Love at First Touch

Love at First Touch


How do you launch a new brand? Do you take to social media? Host a flashy event with lights and music? Do you print glossy advertisements? Tell whoever is listening why they should buy-in to the brand?

According to Phat, brand activation and event management firm, the perfect brand activation should be centered not on one approach, but on a carefully orchestrated, multi-channel campaign.

From activation to hyperactivation

“For effective brand activation, you need to get consumers educated and excited about it, and in today’s saturated multi-media world, a single approach isn’t enough – it will be a whistle in a hurricane. Activation needs to become ‘Hyperactive’ in order to be seen,” says co-founder of Phat, Christopher de Bod.

‘Hyperactivation’, a proprietary concept of Phat, takes consumer engagement to a whole new level by incorporating a number of media channels that interact with and support one another (and the consumer), and that align to brand values.

But Phat also knows that the best way to influence people is through people, which is why they also deploy more of their proprietary tools, ‘Living Media’ and ‘Variable Media’.

“We’ve overhauled brand activation and event management methodologies to ensure that everything done turns a brand into a living, breathing and interacting personality – people no longer buy things for the sake of things, but for the experiences it offers,” says other co-founder of Phat, Rico Wessels. And you get a living brand through living brand advocates.

Living Media – Nothing influences people like people

Part of launching a new brand is about education, and who better to do this than talented brand ambassadors who can eloquently, energetically and charismatically showcase a brand in the market place?

“Brand ambassadors are different to people handing out pamphlets as they’re highly trained, talented and educated individuals who are able to adapt their communication to the environment and consumer to be perfectly in-line with the brand in a live setting,” says de Bod.

Best of all, these people are mobile and adaptable. “They can be deployed and relocated quickly to have constant engagement with the target market, and the feedback is instant and measurable unlike a billboard campaign for example,” explains Wessels.

Variable Media – The key to creating positive predisposition

In days gone by, it used to be enough to throw a lot of money at a flashy event to launch a brand, but in today’s world, consumers want experiences that align with their identity and help them live their own brand.

“The science and art of hyperactivation comes down to using today’s powerful communication technology from a customer point of view so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” says de Bod.

“In other words, you need to turn events into experiences. An example would be integrating lights, music, crowds, energy, social media and video streaming to create a cohesive brand experience. And even if consumers don’t buy right away, the positive experience compels them to consider it later.”

People use brands to story their lives

“It’s important to view everything you do as a brand activating act in order to manage the process more effectively,” says Wessels.

“When brands help individuals live their identities, they become much more responsive to it. A Bafana shirt, for example, helps a supporter feel closer to their team. A mobile network sponsoring a sports event but also engaging the crowds with humour, interactivity and entertainment goes far beyond an aloof, abstract sponsor, but a personality with presence – and that’s what people buy.”

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