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Creating Interactive Installations for Your Brand Activation

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

Gaining new customers begins with capturing their attention. That is why businesses spend billions of dollars on marketing each year, but capturing a consumer’s attention has become increasingly more difficult for marketers in recent years. 

Social media now provides an endless stream of attention-grabbing content, all of which compete for consumers’ attention. In addition, seismic shifts in the ways that consumers engage with media — paying for video streaming services to escape advertising, for example — have left marketers with fewer opportunities for connecting.

For brands that are looking for a way to stand out and attract attention in this new marketing landscape, interactive installations offer an effective solution.

The Power of Interactive Installations

Interaction installations seek to represent a brand within a real environment in a way that offers consumers an opportunity to interact. Interactive installations are disruptive — they grab attention, arouse curiosity, and entertain — providing consumers with a fun and memorable experience.

Interactive installations can be installed at a wide variety of locations, from music festivals to community fairs to college campuses. Launching an installation within a brand’s own stores can be effective, but ideally, they will take your brand to the masses rather than waiting for them to come to you. Wherever they are deployed, the key is that they entice consumers to have a fresh and pleasurable experience that they associate with the brand.

What makes the installations especially effective for brand activation is that they provide an interactive experience. Billboards and window displays may allow consumers to see a brand, but interactive installations allow them to engage with a brand. They are multi-sensory, whereas traditional marketing is typically limited to seeing or hearing.

Misting stations are an example of an interactive installation that brands can use in any venue where consumers may be seeking something refreshing. Visitors to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, may be familiar with the Coca-Cola misting stations that stand outside the brand’s stand in Tomorrowland, which provide consumers with relief from the heat by providing both a cool mist and a sample of their refreshing product. Those who engage with the stations have a memorable sensory experience that can be used to drive brand activation.

Creating Interactive Installations

The first step to creating effective interactive installations is believing you can pull it off. You don’t need to be a multinational organization like Coca-Cola to leverage interactive installations for brand activation. While you may need to dial up your creativity or consult with an experienced marketing agency, you can absolutely develop a campaign that connects with consumers, delivers a memorable experience, and propels your brand forward.

The next step is to establish a clear connection between the installation and your brand. Misting stations make great sense for a company that sells soft drinks or swim goggles, but would not be the best option for a network security company — the goal should be to illustrate your brand values so that the consumer can make a strong connection.

Finally, interactive installations must provide an impactful way to interact with the brand’s products or services, meaning they must provide hands-on experiences. Handing out literature or coupons is not enough. If you want consumers to remember your brand, you must let them experience it. If you sell potato chips, for example offer free samples so customers can taste them, or if you sell something like golf clubs, let customers take a few free swings with them.

When facilitating an interactive installation, don’t overlook the value of feedback. As consumers engage with your product, take the time to gather their thoughts on both the installation and your brand. Showing that you are interested in their views can be a powerful form of interaction that paints your brand in a good light.

Clarity is another key to an effective interactive installation. Any installation, no matter how creative or engaging, is a failure if those who engage with it don’t connect the experience to your brand. Brand representatives who are present to gather feedback should make sure that consumers understand the installation was provided by your brand.

Inspiring Brand Activation

Brand activation is the return on investment of an interactive installation. As consumers engage with the installation, they should develop an understanding of what the brand does and how it can serve their needs. 

Ideally, interactive installations will also spur brand activation by opening the door to a long-term relationship. This can be done by gathering contact information, inspiring someone to open a user account, or providing another step that moves the consumer closer to becoming a customer.

Interactive installations are especially effective for brand activation for a number of reasons. Because they deliver a standout experience, interactive installations make memories that linger longer than the average marketing campaign. As a result, consumers will be more likely to remember the brand the next time they experience it.

Interactive installations also naturally facilitate a human connection. They provide engagement in an environment where brand representatives can approach and interact with consumers. Brands can leverage this human connection to establish a more meaningful and more emotional exchange with consumers.

Brand activations are an important component of any business’s marketing strategy. They boost profitability by building brand reputation and strengthening relationships with customers. Businesses that use interactive installations for brand activation will find them to be a powerful tool for connecting with consumers and promoting their brand. 

The more interaction a brand can inspire, the more engagement it will create, which is essential for showing consumers that the brand can meet their needs.

About the author


Ray Sheehan

Ray Sheehan has a background in strategic planning, marketing, event management, and advertising and has helped the company expand from one city to over twenty states. In 2020, he launched the G.I.F.T Program as part of Old City Media. Ray is recognized as a leader and an innovative thinker in the special events industry.