What is Brandactivation?

The definition: Brand Activation is the seamless integration of all available communication means in a creative platform in order to activate consumers. Activation means stimulating:

  1. intrest
  2. trial
  3. loyalty

New communication means are being introduced every year. It is clearly evident from this list of means that the marketing communication is a profession for well-trained specialists. PR, DM, Website, E-mail, Telephone, Print, Radio, TV, Outdoor advertising, Events, Retail, Brochure, Mobile, SP, Incentives, PS, Fairs, Spectaculars, Sponsoring, JP, Design, IC, TM, etc.


Opportunity: Most marketers are rigid and non-commercial

McKinsey published a report about the marketing profession, from which the following conclusions were drawn:

  • The reputation of marketers is at an all time low
  • Marketers are described by CEOs as undisciplined, non-commercial and rigid.
  • 80% of the marketing plans is unsuccessful

This is great news for marketers that are commercial, are not rigid and are prepared to innovate. This creates opportunities. The McKinsey advice: shift the focus from the sales process to the buying process!


From Advertising Brands to Brand activation

Power to the People. This is the best way to describe the turnaround in marketing communication during the last 30 years. People have more choice than ever. They can get the products anywhere and can compare products and services down to the minute details. This requires a more intelligent manner of communication by companies. Simply advertising can be used to defend a market position in many cases, however, this creates no leeway for growth. And that is the aim after all.

The successful marketer then has to leave the safe haven of advertising and start activating. The means are available, the cases are there, the opportunities are there and the chances are there. And the good news is: more than 80% of the marketers is rigid and resistant to change, therefore there are plenty of opportunities to beat the competitors.


Why Brand activation

Activation shifts the focus to the core of marketing: stimulating the buying process. There are various reasons why this focus is so important and why advertisers opt for Brand activation instead of the traditional campaigns. Brand activation addresses the key issues in marketing.


Information selection

People filter the communication means they are confronted with. They simply ignore the majority of it.



Informing becomes communicating as soon as the message is relevant to the recipient. On account of the complete irrelevance of many advertisements, the Dutch people claim that they are more annoyed about advertising than pointless violence.



Experiences are convincing. Also the experiences of others. Active reference on account of a positive experience with the brand is the most powerful instrument to activate people.


Brand activation Programme: Smart Diamond


The creative platform or The Big Idea is the basis of a BA programme. This idea is coupled to an activity or activities that confirm the message. Media is used to create awareness of these activities. Interaction with the target group is stimulated via media like e-mail and internet. The sole aim here is: to stimulate: interest, trial, loyalty. Each programme shall be primarily based on one of these target groups.

Brand activation: deliver the proof

The claims ‘washes whiter than white’, ‘always at hand’, etc. are all really well-known, but it is still advertising. People think advertising is implausible, so these claims remain implausible. Until proven. A Brand activation programme supplies proof of the claim. Brand activation proves the claims that are made. Consider Red Bull and Extreme Sports, Amstel and the BallenBar, Unox and the New Year Swim. Getting attention for a brand message is becoming increasingly difficult. The new way is to prove the message. This does not only make the message credible, it also makes it distinctive.


Brand activation = Interaction

New media has caused a revolution in communication: the simplicity of interaction. Almost everyone has access to internet. Stimulate people to interact. A Brand Activation platform often has a site at the basis. The consumer accesses the site of his/her own accord and therefore wants contact. A wonderful opportunity to offer an experience that influences the buying process.


CURRICULUM VITAE, Drs. Paul G. Alberts (1964)

Is Director of BrandBase, specialised in Brand Activation, in Amsterdam. Studied communication sciences (UvA). Was partner in Pride Public Relations and in REM, Client Marketing Bureau and started BrandBase in 1997. Is author of ’Relatiemarketing hoe het echt werkt’ published by the Genootschap voor Reclame and ’15 effectieve Klantenbinders´, published by Kluwer. Publications include Tijdschrift voor Marketing, Marketing Tribune and Handboek voor Bedrijfsevenementen. Is visiting lecturer at INHolland, University for Communication in Diemen.