Wednesday , October 27 2021

Brand Building Gamified

Gaming tops the list of innovative, engaging & immersive ways in which companies connect with consumers. Some examples & insights on the booming sector

Gamification is emerging as an effective tool to drive business objectives and motivate people through data. By tapping into diverse principles of design, psychology and behavioural economics, it possesses the power to engage customers and employees with the brand in more ways than one.

Given the present-day scenario, it has become a popular technique in marketing. Many companies believe that gamification has the potential to increase the engagement, awareness, and loyalty of consumers with respect to the brand.

Throwing lights on the relationship between gamification, brand engagement and equity, Nishant Malsisaria, VP – Product Strategy, dentsu Data Sciences quips that there are nearly 470m gamers in India. And typically, most advertisers don’t even know that they are targeting these gamers already. “Unfortunately, for India, gamification, brand equity and engagement are linked to immersiveness which is going to be the future. However, in the present-day scenario, it’s looked at with a more tactical approach. 

There are examples today that make us believe that gaming is going a long way. Like Gucci’s association with Tennis Clash (mobile game) to complement its tennis clothing line with in-game merchandising. The brand was selling the same merchandise that they would have otherwise sold in a real-world scenario too. GenZ, in this regard, is already aligned with such scenarios to be able to buy these skins for avatars. 

I see such examples as the stepping stones that these brands are setting today for a glittering future.”

As the ecosystem matures, brands have begun asking for specific titles, integrations, immersiveness experiences, increased brand visibility, etc., he adds.

Further commenting on how marketers are utilizing gaming to fulfil their marketing objectives and the ways they are partnering with gaming platforms, an optimistic Anish Kapoor, CEO, Infinix Mobile says, “Nearly 40% of country’s population will be into gaming by 2022. It is already on its road to become a big industry. As a marketer, I suggest, stay relevant to the trend that is happening. 

At Infinix, we are tapping into this specific community. It gives us a platform where we can speak with a very targeted audience. We are creating devices in this space, working on R&D and providing a platform to launch technology that helps a gamer take his game to the next level.

I strongly believe that gaming will not be limited to tier 1 and tier 2 towns. It will become much massier”

The Dawn Of Esports Market

Talking of the belle of the ball, the esports market, while it stands at a nascent stage currently, the market size in India quickly scaled to INR 3 billion in FY2021 and is expected to reach INR 11 billion by FY2025, says an EY report. It further reveals that the sport has a much larger economic impact, having the potential to generate an economic value of around INR 100 billion between now and FY2025.

Sooraj Balakrishnan, Head of Marketing, Acer India expounds on the present-day contours of the state of esports in India for both mobile and PC platforms, “When we launched our first gaming laptop, it was just us and a few other players. Today, brands across categories are coming on board to advertise on esports. This shows the involvement of big brands and the growth that this sector has garnered.

Looking at the numbers, approx. 240m gamers are in tier 1-3 cities in India. On the other hand, brands like Acer and Infinix are curating specialised gaming products. This indicates that the whole ecosystem is coming together to ensure that we are catering to this audience. 

Even the investors are taking esports seriously now, given that the Indian esports market saw $430m raised.

With so many people coming to gaming, there is a holistic growth seen in the sector.”

Agreeing that brands and venture capitalists today are bullish about investing in esports, Amin Rozani, Group CEO, Quadrific Media mentions that brands have the opportunity to extract maximum value from these associations, as compared to traditional digital media or casual gaming. “Esports is taking over content, especially in youth. They are inclining towards gaming more than content as it offers a more engaged and controlled environment. 

Gamification in this sense gives more attention to a brand if the audience is a gamer rather than seeing an ad on TV. Brands realise that traditional media will change into brand placement within the games. Hence, a great spot for them.”

Western Digital very recently conducted a pan-India survey to understand the PC gaming community better- on the challenges, requirements, and alike. Jaganathan Chelliah, Director – Marketing, India, Western Digital gives a sneak peek into the insights gathered. “From a demog perspective, PC-based gaming was 10% of the total play before the pandemic. After the pandemic, people migrated from small to large screens for an immersive experience. In this, GenZ was 50%, while others were split between millennials and people between 35-45 years of age. For casual gaming, 20% of them were mechanical gamers.”

Admitting that esports is a fast-moving community today, Chelliah describes that the perception around it in the audience has also changed. “There is a sense of satisfaction from competitive gaming. Audiences now see it as a means of achievement or personality development (teamwork, collaboration, cognitive thinking, etc.). These aspects were not associated with gaming earlier. 

Insights like these help us place our brand better.”

About Soumya Sehgal

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