It's no secret that I'm an advocate of using online games to create an engaging and fun environment for people to learn and interact with your brand. I've even questioned whether online gaming was web 2.0's killer app. Cisco's latest EDGE QUEST game was a result of my persistence on this topic and has proven to be a good investment so far. But if you're still looking for more ammo to sell this concept to your organization, iMedia Connection posted a useful article: 11 Reasons to Extend your Brand with Games. Here are the highlights:
- The bottom line is we just want to have fun: According to the National Institute on Media and the Family, 35% of Americans rated video and computer games as "the most fun entertainment activity."
- Online games can be viral and ubiquitous: They are portable and can be emailed, hosted on websites, syndicated, distributed to mobile phones, etc.
- They deliver results: Some say that advergaming offers retention rates 10 times higher than broadcast commercials; 15-45 percent of consumers who receive an advergame actually play it, and for an impressive average of 25 minutes. (Source: YaYa LLC.)
- Games and simulations are a great way to educate your prospects and customers: They also added sales to that list in the story. Cisco's EDGE QUEST game is a great example of how we made it educational but still fun and engaging.
- Online games create an impetus to interact with your brand: If you're looking to build a relationship with your customer this is a good way to get to know each other in a way that "appeals to our emotions."
- Online games deliver greater brand recall: It's memorable. Why? Because it's visual, interactive and engaging.
- Provide greater customer insights: Customers are more willing to share personal/preference information in exchange for the ability to play a game.
- Games engage the emotion to reach the intellect: You're not only drawing them in for the fun but able to deliver key info and brand messages. "It's a one-two punch."
- Provide your prospect with an active (not passive) experience: Participation is required.
- Multiplayer games can be the glue to build community around your brand: This is something that is probably best done with Second Life. Simulating real life environments are no longer abstract thoughts when you can illustrate it in a virtual setting.
Synchronize your brand vision across all touchpoints: Because of the portability you can "span far and wide" hence fully leveraging your investment for a large, global audience.