What makes for a successful digital brand activation?

Getting digital brand activations right is tricky. Here's our checklist for putting together an unforgettable experience that brands, and customers, will love.

In an earlier blog post we outlined what digital brand activations mean to us here at Backstage. Today we're going to follow up with what a successful brand activation looks like.

You can use these bullet points as a handy checklist when evaluating new ideas for upcoming campaigns. 

  1. Brand focused. Above all, it’s about making the brand look good. The functionality of the activation is important obviously, but you need to always remember to focus on the brand. It’s easy to want a really novel or fun game mechanic or idea as part of the activation, but sometimes that detracts from presenting the brand in their best light.
  2. Rewarding. There should be a genuine reason for your customers or employees to take part. Whether they might win something, receive a download, get some swag or merch: there needs to be a real reason for taking part.
  3. Digestible. The primary action for the end user needs to be crystal clear up front. This usually means having a single landing “splash” page with a very clear call to action.
  4. Short. The activation should only take a few minutes at most. The shorter and snappier the better. You don’t want people to get bored.
  5. Simple. The actual mechanic of the activation should be very straight forward, with a low number of interactions required by the end user. You don’t to confuse your customers or give them too many choices.
  6. Easy. Simple and easy are not always the same thing. If the activation involves a game mechanic, it might be simple but require a lot of skill or practice. You don’t want to frustrate your customers so keep things easy.
  7. Measurable. At the end of the campaign you should have a single meaningful metric that you can present to your client as part of the debrief. This might be email leads, entries, game plays, total points, total time. Stick to one primary measurement but take many secondary.
  8. Repeatable. Immediately after finishing a successful activation campaign, you should be thinking “what other events can I run this again for”, “this would work perfectly for _____”. T
  9. Bulletproof. Activations need to work on the day, every day, first time. They should load quickly and not break. This requires particular technical infrastructure that can be relied upon.
  10. Privacy aware. If you are collecting data, you need to make sure you have the appropriate privacy policy, cookie policy, cookie banner and terms and conditions. Data needs to be carefully handled and deleted if necessary. It’s a tedious reality.
  11. Secure. If you’re working with big brands, security will be an absolute priority. Your clients will need to know that any data they collect is safe. There are particular technologies that are better than others here (cough Wordpress 👎🏻) but it also requires fastidious developers to makes sure the doors are locked tight.

In the final post in this 3-part mini-series, we're going to look at some of the challenges of running a digital brand activation and what you can do to best avoid the pitfalls.

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