Mastering Brand Activation Events: A Guide for Retail Success

Brand activation events are effective for experiential marketing. Talk to TLC for stunning visual engagement solutions for indoor branded events.

The retail business landscape is incredibly competitive and noisy. How do you make your brand stand out and get noticed? Hosting brand activation events is an effective marketing strategy to grow awareness about your products or brand and reach the consumers who are most likely to prefer your products or become fans of your brand.

A brand activation event is a face-to-face interaction with potential customers and existing brand fans that fosters a strong connection between the brand and its audience in an authentic, meaningful, and memorable way.

There are many different ways to launch a brand activation event. But one thing is for sure—you'll need a great idea to start with. From attention-grabbing pop-ups within larger retail spaces to invitation-only events, from product launches to corporate party-style events graced by celebrity brand ambassadors, brands are going all out to connect with their audiences.

Read on as we discuss the significance of brand activation events for retailers and how you can craft a memorable brand activation using TLC's modular display systems and visual engagement solutions.

Understanding the Retail Landscape

In order to understand the true significance of brand activation events, it's essential to put a finger on the pulse of the modern retail industry landscape and appreciate the challenges retailers face.

A crowded and competitive marketplace

It's hard work getting your brand seen and heard in today's hyper-competitive marketplace. Retailers must constantly think of innovative ways to reach and engage their target audience. 

The power of choice is with the consumer

With dozens of competing brands for any product, consumers are eager to shop around to see what's on the market—and they're willing to switch from one brand to another to find the best option. Waning brand loyalty is a constant threat to the modern retailer.

Gen Z looks for authenticity and relevance

It's tough to market to Gen Z. They have a finely cultivated blind spot for blatant promotions. They look for authenticity and transparency in brand messaging and won't settle for anything less than a meaningful interaction from the brand they love.  

Retail is going omnichannel

No longer is it enough to have a brand showroom or a chain of stores. To stay relevant and remain in the consumer's frame of reference, brands must show up wherever their target audience goes—social media, on mobile apps or in-game placement, and at offline events—preferably all of these! Retail is now omnichannel.

Retail has its challenges, But it is an inherently resilient industry. Retailers constantly try newer tactics and techniques to address the evolving challenges of the marketplace.

Brand activations, showrooming, and click-and-collect are omnichannel strategies that transition smoothly between online and offline—and the modern retailer simply can't afford to neglect them.

A branded event also addresses the challenge of satisfying Gen Z—it is an experiential marketing strategy that directly engages shoppers, elevates brand awareness, and enhances recall.

Planning Your Brand Activation Event

What is a brand activation or marketing activation and what do you need to keep in mind to launch a successful event?
Brand activation events provide retailers with an opportunity to meet their audience in person and gain a true understanding of their expectations of the product and their reaction to the brand's messaging.

And if the event has been designed thoughtfully, it creates a lasting impression of the brand in the shoppers' minds. 

If you're planning an experiential, branded event, here are some points to keep in mind: 

  • Set clear objectives
    What is the goal of organizing the activation? Is it to launch a new product or variant? Or to create brand awareness in a new segment of your audience? You may also use a brand activation event to test a new market or a different sales strategy. Whatever your goal may be—make sure you articulate it clearly.

  • Pinpoint the target audience accurately
    Do you have your audience personas right? Fine tune the demographic and behavioral profile of the target audience, as this will point you toward the next steps—selecting suitable activities and venues.

  • Choose the right type of experiential event activities
    The most crucial consideration is the type of event you want to host. It must resonate with your target audience and align well with the goal you have set for the event. 

  • Choose the ideal venue
    Where do you want to hold the event? Think of where your target audience is likely to be present or would like to be present. Consider the ambiance that will wow your audience or put them at ease. Also, evaluate practical points such as accessibility and capacity.

  • Budget all aspects carefully
    What resources do you need for the experiential activities for your event? The main cost headings tend to be the cost of hiring a venue, production of brand signage and product displays, and the cost of swag bags, prizes or giveaways for event participants.

Crafting a Memorable Brand Activation with Display Systems

Once you have all the elements of your brand activation event strategy planned out, it's time to bring it all together with visually stunning graphics, immersive brand stories, and memorable displays.

The Look Company has delivered attention-grabbing displays and bold graphics for brand activation events across North America.

  • For a truly immersive experience, try our visually stunning vibrant building wraps or window treatments to cover your venue's external facade.

  • Our custom lightboxes provide highly engaging backlit imagery to create a warm and inviting ambiance for indoor venues. Our lightboxes are available in custom sizes and configurations and feature energy-saving LED lighting systems and easy-to-change fabric prints.  

TLC's modular display systems allow your visual merchandisers to create temporary pop-ups, booths, kiosks, walls, and partitions so you can design innovative spaces for different activities and experiences at your event.

The Look Company crafts cohesive visual engagement solutions using innovative displays and immersive graphics for various types of events, such as in-store activations, annual events, product sampling, swag campaigns, contests, and pop-up stores.

Executing and Measuring Brand Activation Success

At The Look Company, we also offer our clients end-to-end services, from design to project management and installation, to help you bring your branded event to life!

Our team of experienced specialists has successfully delivered thousands of projects worldwide. Rely on us to help you come up with innovative branding solutions for brand activations, visualization through technical CAD drawings and customized visual engagement solutions for your venue.

Our project managers can coordinate the entire project from start to finish to ensure quality deliverables on time and at scale. We'll even collaborate with external partners and other stakeholders for your event.

A comprehensive analysis of KPIs can help you measure how successfully your goals were met. 

Here are some examples of measures you can use to gauge the effectiveness of your brand activation strategy:

  • How many people attended the event? Compare this to your expected number.

  • If your event included free trials, product demos, or live bookings, get a measure of the response to these activities. 

  • Conduct a post-event feedback survey to collect qualitative data. Check if attendees were satisfied with the event. Ask attendees what they would like to see or experience in future events.

  • Monitor your social media channels for mentions of the event. Evaluate the sentiment about the event on social channels. Measure likes, comments, and shares for content related to the event to assess the overall engagement. 

  • Finally, compare your overall online and offline sales figures for a select period before and after the event. (Remember that the effect on sales can appear sometime after the completion of the event.)

The Look Company: Activating Brands in Retail Environments

The Look Company offers a comprehensive range of innovative visual engagement solutions for your brand activation event. 

We transform indoor spaces into unforgettable brand experiences with bold graphics, lightboxes, and innovative display solutions.

Reach out to us to discuss your brand activation event objectives, and watch us work the magic to elevate your event to an unforgettable brand experience!