Activating a brand in the age of FOMO
One of the most repeated phrases at Soluble, when we talk about why we work with brands, is that we seek to turn them into tangible business assets. And that’s not only possible with a good brand strategy, an aligned identity and a sustainable technological product. It’s essential to put it to work in what we call activation.
We use the term activation, and not communication or marketing, because we’re interested in taking advantage of all the opportunities for connection between a brand and its audiences. Provided, of course, that it’s going to have an impact, achieve the objectives we have today and bring us closer to what’ll be our relevance tomorrow.
This involves everything from the planning of social media content to creative campaigns, from conversion landings to a brand event. The very design of an office is an opportunity to activate a brand that, from the strategy, we’re able to identify and leverage. Because if our brand adapts to each person, shouldn't our workspace adapt to what we need every day? This is what we did at Nae when we accompanied them in designing their new offices in Madrid.
Simplicity and complexity, the two faces of digitization
It seems then that we’ll have to do a lot of things, right? Digitization has brought us to a scenario where launching a brand is simpler than ever. We have it much easier: creating websites, opening channels, creating content...
But these advantages have also brought with them a layer of complexity. We have many more options, which change and evolve rapidly, but there's also the fact that easier access means an increase in competition. And also noise.
Differentiating from the competition is now more difficult. Hitting the key to connecting with people is not — if it ever was — a matter of pure luck. It’s not enough to be in the right place at the right time; you also have to be there with the right strategy, the right message and the right action.
With this starting point, the reality for most brands is that they feel they’re in an alley with very few exits. Many of them don't have the resources to be in almost every possible place they think they should be. It's part of a very common problem in these times we live in. FOMO, an acronym for 'fear of missing out', is very present in brand activation management.
Think twice and activate once
We like to work with an activation model that requires a precise adaptation to the reality of each brand, multiplying the possibilities of success, reducing risk and increasing peace of mind (AKA a little more happiness) — which often means reducing expenses as well. Thanks to the strategic work we do in the initial processes with the brands, we are able to be accurate in our actions at this point, without losing along the way the agility and capacity for improvement and iteration that any brand needs to have in 2023.
How is this possible? “Back to basics” is a good answer for any situation where we find ourselves overwhelmed. The first step to identifying a good activation is to understand where our audiences' decision-making processes are happening or could be happening. What are they thinking at that moment? What do they feel? What moves them? This will give us the key to knowing where we have to activate the brand and what is the most appropriate approach to our message in order to consolidate the relationship with these people.
Then, we'll see the projects we should tackle and their level of priority, and decide which ones make sense to work on, with the available resources. It seems like an obvious idea, but it’s not always done this way: We must start with those channels or touch points where we’re going to get the greatest return. And when the brand takes action, the word "return" applies both to measurable conversion data and to a less tangible, but equally enriching, impact.
An agile, consistent and self-sufficient action plan
At this point, the most complex part is done. It's time to start launching actions and, for this, we have tools that help us work in an agile and consistent way, as well as to empower organizations with work guides, templates, brand centers, planning... key elements that we create and iterate to facilitate our day-to-day work and keep getting closer to our purpose of making people happier at work. But that's a topic for another article.
At any time in the brand's life and activation, the most valuable tool will continue to be the strategy. It’ll be able to answer our questions, guarantee the good progress of our plan, ensure our consistency and continue to give us the keys to the best investment of our resources to give life to the brands we work with.
In short: Against FOMO, focus, strategy and lots and lots of branding.