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Brand Activation – Worth It or Risky?

Just mention a leading brand and we’ll be thinking or reminiscing about the advertising or marketing, right? Did you know, behind the simple but easy to remember advertisement, a lot of effort was invested to make it really effective. Sometimes, the concept of the advertisement will be extended in the brand activation which will further connect the consumer with the brand.

Many marketing experts are vocal about brand activation. Some say brand activation is just an extreme traditional marketing tactic. Some also say it’s a waste because there are too many aspects to take into account and it’s not necessarily that the brand will stay with consumers for a long time.

Brand activation can be seen as an attraction for consumers who just want to get to know a brand. There are also marketing agencies that use brand activation to recall the brand’s original concept even when it’s regularly seen in the digital realm. In any case, a successful brand is one that leaves an impression on the target consumer or consumer universally.


By using this tactic to strengthen the brand in the eyes of the consumer, the marketing strategist should take into account the main thing in the brand, which is the customer. Without customers, who would know your brand. Here are some strategies that would make your brand activation worth implementing:

Respect Your Users

Ensure any brand activities you desire to implement must exceptionally honour and respect your users. Especially when it comes to personal limitations. If you could get to ask the right questions to your customers, you are likely to get the right answers that will help you understand their personal boundaries.

Humanize Your Brand

It does not mean you’d need to make a costume of your brand and have a human wear it. If your brand promise is made of core values, it’s about time to have it realised through human behaviour. For example, if you were to place your employees in a mall with product samples, the human interaction between your employees and the public is far more valuable. Why? Because your potential users can put a face on your brand. Compare that with a billboard across a highway, human interactions are largely preferable because we humans are social creatures.

Give Surprises, Not Heart Attacks

Imagine this: You are on your way to work using your normal route and suddenly, a gentleman hands you a single red rose and walks away. How would you feel? Surprised? Excited? Smiling widely? What else? When users don’t expect their days to get any better, and being served with beautiful values by a specific brand, wouldn’t the connection to the brand last longer? Whatever the reaction, a user will spread the news to their circle of friends, thus more people are going to connect the brand with these emotions and the core values.

brand activation


If the above was worth it, let’s take a look at the riskier ones. How can a brand activation go wrong? When its implementation is inadequate or there is no detailed planning to measure its outcome.

Assuming User Feedbacks

There is no such thing as assumptions in marketing. Of course there is no perfect formula for certainties either. But to leave it to the user to provide feedback without any motive is likened to fishing without a bait. Users will only provide feedback if there is an emotional reaction. Those are valuable feedback to measure your brand effectiveness during activation. So, always include the means for immediate response or feedback for post-mortem sake.

Crossing The Line

When a brand crosses the line in Malaysia’s cultural context, it might relate to religious, political party, racial, or social status boundaries in Malaysian society. Believe me when I say that a brand that goes overboard, no matter how minor or inadvertent, will become viral, and the company’s reputation will only suffer when brand activation efforts have a negative influence on customers. 

Influencing Emotions With Design

Brand activation activities can be based on data and facts, unless your brand users are robots. However, if your brand’s consumers are still human, every marketing effort should appeal to their emotions. This is because studies demonstrate that many individuals make judgments (including purchasing) without recognising it, and these decisions are based on emotion rather than logic. Wouldn’t influencing emotions be more advantageous in the long run if the data is rational and emotional awakening is an unconscious act? Data and reasoning are useful for reporting and short-term sales, but it is the experience people have while using your branded product that drives brand loyalty.

brand loyalty


Design is one of the product elements that may irritate or fascinate customers. It is up to your brand to connect with which emotions in order for customers to benefit from your brand. If you wish to learn more about a design that is thought provoking or emotionally stimulating, Whatsapp us at 019-222 3300 or visit For social media enthusiasts, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and  YouTube, ddecmalaysia.

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