A recent headline in London’s Metro newspaper proclaimed that gaming is now bigger than movies and music combined. That is quite an assertion, and it will doubtless contribute to even more new entrants joining the fray in what is already a hugely crowded and competitive business sector.
Having a strong brand identity is a vital, and sustainable, way of standing out from the crowd and building a competitive advantage that cannot be replicated. The rules for doing so in the gaming sector are not, in essence, different to any other, but they might require you to rein in some preconceptions about the industry.
Understand your audience
Sure, know your customer is Digital Marketing 101, but the online gaming sector is a more segmented one than you might think. Consider the diverse audiences for a live roulette game, a football simulator, a gem-matching game, and a Disney-inspired role play game and you will get the idea.
Having a clear understanding of your target audience is a vital step in developing your brand. Don’t talk generics, come up with some real customer personas. Adam, the 45-year-old manager who loves to relive the retro games of his youth and enjoys casino games. Hannah, the 28-year-old single Mum for whom online games present a 10-minute distraction during the day and an opportunity for social interaction in the evening. You could even visit some of the more popular gaming blogs to learn more about the real people who enjoy specific types of games.
A memorable logo that gives the right message
Your logo is the physical representation of everything your brand stands for. In a crowded marketplace like the gaming sector, it also needs to be super-recognisable and striking. The design is important, but so is the colour. The most successful gaming sites understand the psychology of colour. For example, red is associated with excitement, but also with danger. This is why you do not see many casino sites that use this colour, while green, which is synonymous with trust and safety is far more common.
With the logo and colour scheme established, it is essential to use this effectively to really strengthen your brand. The key here is consistency. Make sure it is constantly applied across both online and offline channels, and most important of all, don’t forget social media.
Develop your brand’s personality
A brand is more than just a logo. In gaming, players want to connect with the provider on a personal level, whether they are beta testing a new video game or visiting their site as a member to play poker or blackjack. In the digital era, the human factor is more important than ever, and people have a tendency to attribute human characteristics to inanimate brands. Make sure you put in the legwork to get it just right, as, in such a competitive online industry, there is precious little margin for error. A strong brand, on the other hand, will provide an advantage that your competitors will struggle to match.