Every audience has its own unique DNA. No two are exactly the same. So when you’re catering to music-lovers one day, your marketing strategy will have to adjust when you’re focusing on gamers the next day.
The gaming audience has been under the microscope for the past couple years as the industry rapidly grows and develops. What is it that makes them tick? How will they respond to brands trying to enter the space? What type of experiences will they respond to most favorably?
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to engaging with the gaming community. However, there is an overarching theme that has begun to emerge: authenticity.
In this community, there are no shoehorns allowed!
See how two very different brands have strengthened their connection to the gaming community through one very common thread: authentic experiences.
How does a game developer best create hype for its upcoming game releases? The answer isn’t through a commercial, a banner ad or social media post. Those are all fine in their own right, but real engagement results from real experiences.
With Square Enix, we had not one, not two, but three of their hottest games to promote.
With that responsibility comes the question—how can we best share the unique aspects of each game in a way that’s true to the brand and relatable from a fan’s perspective? It’s not an easy question to answer.
The gaming community is very astute when it comes to brand interactions. You can’t just recycle old ideas and you can’t be shrewd with any of the details. With that in mind, we designed something new, different and sure to excite.
We brought one key feature from each game that all fans – casual or obsessive – will recognize and want to experience time and time again. Anything less would not have showcased the authenticity that we, and fans everywhere, desire.
Not only that, but we wanted to show the fans that the experience is about them. It’s not about direct game sales (although that’s a benefit), but making sure that fans see their value to Square Enix.
In any relationship, there’s a two-way street. If we don’t relate to the fans in an authentic way, we’ll see the same in return.
For a brand with no previous ties to the gaming community, it’s easy to be seen as an outsider. Just like walking into a conversation where no one knows you, you can’t be loud and obnoxious and expect to be welcomed. You need to be yourself and learn the language of that group.
We’ve worked with GEICO over the past two years to steadily build their presence in the gaming community. The key to that has been staying true to the GEICO brand and true to the gaming community itself.
For us, that has meant getting in on the ground floor with Team SoloMid. It’s also meant creating our own ownable property that we can build and develop ourselves in the ONOG Hearthstone Circuit.
After seeing success in year one, the tournament has organically grown at a steady pace and cemented itself as a premier event in the gaming industry with a major presence at various PAX events.
Organic growth doesn’t happen by slapping a logo on a wall somewhere. That’s the opposite of authenticity. Like I said, it’s about speaking the language of your community.
In an industry that may seem like an outlier for the gaming space, GEICO has made a very smooth transition. It doesn’t happen by accident. It just takes the right dose of the secret ingredient.
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Brands continue to take note of the gaming industry, but are finding it difficult to connect with the community. There is no secret recipe for consumer engagement, but there is a secret ingredient within each one.
You now have the key to successful brand interactions in the gaming space, so how will you use it next?
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