Larry Minsky & “The Activation Imperative”
We are proud to announce that our very own V.P. of Advertising, Larry Minsky, has recently been published on the Harvard Business Review website. His article, “The Activation Imperative,” co-authored with Arc Worldwide President & Chief Creative Officer William Rosen, discusses the need for a shift from simply building brands to activating them, moving beyond defining what a brand is to optimizing what a brand does in order to drive consumers to purchase.
In “The Activation Imperative” Minsky and Rosen make the argument that until recently, most traditional marketing focused on brand positioning, that is, differentiating a brand from competitors in order to carve out a space in the marketplace. However, the combination of today’s challenging economic climate and diversity of digital platforms has forced marketers to go above and beyond to adapt to the changing landscape. This is where the process of brand activation comes in.
According to Minsky and Rosen, the first step in activating a brand involves identifying behavioral ‘inflection’ points. These are points in the path to purchase at which progress tends to accelerate or stall. Using key behavioral points, marketers can gain a better understanding of the consumer in order to create the value that will increase engagement and trigger a change in behavior.
A prime example of a successful brand activation effort cited in the article is Ikea’s program giving customers the chance to be photographed in a replica of the living room on the cover of the catalogue in order to receive a personalized catalogue with their photo on the front. The program engages consumers by tapping into the desire for self-expression, personalization, and unique experiences. It keeps customers in the store longer (to have their picture taken), compels them to make a return visit (to pick up their catalogue), and motivates them to keep the catalogue around longer (to show to friends and family), all of which encourage incremental catalogue views and purchases.
For another activation success story and simple steps to activating your brand, check out the complete article here.
Larry Minsky joined the I Imagine team as the V.P. of Advertising in 2006. Since then, he has played an integral role in a number of successful campaigns, including our work for Midtown Athletic Clubs and Lamin-Art. He is also currently a tenured Associate Professor in the Marketing Communications Department at Columbia College Chicago and the author of How to Succeed in Advertising When All You Have Is Talent.