Brand Activations and Why They Work

Smallball Team

Let’s start with the basics

What is brand activation? Brand activation campaigns are a type of marketing that encourages the audience to interact with a company’s brand. The point of brand activation is to give users a way to experience the company or their product and tie emotions to it. In order to create a valuable and emotional experience, companies often create campaigns that insert brand icons into your daily life.

State Farm freshens up their brand

For example, State Farm jumped on the opportunity to build their “Good Neighbor” brand by handing out shampoo and bath supplies at large music festivals like Bonnaroo. With this interaction, State Farm was able to reach a younger generation on a personal level, leaving participants with a lasting impression of their neighborly brand.

Getting into the conversation

So, how can other companies insert themselves into a regular conversation? Well, there are countless ways to connect emotions with your brand, one method brands are using is through branded digital stickers or emojis.

It’s no mystery that digital language is constantly evolving and in many cases, becoming increasingly visual. In the digital world, we often find ourselves using silly icons and funny GIFs to express ourselves. One Wall Street Journal writer put it best — “Stand up and say it proudly with me: Hello, I’m a grown adult and I use stickers to communicate my feelings.”

Emojify your brand with personality

Although digital stickers and emojis seem like a comedic avenue for individuals, there are many ways to integrate these visuals into a business marketing strategy. While traditional marketing tends to be the bread and butter of driving sales and profits, companies tend to put brand engagement on the backburner. However, fusing a sales-driven marketing approach with a brand activation campaign can yield long-term benefits by connecting the brand to the emotions of the audience.

For example, Starbucks, Marvel, Disney, and Burger King offer downloadable sticker packs that feature icons of fun and expressive characters that are emotion-affiliated and product-related.

Users can send these emojis in text messages, add them to social media, and even integrate stickers into their photos. These interactions give users a more close-knit experience with the hallmark elements of the company.

Disney and Burger King branded digital stickers

Take Starbucks for example:

The Starbuck-branded stickers combine products and emotions into their emojis. The Starbucks experience is illustrated with icons of fun animal characters, cute drinks and treats, and hands cheers-ing. Not only does Starbucks showcase their products and services, but they show you a pleasant experience through positive icons. Consider if Starbucks had an angry or sad face. The messages individuals send to each other could cast a negative emotion toward the brand.  

With these stickers, Starbucks has successfully become a part of personal conversations by inserting their brand into regular digital communications – and creating a positive experience.

Starbucks branded digital stickers

Try it out!

Like Starbucks, other companies can successfully integrate their branding, products, and visuals into the regular communications of their consumers by using digital stickers and selling emoji packs. There are endless tips on how to create engaging stickers for your brand as well as resources on how to execute a digital sticker campaign. So what are you waiting for? Emojify your brand!

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