Make your brand sticky, unlike game apps

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

28 August 2012

Making your brand sticky means having an emotional aspect

The poor performances of game apps Zynga and EA’s PopCap games show what happens when a product with little emotional appeal is overvalued.

Let’s take a step back. To steal market share, you first must uncover the level of a consumer’s resistance to switch. How is the consumer emotionally invested in the product they currently use? What triggers would most excite them to take notice of something else? What is at stake if they make the transition?

“That strategy presents a conundrum. These mini games – all the rage now that Zenga and PopCap have Mafia Wars and FarmVille – are seen as throwaways.”

The greater the resistance to switch the more stealing market share depends on how a emotionally a message resonates with the customer. There are some instances where messages are highly intensive, which makes switching difficult. Attention marketers; make your brand sticky.

But if the user is not emotionally invested in the experience, the ability to switch becomes much easier.

That’s where Zynga and PopCap currently reside.

These companies are in the “mini-game” business, which relies on customers purchasing in-game additions to the game apps, rather than developing brand loyalty to the games. The game apps are designed to be played in small doses, making them easy to be consumed on the go. Players are not invested in a narrative, but they come back for ease of use and the promise of entertainment.

game appsThat strategy presents a conundrum. These mini games – all the rage now that Zenga and PopCap have Mafia Wars and FarmVille – are seen as throwaways. The nature of quick, fast games with little emotional involvement and a message that the customer can buy more means there is no way to foster brand loyalty beyond purchasing digital seeds.

It’s at that point users can be persuaded to switch. The loyalty is already weak, so something else that promises ease of use and quick entertainment can take easily take its place.

Gaming companies should ask themselves two questions: Is this game easy to switch away from? If the answer is yes, then they need something stronger – an emotional attachment – that will make their game “stickier.”

See more posts in the following related categories: Farmville game apps PopCap games Zynga


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