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by: By Hazendal on: February 23, 2021

5 Biggest brand activation trends for 2021

As 2020 has shown us, it’s not always easy to predict what next month will bring, let alone next year. What experts do know for sure, though, is that innovation and creativity will count more than ever before when it comes to brand activation. It’s a...

As 2020 has shown us, it’s not always easy to predict what next month will bring, let alone next year. What experts do know for sure, though, is that innovation and creativity will count more than ever before when it comes to brand activation. It’s also likely that the pivot towards digital business is here to stay. 

According to the Association for National Advertisers, successful brand activation marketing relies on two things: creativity, and a ‘big idea’ that resonates with the brand’s target market. 

Getting this right could bring great rewards: a successful experiential marketing campaign has the potential to launch your product or service to an entirely new set of consumers, making more people aware of your brand, and excited about it.

This is because activations are all about creating an emotional connection between your brand and your intended audience. This is achieved through interesting interactions and brand experiences – the more unique and creative, the better. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the brand activation trends predicted for 2021. 


1. Outdoor installations

Outdoor installations Cape Town

Art, sculpture and other forms of creative expression are powerful ways to draw attention to your brand or new product. Not only do these exhibits capture attention, but they hold it, too – just think of an art gallery or exhibition. People are captivated by thought-provoking or unusual art.

Something else that people love about art is taking pictures of it – and sharing those snaps with others. An art installation can gain fantastic social media traction for your brand, bringing it greater visibility and generating conversation around it. 

Read more about the power of art installations as brand activations.


2. Go live

Going digital? It doesn't have to feel cold or sterile. According to Go-Globe, 63% of marketers say that live video brings a human touch to digital marketing, making it the ideal way to add authenticity and memorability to your campaign. 

More and more brands are using video to stream live events, openings, launches, behind-the-scenes sneak-peeks, and more. Live video offers a more personal experience than pre-recorded, and it’s also a great way to interact with your followers in real time, making them feel valued and seen. According to 1 Marketing Idea, the daily watch time for Facebook live videos has increased four-fold in a single year, and interactions are six times as many, compared to traditional pre-recorded videos. 


3. Seminars and conventions

Cape Town Seminar Venues

There’s a reason that conventions have been happening for long: they’re effective. They also position your company as a thought-leader in its field and among its peers. 

Seminars offer a superb opportunity for networking with the right kind of people, in the right environment. In most cases, people who attend industry events and seminars are already engaged with your brand, making them some of the most valuable kinds of leads. By attending your event, they’ve already committed to knowing more about your product or service. 

These days, seminars don’t have to take place in stuffy boardrooms. From beautiful outdoor locations to fun pop-ups and installations, there’s nothing ‘conventional’ about the future of conventions. 

You can even host webinars instead of seminars, giving your customers access to things like free courses or tours, or informative talks on current topics. Up the ante by sending a gift pack, tasting board or brag bag to attendees ahead of the event, including items they can use or enjoy during your online event.


4. Foodie events

Foodie Events Cape Town

Food – and the way it’s presented – can leave a lasting impression on your customers. After all, few people aren’t delighted by a delicious bite to eat. Almost any conference, seminar or event can be enhanced by mouth-watering morsels, so why not transform your brand personality into food?

It’s not only food and beverage brands that can leverage the appetite appeal of food-based events. references the Google example: the search giant advertised its new Google Home product by touring cities with a pop-up food shop that offered donuts to people as they interacted with the new Google Home device. 

People were drawn to the event because of the food, and once there, were able to experience the new device. There’s also no denying the fact that a good association with a brand (for example, receiving free, finger-lickingly good food) is likely to leave a long-lasting positive impression on customers. 


5. Social media competitions

Social Media Competition Cape TownThe growth of digital marketing is seeing more and more brands turning to social media competitions. These are a great way to rally excitement around your brand and to reward customers and followers for loyalty.

To get as much mileage out of your competition as possible, try creating competitions that require your customers to purchase or use your product in order to participate. You can even ask them to post photos to social media, showing themselves using your product or sharing it with friends. It’s an incredibly powerful way to generate brand visibility, and because people love competitions, they’ll often happily and readily participate.  


The ideal venue for brand activations in 2021

Audi launch at Hazendal

Now that you have the ideas, you need a great location. Hazendal offers a range of beautiful venue options for unforgettable brand experiences. And our food? It’s simply sublime.

Surrounded by spectacular Winelands scenery and the imposing Simonsberg and Bottelary Hills, it’s a sophisticated venue for your next brand activation. 

Read more about our functions and corporate events, or get in touch with us for a tailor-made package for your brand.

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