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Brand Activation: Does it Worth it?

When it comes to leading brands, we often recall their adverts or TV commercials, don’t we?

Behind those straightforward yet memorable TV commercials, a lot of hard work is poured in to make them hit the mark. Sometimes, the concept from the advert is expanded into brand activation, which forges a stronger connection between users and the brand.

There’s quite a bit of chatter among marketing experts about this brand activation. Some reckon it’s just an over-the-top traditional marketing stunt. Others argue it’s a waste because it involves too many variables and doesn’t guarantee the brand will stick with consumers for long.

Brand activation is seen as a draw for folks just getting acquainted with a brand. Some marketing agencies use brand activation to refresh the original brand concept, even in this digital era. Anyway, a brand that makes a lasting impression on its target audience is the one that succeeds.


When employing this tactic to bolster your brand in consumers’ eyes, your marketing strategy must focus on the core of the brand, i.e., the customers. Without customers, who’s going to know your brand? Here are some strategies that make your brand activation worth the effort:

Respect Your Users

Ensure any brand activity respects your users, especially when it involves personal boundaries. To figure out what might overstep the mark for your users, best get feedback directly from them.

Humanise Your Brand

This doesn’t mean getting someone to wear your brand’s costume. If your brand has previously promised certain pure values, show these values through people who get your brand. For instance, placing your brand’s staff in a shopping centre with product samples and human interaction will ease the way for users or potential users to connect with your brand. Compared to a massive billboard showcasing your brand and slogan, surely human interaction will be the preferred choice for your target users.

Surprise Without the Heart Attack

Imagine heading to work, same route every day, and suddenly someone hands you a red rose and walks away. How’d you feel? Surprised? Excited? Smiling to yourself? When users aren’t expecting something good to happen to them, and then they’re treated to your brand values, the reaction and bond with the brand tend to last longer. And naturally, this joy will be shared with all acquaintances, making more people link your brand with the values and feelings experienced by the user.


If the above are worthwhile, here are the risky bits. How can brand activation turn into a risk? When it’s not executed fully or without detailed planning to measure the outcomes post-brand activation.

Assuming Users Will Give Feedback

In marketing, assuming gets you nowhere. If you leave users to give feedback without any incentive, it just won’t happen. Even asking users to fill out a form without reason is hard, let alone expecting feedback from them. Users will only provide feedback if there’s an emotional reaction related to the brand. Without feedback, you won’t know how effective your activity was.

Crossing the Line

When a brand is said to cross the line, in the Malaysian cultural context, it can encompass religious boundaries, political parties, racism, or social status. Trust me, even a minor action or unintentional, a brand that crosses the line will become viral, and the brand’s reputation will only worsen when brand activation activities negatively impact users.

Just Facts, No Emotion

Unless your brand’s users are robots, brand activation activities should delve into users’ emotions. Since statistics say humans make decisions (including purchases) subconsciously, based more on emotion than on logic. If data is logic, and emotional arousal is subconscious action, isn’t influencing emotions more beneficial for the long term? Data and logic might be fine for reports and short-term sales, but the feelings that arise when users use your branded product are what keep them loyal to the brand.


Design is one of the product attributes that can either annoy users or excite them. It’s up to your brand to be associated with which emotions so users can benefit from your brand. If you want to know about designs that can stir emotions, get in touch with me for free consultation.

Picture of Syaf


Syaf is the Founder at Brand Chapter Agency, a branding and web design agency with clients across all industries.

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