When you’re looking for new ways to engage with your audience and grow your brand, mobile, social, and brand video games are something that you cannot afford to ignore. Price Waterhouse Cooper (www.pwc.co.uk) estimates that the worldwide video games industry will be worth almost $20 Billion by 2020, illustrating the fact that games are no longer a niche platform, and that there will be numerous opportunities to take advantage of the increased penetration and desire for games in virtually every consumer market.
While much of the games industry is fuelled by ‘AAA’ titles on mainstream consoles and the Microsoft Windows ecosystem, there is still a relevant market for browser based and mobile games. These options don’t require as much development investment, and they can allow for simple and brief interactions with your audience.
Fun Improves Engagement and Boosts Brand Positivity
Customer experience is key to developing loyalty and repeat business. With gaming, it’s possible to create a positive experience even before your audience is converted. By providing fun, creative, and positive experiences through social and online games, it’s possible to start developing a positive brand perception that will then allow for increased sales opportunities.
The approach of using games to boost brand engagement is not unique to any market. A diverse range of companies from Red Bull, to Bobbies in Paris, to Mobirix in South Korea, have all used mobile game branding with excellent results. In the case of Mobirix, creativity and innovation was taken a step further, with the company developing banner style mini games that users could engage with when viewing related content on partner websites.
This unique approach to advertising shows that online gaming can be enjoyed with very little technical investment required on the user’s part. Incorporating mini games into banner advertisements is arguably even simpler and more effective than hosting games on platforms like Facebook, or the Apple or Google app stores.
Red Bull is an Excellent Example of a Company Using Brand Video Games to Grow
Red Bull GmbH (www.redbull.com) is an excellent example of a company that has only one core product but manages to create brand awareness in numerous industries and through almost every marketing platform that is available. As the worldwide market leader in energy drink sales, the company can credit at least some of their success to their significant investment in mobile and social gaming.
Their popular game Red Bull Kart Fighter is available on Facebook, as well as on iOS and Android devices. The game features deep social integration and gameplay that has been highly rated by independent reviewers. Most importantly, the game features prominent Red Bull branding which helps to boost the perception of the company as consumers can enjoy the gaming experience.
Red Bull’s brand has always been about extreme activities, youth engagement, and fun. There can be no doubt that their games have been designed to reinforce these brand messages to existing and potential customers.
Other popular branded games from Red Bull include; Bike Unchained, Red Bull Racers, and Red Bull Air Race.
Key Benefits You’ll Gain with Branded Video Games for Marketing
Your company doesn’t need to be the size of Red Bull to be able to gain from an investment in branded games marketing. With even a simple game and small investment, you could take advantage of:
- Multiplatform releases with a single development chain, utilizing HTML5 technology that ensures cross compatibility.
- Boosted brand awareness through social features; such as social media sharing, or even multiplayer gameplay through web browsers or mobile apps.
- Increased engagement and loyalty by providing unique product or service offers that tie directly into games. With NFC or Bluetooth beacons, mobile games could become even more interactive in your place of business.
- Affordable development, even for small companies. Freelance development services are affordable thanks to cross platform game engines like Unity.
Exploring Every Available Channel Will Offer You the Best Roadmap to Success
Using video games for brand marketing is not an entirely new concept. Even as far back as 1992, game company Amiga was featuring product placement for the Chupa Chups lollipop brand. Countless other brands have been featured in video games since then, but it’s only in the last ten years that it has become possible for small business owners to achieve branding with their own games, rather than with product tie-ins.
There’s a lot that you can gain from expanding your marketing to video game branding. When used in parallel with your other marketing efforts, you could create a significant amount of buzz and familiarity with your brand, leading to more numbers through your sales funnels, and ultimately; more conversions.
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