The video game industry has become one of the largest entertainment industries, much of which is thanks to strong marketing campaigns that entice gamers before they even have a chance to play. For example, Bungie’s newest title, “Destiny,” sold more than 4.5 million units worldwide in the first week, according to N4G. Video game developers are perhaps some of the most savvy marketers, and business owners of all kinds can learn from their marketing success.
Here are a few lessons you can learn:
Video game companies are brilliant at branding their products. They always start with a strong name that grabs consumer interest and is easy to remember. If you look at a list of modern Xbox One games, they have names like “Destiny” and “Titanfall” and “Call of Duty,” which are catchy and intriguing. When products or services have complicated names or overly clever titles, consumers will forget about your brand. Therefore, a simple idea is always the best way to make your product memorable. When developing your own brand identity, don’t be mysterious but rather look at games like “Grand Theft Auto,” where there is no doubt what the game entails.
The film industry conceived the idea of the trailer, where audiences get a small taste of what is to come. However, it is the video game industry that has mastered the use of the free sample. Gamers are often offered free downloadable demos so they can experience the gameplay and see if the title is for them. By offering customers a direct look at your products, you gain their trust and interest.
Furthermore, samples and demos can often be shared with other customers, a lesson that video game developers learned very early on. Free demos often spread virally from user to user and generate massive interest in a title. This word-of-mouth marketing plan can create a very successful launch day.
One of the more ingenious displays of marketing prowess on the part of video game developers is the idea of the pre-order incentive. With pre-orders, customers are ensured a copy of the game when it is released and are often offered an additional in-game reward or collectible with their purchase. Pre-orders often generate hundreds of thousands of sales before the title is even released. VGCharts shows the amount of pre-orders for each game, and some of these titles receive thousands of pre-orders per week for months before their release.
Businesses in any other industry can learn from the video game industry’s methodology regarding pre-orders and early order incentives. Consumers are drawn to discounts and special offers as well as anything that makes them feel special or unique. This is an easy way to show your appreciation for the customer. Plus, any business that sells a product can easily offer some type of pre-order reward.
Overall, video game developers have found what their target market wants. They know how to cater to their needs and desires and don’t hesitate to go the extra step. Other businesses can learn from their practices and adjust them to fit their own niche in order to find marketing success.