Game On: How Ashland & Other Brands Are Connecting Via Digital Gaming

Game On: How Ashland & Other Brands Are Connecting Via Digital Gaming

Marketing is a daily challenge these days, with businesses and products large and small jockeying for space in front of the customer. No longer can a simple ad achieve the results we desire – every marketing move must be strategic to have a chance at grabbing those target eyeballs in a saturated market with countless digital influences and dwindling attention spans.

With so much noise out there to cut through, it’s no surprise that many brands have begun investing at least part of their marketing efforts in mobile gaming. A Deloitte study revealed Americans are on their smartphones about 8 billion times a day. And a Flurry survey shows we spend about 30+ minutes of each day on that phone playing games.

Big names like Under Armor, Gatorade, Progressive, and more have gotten in on digital gaming, creating both app-based and online activities in a hopes to draw in potential customers and increase brand recognition and drive sales.

But that doesn’t mean only commercial companies can win with digital games. B2B brands have found success, too.

Ashland’s Always Solving game

Ashland, a distributor of chemicals and plastics and a manufacturer of chemical specialty and performance products, was in the midst of a rebrand and wanted to find a fun and catchy way to introduce the new look to both current and prospective customers.

Since customedialabs had already created a successful game for the company for an event they attended, they requested a round 2 dedicated to the rebrand.

“The client wanted something fun, educational, and engaging,” says Georgia Kokkinou, CML’s Head of Delivery. “It also had to focus on the five lenses of Ashland (efficacy, allure, usability, profitability, integrity) and include pitfalls to demonstrate how Ashland can overcome them.”

After a few rounds of brainstorming, the maze concept was decided upon. But, obviously, a simple maze would not do. To be a true marketing tool, it needed to encompass Ashland’s look, feel, mission, purpose, and messaging.

UX Designer Eirilena Laiou ensured that the visual elements brought the brand to life, with the maze itself, the player icon, and the background all pulling from the new look.

“We wanted to game to reinforce the positive messages [of Ashland] and introduce the pitfalls of the business environment. In order to achieve this, users have to follow the correct pathway to get through the maze of business. Users that try to solve the maze are educated through the pop-messages that introduce these concepts,” says Laiou. “The whole game creates challenges and allows users to interact and engage with the brand as well as encourages repeat usability. This was achieved through the scoring logic and the leaderboard.”

Using gaming in your marketing

Games provide a more fun, casual connection point between you and potential customers, providing you with a soft sell tactic that people actually want to come back to. Our tips:

1. Know the game’s purpose. Yes, a game can exist simply for the fun of it, but utilize it for more. What’s your current brand objective? What’s your goal for the quarter? What do you wish customers knew more about? Use this as your starting point.

2. Consider attention spans. It may be a dream of yours to develop the next awesome multi-player gaming platform, but this isn’t the place for that. Think simple, easy, approachable. Especially in the B2B segment, your “gamers” will be fitting this in between meetings or while commuting. It needs to be easily digestible and understandable.

3. Remember to market your new marketing. Your game is only a marketing tool if it’s getting views and players. Be sure to plan a launch campaign for the game, working it in to your website, e-blasts, social media, and other messaging. Make it easily shareable to increase your chance of viral spread.

Check out our work and put your maze solving skills to the test by downloading the game or playing it online. Ready to include a game of your own in your next campaign? Contact us to discuss how our digital team can help you power up.