Alicia Beachley thrives on delivering unique and engaging experiential marketing and brand activations for her multinational clients. With an extensive track record as an Agency Director, Alicia decided to start her own venture April5 over 12 years ago, and has built an award winning business, specialising in creating unforgettable brand experiences.
INNOVATING BRAND ACTIVATIONS
What new brand activations have emerged during COVID?
COVID literally turned the industry on its head with a lot of disruption and challenges. Our industry is very resilient and creative though, we have evolved and are coming out the other side slowly but surely. We took large scale events online, we have built hybrid models incorporating live activations with online components, we developed and incorporated rigorous COVID-safe practices and processes to ensure the safety of any face to face activations once we were legally able to resume these, and we will continue to evolve and grow as the year progresses.
As one example from last year, we created an H&R Block activation in 10 shopping centres during tax return season. With so much confusion around working from home and what was claimable, this campaign provided sought-after customer service.
Just as we were to hit the market, Melbourne went into lockdown, so we activated our COVID contingency plan and the activation was immediately removed. We had plans A, B and C, so that we maintained control of every aspect, ensuring its success. Our activation guidelines ensure the safety of clients, their customers, our staff and contractors at all stages.
MICROSOFT BRAND EXPERIENCES
How has April5 delivered meaningful brand experiences for Microsoft?
Interactivity is key and this needs to translate across all platforms and event types, even the virtual ones we are doing now. As an example, we create gamification elements and we incorporate AI to bring concepts to life. We deliver immersive experiences that work on the senses, virtual gin tasting with kits delivered to attendees, virtual swag and event prizes and merchandise awarded post event. We cement the experience, and the memory, in people’s minds.
Share your top 3 tips for brands creating inclusive activations with their customers?
- It’s common practice to make allowances for dietary restrictions and requests these days, but don’t forget to allow for cultural sensitivities like halal, kosher and other religious requirements and restrictions.
- Use eco-friendly ‘green’ venues and contractors, and/or consider serving organically produced menus. If you are working in a pre-selected space, use recyclable materials in stand builds and catering, and ensure recycling bins are available.
- If your activation or event includes a formal presentation, consider hearing impaired people. Sign language interpreters, good lighting to allow for lip reading and a captioning service is a must if presentations are being streamed. In all activations, inclusivity is of vital importance and consideration should always be made for vision impaired people, disabled people, older people – a wide cross section of society.
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