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Innovation: The fulcrum in every brand activation

A brand is no longer what the marketer introduces to the people, but what the customers tell each other. Therefore, the primary aim of the brand today is to engage its consumers in as many ways as possible. While print media may fleetingly interest the eyes, and audio-visual media may appeal to the ears, experiences work directly on the five senses and the secret ingredient behind every winning strategy is 'innovation'.

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Activation through senses

Most people would not know of all-terrain vehicles or fathom their many utilities. Such was the challenge that presented itself to Pankaj Dubey, MD, Polaris India.

The first introduction to mass audience happened in Defence Expo, Delhi. Venues in the form of Polaris Experience Zones at 58 different locations followed, so that people may experience first-hand. In a while the product became the brand ambassador as Bollywood stars Varun Dhawan and Parineeti Chopra flaunted quad bikes. Also events like Off-Roader are oriented to give a positive vibe to the customer.

“This is how brands get visibility and products get strength,” said Dubey at The Activation Venues Forum, an Umbrella-Aegis initiative, held on 13th of September in Mumbai.

Strategies of creating an indelible experience

Anupam Yog, Director Strategies, The Partners, outlined the basic points to create an engaging experience, and how obstacles can be trumped with the right thought process.

Commissioned with the task of promoting the interest for art in people, by the National Gallery of Art, London, The Partners adopted a novel strategy. They turned the entire city into a venue, so that nobody was exempted from the lures of beauty. Even the hurrying office-goer would be tempted to stop for a breath and take a look, and the next weekend may find him at the gallery, wanting for more.

Tickling the imagination of a potential customer would lead him to think more about a product, and the thought will be the catalyst to a brand identity. Storytelling, therefore, is one of the more classic methods to drive a message home. A repositioning of the brand identity of London’s prime hotel “The Connaught’ was done by using this very technique of storytelling. Its rich history and heritage came alive in the motifs painted by an Icelandic artist, and this craft was used to intrigue people. “ Sometimes we are looking for ideas outward when they are sitting in front of us, and I think this was a great example of taking those two things and making it something more, said Yog.

Similarly, humor goes a long way in designing a refreshing experience. Simplicity with a touch of wit, when advertising, may work wonders, as in the case of the British catalogue retailer Argos.

It is the seamless integration of these attributes that may create a heart-winning experience and break the mould for any brand entity.

Technology follows experience

“Start with customer experience, and work towards the technology,” Steve Jobs had said. It has remained the standing principle in the world of experiential marketing. As Abhishek Ghosh, MD, Exicon Consulting, admitted ,the experiential journey creates a loyalty loop that brings the customer back to the brand. He brought forth the new technologies that are going to transform the quality of experience.

Augmented Reality (AR), which would help consumers try on a product virtually, has surpassed itself, and Live Augmented Reality (LAR) is the new thing. They present great possibilities to activation spaces. People in a mall may suddenly find themselves frolicking on a giant screen, only with a couple of dinosaurs thrown in.

Projection mapping with Motion Capture technologies help to capture emotions, motion, and thought and project them elsewhere by 3D mapping. “If you can’t have your customer all the way to a particular location you can always have him seated at his drawing room experiencing your brand,” concluded Mr. Ghosh speaking of the boons of technology.



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