In-store activations are not just about establishing an intimate connection with consumers, but also about how they are inspired to respond, says Grey Africa shopper marketing expert Talita Myburg.

She says activation platforms provide brands with an opportunity to engage consumers at a point where they make crucial purchase decisions. But while personal experiential activations are experiencing an upsurge, brand managers fall into the trap of “restricting agencies to pre-specified marketing disciplines from outdated prescribed operating models”.

Given the right opportunity to maximise their full potential, brand activations could be turned into meaningful experiential brand engagement opportunities that will lead to sales and loyalty.

Brands, she adds, need to be aware of new technologies that allow for consistent consumer engagement. Myburg believes the average consumer shopping journey is more complex, with an available mix of online, mobile and face-to-face shopping opportunities. Brands must not get caught in a trap of multichannel delivery for the sake of it, but rather identify integrated channel approaches that will simplify brand communication. She says consumers now demand that brands provide them with options that will engage and inspire them.

“They have a weighty task of being relevant, while simultaneously delivering to the entertainment demands of consumers.”