5. Use All Available Channels

Your experiential brand activation event was a great success; all the participants loved it and gave you great user feedback before leaving. But remember, it was just a few hundred participants. Now is the time to put it all out on the Internet to engage more users through your online campaign. The success of the promotional marketing event is not just in how good it was, but also in how much engagement your online campaign generated. You have a much larger audience that did not get to attend your brand activation event, but they would still love to have all the fun through someone else’s experience engaging with your brand. Some of the basic steps that can get you started with social media marketing to promote your brand activation event are:

  • Create a hashtag for the event
  • Make it easy for your participants to tag you or to post on your page on social media
  • Continue to engage and take your story further on social media platforms
  • Provide them something fun to share – say a video of them dancing with their favorite superhero



Your audience today is familiar with augmented or mixed reality technology, but will still be wowed by a great experience that you can create using the same technologies.