17 March 2011

Brand Fit in Videogames - by Jasper W

      Posted 03/16/11 06:15:00 am  

I here provide the short summary from my website of the article “Successful Brand Fit in Brand Extensions to Videogames” that is currently being written by Jasper Wuts, Oscar Person and Erik-Jan Hultink. For more information on this research or to request a provisional copy of the article, please contact me by e-mail.

In our article, we present the findings of our research on brand fit in videogames. Brand fit is increasingly important in the development of videogames as brands from a broadening range of backgrounds put significant investments in extensions to videogames. The videogames medium has attracted many brands to employ it as a unique touchpoint to enrich the brand experience. At the same time, the rich content of many brands provides a unique foundation for a differentiating videogame. To successfully leverage the opportunity of brand extension to videogames in both of these ways, it is of crucial importance that a good fit is established between the videogame and the brand. Analyzing over 400 statements from 60 critic reviews, 5 spaces were discovered on which brand fit in videogames can be established.

Looking at the background of the brand extensions to videogames, we spent particular attention to brands within the entertainment industries that deviate from videogames in two directions: more story-driven brands and more tangible brands (see left figure). Brands that have a more story-driven background include brands from movies, television shows and books such as Star Wars, Avatar, Toy Story and Marvel. Brands of a more tangible form of entertainment include sports and toy brands such as Major League Baseball, Warhammer and LEGO. The vast majority of brands that are currently extended to videogames clearly deviate in one or both of these ways.

The five spaces of brand fit are: the physical, entity, playstoric, symbolic and emotional brand fit spaces (see right figure). The spaces range from more direct and objective experiences to more personal and interpreted experiences of brand fit. Each of the spaces was found by analyzing the way that critics describe how they perceive videogames to fit brands. In our paper we elaborate on the definitions of the five spaces and describe several factors that are important for each of them. Taking these five spaces into account supports design managers in pursuing a videogame experience that truly fits the brand values. By doing so, they increase the value of not only the videogame, but of the brand as well.

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