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Grow the Core: How to Focus on your Core Business for Brand Success by David Taylor

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Chapter 9

Workout 4: Go beyond promotion to activation

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Most promotional activity on brands is predictable and not linked to the brand idea, such as money-off deals or offering extra product for free. However, done well, brand activation can play an important role in making the core brand more distinctive and so help drive penetration. This starts with understanding the ‘passion points’ of the target audience and identifying which are relevant and linked to both the brand story and the product usage occasion. Then, the challenge is to go beyond simply adding the brand's logo to the event or activity, by creating a distinctive activation property. This property then needs to be amplified both over the mix and over time, in order to create memory structure.

Scan a shelf of your local supermarket for promotional offers and you're unlikely to find much in the way of creativity. It's probably full of ‘buy one get one free’ (BOGOF) and ‘25% off’ promotions. Perhaps there will be the odd offer to enter a competition and ‘Win a Holiday’ or some similar prize. These promotions might have a short-term effect on sales, but they do little to really drive distinctiveness and so increase penetration for the core.

In contrast, ‘brand activation’ goes beyond promotion to boost sales ...

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