Mobile Mania

Companies are increasingly turning to mobile applications to build brand

There are tens of thousands of mobile applications, or apps, out there. Some of them are fun – take for instance Angry Birds – and some of them are seemingly useless – ie Lightsaber! (do yourself a favour and don’t download it).

However, other apps are fulfilling integral parts of multifaceted marketing and public relations campaigns. As people become more and more connected to social media and glued to their smart phones, apps have increasingly been used as an effective way to reach a group’s target audience, and promote its brand.

But as Tyler Ransburgh noted on his blog, “building an app that promotes (a company’s) service without actually mimicking it is probably the most difficult.” He added, “there has to be a hook to download and use the app.” In other words, companies have to persuade individuals to download the app.

A good example is the Coleman Campfire Tales app. I kind of stumbled on it by accident when I was browsing Marvel Comics apps… As it turns out, Marvel developed the app for Coleman.

The Coleman Campfire Tales app is a collection of scary stories that you read when you’re out camping and huddled around a campfire. It has stories for kids, teens, and adults, and even has sound effects that you can use to make the stories “creepier.”

So why is it good? 

Coleman and camping are synonymous. If you’re out in the wilderness, you’re likely going to be using a Coleman stove to cook your meals. Rather than providing its customers with a platform to do business, Coleman is providing them with something they will want to use for free.

This type of app is phenomenal when it comes to creating brand exposure. The stories on the app are really geared towards families. Coleman’s logo is plastered all over this app and children will likely associate the company with a positive family experience out in the woods.

The Coleman Campfire Tales app completely adheres to the principles of persuasion:

  • Identification: Free stories the whole family will enjoy.
  • Action: The app is available on the iTunes store, and it’s easy to read and use.
  • Clarity: Individuals will recognize the Coleman logo – which is featured prominently.
  • Familiarity and Trust: Coleman is synonymous with camping, and its stoves have been around for almost a century.

As noted, the app provides Coleman with an alternative method to interact with its customers while improving its brand recognition and reinforcing brand loyalty.


About David Driedger

I'm a Creative Communications student at Red River College majoring in public relations. I have a BA with a double major in political studies and history from the University of Manitoba. I'm also the news editor for The Projector.
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