What characterises a strong ‘digital’ charity brand?

I spotted an interesting post by Shiv Singh at interactive agency Avenue A|Razorfish the other day, about the seven key attributes they have defined as characterising ‘digital brands’ (meaning brands best equipped for our new digital consumer world), and it occurred to me that the same criteria could be handy when examining charity brands and the way they engage online:

FRESH – does it inspire a feeling or emotion?

ADAPTIVE – does it respond to your involvement?

RELEVANT – Is it useful or appealing to you, specifically?

TRANSFORMATIVE – Does it raise expectations of the brand or the web?

SOCIAL – Is it worth borrowing, sharing, or contributing to?

IMMERSIVE – Do you lose track of time?

AUTHENTIC – Does it seem genuine?

The presentation above provides some examples of this as well as comparing top scoring ‘digital brands’ to Interbrand’s traditional top brands list. While in Shiv’s post he provides a handy interactive Excel ‘Brand Gene Scorecard’ with which you can have a go at comparing how your own online brand presence rates against your competitors in terms of digital engagement.

Finerday, an older folks social network, set to launch next week

Contrary to the countdown on the Finerday holding page – which when I took the screen shot above seemed to suggest that it won’t be live for over 106 years (they’ve since fixed it) – this new social networking site aimed at ‘older people and their families’ is apparently all set to launch next Friday, 4th July.

Endorsed by the charity Age Concern, Finerday will be a free to use site and, rather than simply following in the footsteps of the UK’s other over 50s social network site SagaZone, its focus is clearly stated as “linking all of your family, whatever their age”. This ‘linking’ is supported through easy uploading and sharing of family photos (which seems likely to be a key function) plus integration with Facebook, Bebo, Skype, GMail, and Yahoo! – and seems like a sensible move, as it offers older users a reason to engage with social media that they may not have had before.

Forrester’s technographics research suggests that less than 10% of active UK internet users aged over 65 currently engage with social networks, compared to over 70% in the 16 to 24 age groups. So it’ll be interesting to see how well Finerday manages to capitalise on the existing engagement of younger family members to boost interest amongst the older ones.

From the sneak preview of the site (developed by social website specialists Kwiqq) it looks to have a nicely designed, simple interface with enlarged icons to help less frequent users of keyboards and mice keep up with their more computer-savvy younger family members.

Added to this, post-launch Finerday are apparently intending to market the site bundled with a broadband service and a low cost computer adapted for older people – which illustrates a real commitment to their vision of engaging older consumers with social media.

Definitely an initiative to keep an eye on.