No one would have predicated back in early 2020, that the next 2 years were going to be some of the toughest times we were all going to face! The human race in its entirety, economies and businesses were all going to be hit extremely hard! Especially for businesses in sectors such as arts & entertainment, hospitality & tourism and retail abroad…
Looking back there were some small positive moments, where we saw some amazing examples of businesses and brands that embraced the challenge, re-focused their energy, and showed no fear as they forged a new path… or as they saying goes ‘Pivoted’ nicely. Below are some that a worthy of a mention and a fantastic video showcasing what Oreo did:
The fitness industry took indoor/outdoor training to a whole new level during COVID, movement restrictions and lockdowns whilst ensuring customer safety which saw ideas like:
- Gyms creating outdoor Individual workout pods (with space for weights, benches etc)
- Movement to online Zoom fitness sessions
- Increased benefit of indoor cycle training like the amazing FulGaz indoor cycling app.
How about a ‘bar on wheels’… somewhere that takes free beer to the people?
Sounds crazy doesn’t it!
Well those Kiwis in New Zealand did just that, and brought to life a tiny pub on wheels which made stops on its way from Auckland in the north Island of New Zealand to Dunedin in the south Island, travelling over 1400kms from June through to mid-July.
No larger than a tool shed and with just two stools at the bar, the mobile drinking hole sold out every 27-minute reservation (about the time it takes to enjoy a pint and some conversation, and maybe play some tiny darts) at 10 stops.
It was a publicity play by Emerson’s, a popular Kiwi brand, but no one really cared, because hey: it’s free beer and some quality time with a mate.
Check the ‘Tiny Pub’ tour and the story behind this videos below:
Another fantastic example was combatting the challenge for the entertainment industry, which saw a huge impact to movie theatres due to COVID. With indoor restrictions at play, the solution that soon unveiled was to take your movie screenings to the water! So Boat-in movies was born, and sailed into 16 U.S. cities to take the experience to the people.
The Floating Boat Cinema, operated by Australian film and events company Beyond Cinema, offered screenings to customers who rented boats. Events and screenings took place in Los Angeles, San Diego, Miami, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Cleveland, Austin, and beyond. The boats enabled moviegoers to maintain social distance, and each boat must contain one party, whether it consists of just two customers or the upper limit of eight.
There are many more examples of fantastic pivots during COVID. However, one of the most important aspects of business strategy that occurred during this period was seeing where business were fearless, had a test and learn approach, challenged the norm – pushing the boundaries of how things were done and what was possible!
The hard work you put in during that challenging period will help you greatly in 2022, as industries start to bounce back. In saying that, if this work didn’t take place for your business, that is okay. There is no time like the present to take the plunge, rethink your strategy and BE FEARLESS!
So what makes a successful brand activation?
1) THE EXPERIENCE
It’s about the experience that enables consumers to interact with the brand. The experience defines the success of a brand activation. To draw attention to the experience, it must captivate consumers and offer an opportunity to interact with the brand and/or its products, to affirm its values and benefits.
2) KEY MESSAGING
It’s the messaging that will leave consumers with a positive perception of the brand. The key to shifting consumers’ perceptions lies in the messaging and how it’s delivered. By digging deep into the core of the brand’s identity and presenting it in ways that consumers can relate to, the right messaging combined with the experience can help evoke the desired emotions that will leave a lasting impression on consumers.
3) AMPLIFY YOUR BRAND
It’s the amplification strategies that turns consumers into brand advocates. When it comes to consumers making a decision on a purchase, they place more weight on brands that have been recommended by their peers. So if a brand activation can leave a lasting impact on consumers through providing an engaging experience, there’s a pretty high chance that this would be passed on to their network by word of mouth and or shared across their social media platforms.
An example of this is when Nutella toured across Hong Kong, inviting consumers to try free Nutella treats. They announced the campaign on social media, inviting people to follow the Nutella trike’s whereabouts. The fans who came along, took photos and shared their experience on Nutella’s posts – inspiring others on social media to join in on this fun experience!
In just one post, Nutella was able to generate engagement which surpassed expectations! Resulting in over 4,000 likes, 700+ comments with photo uploads, and 200+ shares from one post alone! Now that’s impressive!
The bottom line is… Be fearless! Try new things, embrace innovation, but most of all……always ensure the fan’s experience with your brand is a memorable one!
I’m always keen for a chat if you want to brainstorm some ideas.