Designing Your Gaming Brand Image to Grow, Engage and Retain Players
by Game Marketing Genie, on 11-Jun-2020 11:58:26
A great brand image is essential in today’s competitive business environment. You’ll need a solid brand identity to stand out among the competition and capture your customer’s attention, regardless of the industry you operate in.
Every good brand has something that people associate with them. Coca-Cola is associated with enjoyment and fun, and this is what comes to mind when people hear the name. In the mobile gaming world, Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja are some of the titles that have been wildly popular with players. These games are known for their unique and entertaining animations that made them gaming sensations. The popularity of these games provided their developers with opportunities to sell beyond the games, tap into the merchandise market, and even create movie deals. Similar successes await you when you eventually create a good brand image for your game.
Creating a strong brand image, however, doesn’t happen overnight. You can’t just design a logo, select your brand colors, and hope to gain favor in the gaming community. There are certain things you need to do to develop a reputable brand image, and here are a few strategies that’ll help you get started.
Define your brand persona
The first step in designing your brand image is to define your brand persona. You need to think of your brand like a person with a unique personality and describe everything about this person. Your brand persona is a reflection of the image your customers have of you, and this will determine how they interact with your products. If your persona appeals to them, they will download and sign up to play your game, and if it doesn’t, they will avoid it and choose other titles.
An authentic persona will help you establish trust with your users and maintain their loyalty. It creates reliable and realistic representations that your key audience segments can reference. It allows for an intimate connection with your users, and this is what you need to get more people to download your game and recommend it to their friends.
There are vital questions to ask yourself to help you create your brand persona, and these include:
1. What would your persona look like if it was a person?
Imagine Red Bull walking into a room. He’s European, lean, and sporty. He is full of energy, rich, and somewhat worldly. Then Monster Energy comes along. He is in a black t-shirt, a black baseball cap, and black jeans. He’s tatted up and full of attitude.
Both of these are energy drinks, but their personalities are different. A look at their website will reveal that these descriptions are close to matching their brand personas, and you need to do the same for your brand.
What does your brand persona look like? Male or female? Young or old? What clothes do they wear? Do they have a name? What do they associate themselves with? Be as detailed as possible when developing the description to ensure you create a persona that resonates with your target audience.
2. What traits does your brand portray?
Brand personas can take several personality traits based on human behavior. The persona can be a caregiver. It could be nurturing and kind, and show empathy and responsible behavior. The brand persona could also be competent. A competent persona is influential and able to sway others to act.
Exciting is another personality trait a brand can portray. This persona is spirited and eager to embark on adventurous activities. Rugged is another popular personality trait with brands. Such personas are athletic, tough, and full of energy. Finally, there is the sophisticated persona that exudes elegance and style.
When creating your personality image, list the traits that you want your brand to highlight and map out the brand personality from that list. This will help you create a real connection with your users, and the results will be greater brand awareness.
3. How would your persona speak to people?
Another important consideration to make is how your brand persona will communicate with your customers. The nature of your product and your target audience will determine the communication style. Since users attribute human characteristics to their favorite brands, the language and tone of voice used when sharing brand communication should reflect those characteristics.
If you are targeting young men with your game, then you should speak like them. Use the same words your target audience uses when communicating to make it easy for them to identify with your brand and the game. Customers want their thoughts reflected back at them, and this is what you achieve when you speak in their language.
4. What colors and style match your persona?
The color palette you choose for your brand image is hugely important. Colors can be used to differentiate your brand from the competition, so you need to be careful when making the selections. A good color palette is flexible, with one primary color and 2-3 complimentary colors.
Certain colors are also known to elicit emotions, and this will also influence your choice of color. The color red, for instance, conveys adrenaline and excitement in the gaming industry. Other bright colors can be combined with images to give your brand a strong identity.
Consider Twitch, who moved away from common colors like red that many major brands use for a distinctive purple shade that is easily recognizable.
5. How does your persona engage with others?
You also need to visualize how your brand persona will interact with your customers when they meet. Will it high-five your customers or fist bump them? Or maybe it will give them a warm hug and have great conversations about nature and other adventurous escapades.
How this interaction plays out will help determine the style of communication and language used to promote your game.
The answers to these questions will be key to how you set your brand’s foundation up and how you interact with your audience.
Consistency is key
Strong gaming brands can be recognized because they are consistent in the things they do. Their colors, images, and style are aligned to the core of their online game marketing model. It is essential to create a style guide to retain this consistency and to make it easy for your customers to recognize your brand.
Visual elements enhance your brand identity, and it starts with the creation of a brand logo. The logo should appear on everything related to your business from your website, social media channels, and offline promotional elements like business cards and fliers. The logo becomes your calling card and the visual representation of your brand promise.
When designing your logo, consider the latest trends to see what’s popular with your audience. Check out what your competitors are doing design-wise but don’t copy them. You intend to stand out, and you will not be able to do that when you copy everything your competitors are doing. Like we mentioned earlier, Twitch made the bold decision to use an all-purple design for their brand when other players in the entertainment industry were gravitating towards similar visual elements (the red color of YouTube and Netflix). This allowed them to stay different, and the company achieved massive success in the coming years, eventually getting sold to Amazon in 2014 for a cool $1 billion.
Hire a game marketing agency to design something unique that will reinforce the visual identity for your game and make it stand out in the crowded gaming sphere.
Make your promotional activities count
After laying down the foundation for your brand identity, you can build up your promotional activities to create a loyal customer base and generate sales for your game. The main components that will help you promote your game on a wider scale include:
Public relations disseminate your company news and key brand messages in news outlets, gaming publications, and online blogs. It positions your company as a thought leader in the industry and an expert source of trends and breaking news. These measures raise your brand awareness and improve your brand image.
Search engine optimization is a marketing strategy that will improve the ranking of your website on search engines like Google. To make an impact on your target audience, you need to rank well for specific keywords and phrases. This will increase the traffic getting to your website and other online assets.
Social media is an excellent platform for sharing valuable information with your audience and interacting with influencers. An active presence on the right social channels will increase traffic to your website and boost your reputation with new and existing customers.
Content is the fuel that powers digital marketing and integrated PR activities. To elevate the profile of your brand, you’ll need a steady supply of white papers, blog posts, and contributed articles to target your audience segments.
We have shared more tips on the best digital marketing strategies to promote your brand in our blog, The Game Developer's Guide to Digital Game Marketing.
A brand image is a big thing to work on, and it can make or break your brand. Without the right game marketing strategies, it will be challenging to make a name for yourself in the competitive gaming and entertainment industry. Your download stats will remain low, and you will struggle to generate revenue from product sales. The team at Game Marketing Genie are experts at creating brand bibles to help you set yourself up for success and stay on track into the future.
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