The video game industry and the gamers that fuel it have a lot to teach brand marketers. Successful video game franchises build buzz, engage users and make it easy to socialize. For the budding brand marketer, here are seven lessons gamers can teach you.
Gamers have always been social. Back in the early days of gaming, this meant inviting your friends over to binge play Super Mario Brothers or Metroid on the original Nintendo. Now, gamers can share their experience via social media and dedicated game communities, such as the Halo Nation site. Brand marketers should make it easy for brand advocates to congregate and share stories on branded websites and forums.
Good Games Don’t Patronize
A good video game doesn’t act like its audience is stupid. Gamers respond to that kind of respect positively. The same goes for brand content. Odds are good that, if someone is visiting your site or your business, they have some working knowledge about what you do. Treat them otherwise at your own peril.
Simplicity in Naming
People remember short names, preferably a few syllables, more easily than long ones. Think Halo, Grand Theft Auto, or Tomb Raider. There are exceptions, such as Metal Gear Rising: Reveangance, but simple is preferable. The easier a brand name is to remember, the more likely customers are to pick it at the purchase decision moment.
The days of straight-up run, jump and shoot in video games is close to dead. Gamers demand stories in their games, and they like immersive experiences best. The Final Fantasy series excels at immersive video game storytelling. A brand should tell a story and everything about the brand should reinforce that story, providing a more immersive real-world experience for customers.
Gamers play games, in large part, because the game offers rewards for engagement. The more you play, the more rewards you get. Brands can co-opt this approach with gamification. In essence, the brand provides rewards for simple actions. For example, the brand can tie social sharing and purchases to a point system that lets customers "level up" to get discounts or prizes.
Video game companies use taglines to help generate buzz. The popular God of War III, for example, used the following tagline: In the end, there will be only chaos. That tagline promises some kind of action and excitement. While not every brand can depend on bloody violence to create buzz, most can use better action words to create interest in the brand.
Be Helpful, Not Obnoxious
Some video games provide "help" in the form of annoying companions. These companions often prove more distracting than helpful. Excessive calls to action, pop-up chat boxes, and autoplay video advertising do the same thing. Making it easy to get help endears you to customers. Making it impossible to escape the "help" makes the customer quit your site.
Brand marketing should always draw customers deeper and deeper into the brand fold. Strategies like gamification can help to develop the more immersive experience that gamers have come to know and love. By taking advantage of the successful approaches the video game industry uses, and avoiding some of their marketing failures, you can make your brand more successful.
Information provided by TCA Partners.