Branding a Game Company

You can’t be everything to everyone. We are all uniquely different. Think of a close friend. What feelings come to mind? What words describe that friend? Now, think of another friend. What feelings come to mind? I bet you had distinctive feelings for both friends. That’s their brand.

Brands are like people. They take on personality traits and we like those traits or we don’t.

This means you are a brand. You evoke certain feelings when people think of you. The entirety of who you are, is your brand. Your beliefs, likes, dislikes, attitude, personality, style, etc. are all things that create you. These same things make up a company brand.

We all have distinct feelings about each of the top ten brands in 2009. Some brands you know better than others; some brands you like better than others. It’s no different than friends compared to acquaintances. Being everyone’s best friend is being no one’s best friend.

Building a brand for a game company is the same as for a car company, beverage company, restaurant, or any business. The major game companies don’t need a lesson in the importance of branding–they already spend millions a year doing it. That’s why their games sell so well. Consumers know their product. We know what to expect from a game with the EA logo on it.

When your target audience sees your game with your logo, do they know what to expect? They should. A company name should sell itself. That’s the power of a brand.

Your company needs to have a brand as much as you need to have a personality. It doesn’t matter how big or small: a one man show or a thousand man spectacle. You need a brand.

Your customers will develop feelings about your company based on points of contact. These experiences can be influenced or the chips can fall where they may. There are brands that people want to evangelize and tell their friends about. That brand makes a top ten list. That’s a brand you want. That brand didn’t happen by accident.

A strong brand allows for competition on more than price. Competing on price is the weakest competitive advantage. Anyone can lower prices until they go out of business. That’s not smart business. Smart businesses create their own market with few competitors. You can’t achieve this without a brand.

thatgamecompany, the makers of the popular flOw, has a distinct brand. Their games are truly unlike any others in the industry. Their games won’t be a fit for everyone and that’s okay. They call their games “core games”. They are in their own market with few competitors.

So how do you build a brand and benefit from it? First, your company needs to know Who am I?

You have an identity. The people who make up your company have an identity. What are they? What makes you tick? What makes your employees tick? Why are you in business? What do you do? Why do you wake up every day? What is your passion? What do you offer your customers?

About John

John Miller: John, a seasoned business journalist, offers analytical insights on business strategy and corporate governance. His posts are a trusted resource for executives and business students alike.
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