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Brand Activation and RFID Wristbands

RFID Wristbands and Brand Activation

Brand activation, also known as brand engagement, is whereby you try to create an emotional attachment or relationship between the consumer and a brand. It’s a lofty goal for any company. The real cherry on the cake is then driving that consumer to take an action, especially if that action involves a sale.

New methods of measurement have been devised to calculate the effectiveness of brand activation, with event planners boasting of “social media reach” and “blog engagement” as measuring sticks. More on this later.

More and more RFID technology and specifically, RFID Wristbands, are being used within brand activation strategies. Music festivals are one particular industry that has really taken the lead in this regard, with sponsors continually coming up with new and exciting ways to interact and engage with consumers at the live events in order to elicit an action.

RFID Wristbands allow company’s to devise clever ways to engaging with consumers, either directly or via their social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. With social media being the preferred means of communication amongst those under 30, you can understand why tapping in to this is such an attractive proposition for a company.

The benefit of using a music festival as a base for brand activation strategies is that the patrons are familiar with the wristband concept of identification, and are wearing one anyway. So, the adjustment of moving to a slightly different wristband with RFID technology is not a large one.

So what is RFID and RFID Wristbands?

RFID stands for Radio Frequency IDentification. An RFID chip basically provides a unique identification number (UID). “Wait, that sounds just like a barcode!” I hear you scream. Which is right, the main difference being the ease with which an RFID wristband can be scanned, from several cm away, vs a barcode, and the potential damage that can be inflicted upon a barcode that can render it unusable.

How does it work at events?

With the right RFID software, patrons register their details as they enter an event or venue and the resulting profile is then linked to the wristband specifically. As the patron then walks around the event they are wearing a wristband that can tell other systems and scanning devices exactly who they are, what their email address is and what their social media profiles are. The clever part is the systems and strategies that are then developed to utilise this situation. It really is a marketers dream come true; so much data and opportunities walking around.

Great Brand Activation Strategies

Toyota utilised RFID Wristbands within their brand activation strategy to great effect at the Jamboree in the Hills Music Festival, with the goal being to not only engage patrons but reward them also. This was driven by a redemption booth which provided prizes and awards for patrons who had scanned their RFID at various checkpoints around the Toyota promotional area. The more places they had been, the greater the prize. Not only did this engage the patrons but it also ensured that they experienced everything Toyota had on offer at the event.

The idea of scanning the wristband at a particular point is the most common method of brand activation. The key is determining how to attract people and reward them accordingly. Other strategies have included entering a patron in a competition if they scan at a particular point, but the real benefits come when social media is involved.

One fantastic way of incorporating social media, and obtaining the sexy ‘social media reach’ results (often upwards of 2 million likes/shares etc), is to integrate Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the engagement activity. This can be done as follows:

1. Assuming that the registration process has collected social media profiles, automatic status updates can be added to Facebook etc that are driven by the simple swipe of the RFID wristbands, effectively “checking in” the patron at a particular spot, but with the added benefit of the sponsor being able to determine the content of the update itself i.e. “Having a blast at Festival XYZ”. Chevy did this at the Hangout Music festival, with a variety of live check-in stations.

2. Even more effective that status updates are photo’s. According to some studies, photos make up 93% of the most engaging content on social media and are far more likely to be shared or passed on compared to a text update, no matter how interesting. With RFID Wristbands linked to social media profiles, a sponsor can take a photograph of a group of friends, scan their wristbands, and the photos will be automatically posted to each of the patrons facebook profiles, and can even be branded to the sponsor i.e. with their logo super imposed on part of the photo, and with a predetermined caption “Hanging with my mates at Festival XYZ”.

As mentioned previously, the ideal brand activation strategy is not just one that elicits a response and social media reach, but one that results in a sale. This has been achieved by several drinks companies at music festivals. With an attractive and funky ABC Drink Party Tent, patrons are invited to scan their wristband to check in. A moment later they receive an email or SMS saying thanks for hanging out, going along with their Facebook profile update, and inviting them to enjoy a 20% discount off Drink ABC in the next 30 minutes.

Why Else Are Sponsors Doing This?

Put simply, data! Every scan allows them to collect contact names, emails and social media profiles for future promotional opportunities and advertising. The main benefits are reported as social media reach, which in itself is exciting enough, but this is more about brand awareness. The data that the sponsors are left with allows them to plan out more targeted promotions post-event that increase the likelihood of a sale down the track.

It’s an exciting new realm of market for a lot of people. While traditional marketers may struggle with some of the new concepts, especially social media reach and RFID Wristbands, it’s all about the same thing. Promoting your product to as many relevant prospects as possible and associating the brand with positive vibes in the hope of winning custom. As always, marketing and branding will evolve, and the current iteration is a thrilling one.

For more information on RFID Wristbands and Brand Activation, contact AAC ID Solutions.

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