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What are digital brand activations?

Welcome to the first part of our mini-series on the basics of digital brand activations. Over the course of the next three blog posts we're going to answer the following key questions:

  1. What are digital brand activations?
  2. What do successful digital brand activations look like?
  3. What are the challenges of successful digital brand activations?

Plain ol' brand activations

So what are regular brand activations? These are experiential marketing campaigns created for brands and companies for events. Their goal is to get the customer engaged. Instead of the traditional passive relationship between customer and brand, these activations aim to get people involved and hands-on, deepening that relationship.

Here a quick cheat sheet of characteristics:

  • Definite. They are standalone campaigns that have a start and end date. They don't go on indefinitely.
  • Unique. They are usually unique in the context of a brand's broader marketing campaign.
  • Experiential. The customer should actually do something.
  • Physical. They are traditionally on-site and in-person.
  • Experimental. They can use ideas that wouldn't necessarily be appropriate in a traditional campaign.
  • Rewarding. The customer gets something in return. This isn't a one-way street.

Going digital

So what's a digital brand activation? Well that's easy, it's a regular brand activation that includes some sort of technology component. This might mean including some sort of software-based game or experience, a hardware component such as a switch, camera or sensor, a social media integration or any of the 1000s of others ideas you might have that include technology.

Adding to our cheat sheet above:

  • Includes technology. The core experience is digital. That means on a screen or device.
  • Offline, online or hybrid. Can be totally in-person where a participant interacts with some hardware, or could be online or via their phone or computer.

In the next blog post, we're going to go into what makes a successful digital brand activation, so hold onto your hats.

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