What This Is

Interaction Branding [ EN | DE ]

Adding the feel to the look in a virtual world

Everybody is talking about mobile and online experiences today. So what exactly are these experiences? what should they do? when do they work? This website should give you an overview over the subject of interactive / interaction branding. It is about the approach of combining branding efforts with user interface design (human computer interaction and joy of use). You will find examples, articles, evaluation criteria and detailed information about Interaction Branding and similiar themes here. Enjoy!

What is Interaction Branding?

Interaction Branding is primarily a tool. A tool which companies can use to exploit the potential and optimize the effects of interaction.
Or, more precisely, it is a branding instrument for interactive media. It makes use of interaction to promote brand communication. The way the interaction takes place and is perceived becomes a feature of the brand identity itself. What is more, it makes use of the interaction and the effects of this to let the customer experience directly the character and added value of the company, the product or the service.

Interaction Branding has been developed out of a fusion of knowledge in the fields of Brand Management, Communications Design / Interaction Design and HCI (Human Computer Interaction, in particular Joy of Use).

Why Interaction Branding?

The added value and character of a brand are communicated through branding. This branding should ideally involve as many of the senses as possible at the same time . However, technology imposes restrictions and it is difficult to make use of more than two of the senses in interactive media. This means that the focus is usually on the visual, more precisely the way the distinguishing features of the "product" are presented visually. Thus it is common to borrow approaches and solutions from other strongly visual media such as TV and print.

The result of this, however, is that the real advantages of the interactive medium such as simulation, feedback, and direct manipulation tend to be forgotten and are replaced by visually very elaborately designed contents. This is where Interaction Branding comes in. The aim is not to produce even more elaborate effects, features and transitions, but to tap the full potential of the interactive medium.

What does it aim at?

Interaction Branding has two aims. Creating moments in which the advantages and uses of the product, service or company can be experienced directly, and employing interaction as a means of communicating the brand character. This results in different added values:

  • Differentiation and recognition by the use of new or unusual interaction modes communicating the brand character
  • Stronger ties on three levels (emotionally, rationally, habit/usange) by the use of interaction as a characteristic feature of an activity or action:
    • Binding on a rational level through the direct experience of the benefits and added value (Air New Zealand)
    • Binding on an emotional level by involvement (example: Rhythm of lines of Audi)
    • Binding by habit (efficiency and effectiveness of an action, such as search bar in the browser)
  • Greater convergence of a customer to the provider by moments in which benefits and added values are directly experienced and customers are encouraged to participate and interact by giving them greater control of the situation
  • Greater convergence of the provider to the customer by measurability and observability of customer behavior
  • More possibilities to start a 'dialog' between customer and provider by the above points

The Potential

Experiences are convincing, emotionally and rationally. By means of interaction the customer/client can participate and experience the added value of a product or service. An interactive simulation is much more powerfully convincing than a comparison of facts and figures in rows and columns, no matter how beautifully designed.But Interaction offers far more than that. A task or activity can be marked by the way the interaction takes place.

It does two things: it provides an opportunity for branding as it communicates the brand character, and simply because it is a totally different kind of action it binds the customer to the product.


Interaction Branding is not tied to any particular platform or technology. Instead, it makes optimal use of a technology in order to communicate brand character, and create interest in the customer and interaction between customer and provider. i.e. it can be used in mobile applications, Rich Internet Applications, interactive presentation or websites etc. or in new user interaction concepts such as web cams, touchscreens and movement sensors.

Added to that, as Interaction Branding is scaleable it can be used either in individual modules of a system or as the fundamental element of a whole system.


Any good branding instrument must be able to deliver measurable results. Interactive media are already excellently equipped with a wide variety of measuring tools. Even simple access statisitcs on session length, application paths, number of clicks can provide essential information which can confirm (or fail to confirm) the success of an applied branding idea.

Looking at the future

In comparison to other forms of branding, Interaction Branding is both young and dynamic, developing in an environment characterised by growth and technical innovation. The number of new points of contact between customer and provider (RIA, Intranet, Widgets, mobile applications etc) and the number of new forms of interaction (Webcam, Touchscreens, movement sensors, position sensors etc) has soared in the last few years. From the point of view of branding, however, these have remained in the background unused.

Despite the many new technical possibilities, what counts is that:

The application of Interaction Branding within brand communication (branding) is not an entertaining or diverting effect, but the strategically planned, long-term and sustainable investment in a brand.


Interaction Branding: is a branding tool for interactive media. It takes advantage of interaction and its effects to turn the character and added value of a brand into an engaging experience.