Learn From These 4 Best Brand Activations

Hamilton Hamilton

When searching for innovative and exciting strategies to connect with your audience, you have likely come across the phrase "brand activation." It is often used alongside terms such as "experiential marketing," "guerilla marketing," and "event marketing" because brands use elements from these approaches to create original and compelling campaigns. So, what is brand activation? Brand activation is releasing a new product, increasing brand awareness, or facilitating brand and customer interactions that create positive lasting impressions. But how do companies create brand activations? In this guide, we look at 4 of the best brand activations, explain what made each example successful, and share how you can learn from each activation. 

1. Mailchimp

The purpose of Mailchimp's exhibit at the Collision Conference was simple - to communicate Mailchimp as an all-in-one marketing platform for small business owners in an innovative and intuitive way that is true to Mailchimp's offbeat brand identity. 

Reasons for Success 

To fulfill the directive of this brand activation, Hamilton used the architecture, interactive elements, and messaging to captivate attendees and convey the expressive and daring brand. A bold asymmetrical, organic-shaped sign drew in attendees from far away in the show. A whimsical, projection-mapped wall entranced visitors with interactive elements, and a demo station allowed visitors to experience the platform for themselves. 

Key Takeaways

Notice that every element in the brand activation, including the architecture, floor plan, digital components, interactive opportunities, displays, and more, are excellent opportunities to facilitate meaningful engagement. To replicate this approach, think creatively about how your brand message can be reflected in brand activations and work with an event marketing team who can bring the vision to life. 

2. ADT

ADT's goal at ISC West, the largest converged security event in the United States, was to show that they are not your "old school" Authorized Dealer Program. ADT needed a brand activation with a clean and trendy design, showcasing its premier and innovative services while maintaining a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. 

Reasons for Success

ADT partnered with Hamilton to appeal to a younger generation of independent-minded and tech-savvy entrepreneurs and convey themselves as an industry leader in a hip fashion. The exhibit design drew inspiration from the retro yet modern and sophisticated style of California homes to transport attendees from the show floor to the comfort of their own homes, which was communicated through architectural shapes, neutral tones, wood flooring, contemporary furnishings, graphic displays of lawns, and a pergola representing an outdoor patio. 

Key Takeaways

Think about who your customers are and how they will experience your product or service in real life. Use that information to formulate a brand activation strategy that communicates how your offerings will fit into customers' lives and improve their lives. 

3. Johnson Controls

At Johnson Control's premier event, AHR, the goal was to refocus the brand vision on digital solutions leading the future in Smart, Health, and Sustainable Buildings, prioritizing industry leadership, brand stewardship, and intelligent, sustainable solutions. 

Reasons for Success

To communicate the brand message and activate a dynamic brand experience, Hamilton incorporated design elements to facilitate conversations, highlight important messaging, and reinforce the brand's identity. Nothing in the exhibit was static. The brand activation extended from the in-person experience to do digital sphere via Johnson Control's mobile event app, where people could download and access content in person or remotely. 

Key Takeaways

With the right design, brand activation can encourage meaningful conversations and position your brand as an innovator and leader in your industry. Additionally, consider integrating a mobile event app to extend the experience beyond the point in time and in-person event. 

4. Elanco 

Elanco attended VMX to redefine their conference presence, cut through the industry’s "product brand clutter," and reestablish Elanco as the leader in Companion Animal Health. 

Reasons for Success

To leverage the corporate Elanco brand above product messaging, a VIP program was established. The exclusive program focused on a strong pre-event campaign enticing Veterinarians to "sign-up" to participate in the event's new product promotions, educational sessions, and engagement center activities. 

Key Takeaways

Successful brand activations rely heavily on various design and marketing endeavors. If you want to redefine your brand and stand out amidst a crowded industry, consider offering an exclusive opportunity to select fans. 

Let Hamilton Lead Your Brand Activation Strategy

Partner with a trusted event marketing agency to succeed in your subsequent brand activation. 

Hamilton is a full-service event marketing agency with a 75-year legacy creating immersive brand experiences for companies throughout North America and around the world. We design, produce, and execute integrated experiences that drive meaningful connections between your brand and your audience. Our full range of solutions include mobile tours, exhibits, proprietary events and conferences, corporate environments, outdoor events, and digital experiences. 

To get expert help for your next brand activation, contact Hamilton today! At Hamilton,