How Brands Can Strengthen The Feeling Of Community In Games
The success of a game can have many reasons. One of the most important one is that it can create a community around it. In this aspect brands can be of big help.
Video and especially mobile games experience a boom. The rapid increase of potential customers leads to more and more new games and apps flooding the market. This raises the question how users actually choose their favorite game and why certain games become extremely successful while others stay far behind expectations?
Players Want To Be Part Of A Community
Apart from graphics and game play there is another very important aspect that make games liked and eventually popular and successful. It is the feeling of community, referred to as Community Identity. Through the rise of online games this has gained more and more importance. Looking at the history of games it becomes obvious that communities are the base of the games industry. Games became big in the 80s as a pastime activity done with friends in bars and fast food joints. Even after computer games made their way into people’s homes players continued forming gaming communities and helping each other. This often led to new friendships in the digital space and even to people falling in love.
Still today game developers’ main goal is to create a Community Identity to get users to form a community around their game as loyal paying customers. But with a new unknown game this can be challenging. Instead of trying to create a new community, developer have a better chance to approach already existing ones.
After all social communities exist not only in the digital world but everywhere around us. Everyone identifies with many different social groups. This can be seen in various contexts such as sports teams, political parties or ethnic groups.
Brands Can Create Own Communities
The same way that people feel connected to those groups, they also have a connection to certain brands. Brands are able to form communities themselves. This is due to the fact that a brand reflects much more than just a product and a name but also the meaning behind its logo, its message and all its content. A brand can be described as who you are as a company as perceived by other people and creates a brand identity.
As Hope Jensen Schau and Albert M. Muniz Jr. show in their research, brand identity directly translates into consumption. Feeling connected to a certain brand has a direct effect on a consumer’s willingness to spend money on that specific brand or products suitable to the brand’s identity. In short it can be concluded that consumers are what they consume and conversely consumers consume what they are. This is also true in regards to media consumption. A study by Sabine Trepte proves that consumers prefer entertainment that refers to the social groups they belong to.
Since that social group can also be based around a brand, this allows the conclusion that to push entertainment products such as video games, combining it with already existing brands has a very high potential for success.
A Win-Win Situation For Games And Brands
Connecting digital product and brand in fact has a positive effect for both. Not only does the game or app benefit from reaching an already existing brand community and turning their engagement into revenue. Also the brand can build and maintain awareness. An app functions as an additional tool that allows brands to engage with its target market, foster trust and even reach new customer groups by using a new communication channel.
About the author
Several years of working experience in journalism as well as in marketing and communications provide Ansgar with a deep understanding of content creation for various media such as TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, websites and social media.
He loves travelling, meeting people from around the world and enjoy working in diverse and multicultural environments.