Successful brands of today know that the key to success is connecting and engaging with the audience. You can’t just capture their attention – you have to learn how to keep it. You want your audience to stay longer in your website, interact more with you in social media, and effectively remember your brand and spread the word about it to other people.
This is why most brands now utilize an array of marketing strategies to promote their brand. And one of the most interesting and fun ways to do this is to “game” your brand.
So what exactly does “gaming” your brand mean? Well, it’s all about giving incentives to your customers, encouraging them to play, and giving them tangible or intangible rewards. Basically, people enjoy gaming – getting rewards, winning prizes, unlocking mysteries to discover new things.
Sometimes it’s not even about the incentive or reward, but the game itself. People enjoy being challenged – they like the thrill of solving a puzzle, and they love competing with fellow gamers.
But how exactly do you effectively launch a brand campaign that includes gaming? Here are some things you should first answer:
1. Does your brand and gaming fit well with each other?
Not all brands and gaming go hand in hand. There are certain products or services that just don’t fit well with “gamification”, and it may brand’s like that more harm than good if they pursue gaming in their marketing campaign.
On the other hand, if your brand is all about fun and creating your own culture, then adding gaming to the mix can definitely give your brand a boost and encourage more interaction between your brand and your audience.
Think about how gaming fits into your brand’s current marketing campaign. Does it seem like the odd one out, or does it blend well with your other strategies? Don’t force gaming for the sake of adding it to your marketing mix – think of how well it fits in with your current plans first.
2. Are your customers comfortable with “gamification”?
Before you even begin “gaming” your brand, you should start with understanding your audience. What do they like? What tickles their bones? Are they willing to try anything, or are they more cautious about new products and experiences? Would they be comfortable with “gamification”?
By knowing your audience, you can get a rough idea of whether they would be interested or not in gaming, and if they are, you’d be able to create a gaming experience suited especially for their tastes.
3. What do you wish to gain from “gaming” your brand?
It would be silly to simply include games into your marketing mix without understanding your goals and knowing what you wish to gain from it. Do you want to promote brand awareness? Encourage brand interaction? Obtain more customers?
Getting into gaming should be more than just copying what everyone else is doing. You need to understand why you’re doing this and what you want from it.
4. Is the game relevant to your brand and community?
It is essential that the game you put out for your brand is relevant to your community; otherwise, how would it work in promoting brand awareness? You want your audience to play the game, yet continue to remember your brand while playing it. You don’t want them to simply enjoy the game and then forget about you.
This is why the game you create should be something that relates to your brand, something that keeps your brand at the forefront of people’s minds. Think of Oreo Pinata and how the game really showed the consumers’ passion for Oreo. It wasn’t just about winning the contest, but the enjoyment of the game and how the community rallied around the brand that they loved.
5. Does the game create a community around your brand?
This is perhaps the most essential question you need to ask yourself. If the game doesn’t form a community around your brand, then why release the game at all? You don’t want people to mindlessly immerse themselves in the game and forget the world. What you want is for them to enjoy talking about the game and your brand, share the game with other people, and encourage others to play. Otherwise, what’s the point of creating a game for your brand?
“Gamification” can definitely help you create brand buzz, but it’s important that you evaluate whether your brand fits with gaming and understand what you want to gain from it. Don’t just get into gaming simply because other brands are doing it – you want to ensure that gaming works for your brand, not against it.