Playing The Brand Game
By Rishi Dhir, Consultant at Brandsmiths, part of All About Brands Plc
Branding borrows some of the same principles as playing games. In this article, Rishi Dhir, sets out his five principles to a successful brand.
As human beings, it seems we’re almost hard-wired to play games. Whether it’s solving a Sudoku puzzle on our commute to work, playing a game of Monopoly at Christmas with the family, or having a relaxing round of golf at the weekend with friends, games-playing satisfies an innate need to flex our intellectual, creative and social muscles.
Of course, games are nothing new: they have been a feature...
...of most cultures and societies throughout history, sometimes even pre-dating literacy. Senet, the oldest board game in the world, was played in pre-dynastic Egypt as long ago as 3,500 BC.
The very act of participating in a game can be a satisfying experience, but winning against the odds can be highly addictive. At their best, games can create a deep sense of engagement, leading to a state of ‘flow’ — in which we are completely immersed in the experience. These core ideas of satisfaction, engagement and addiction are similarly the holy grail of brand building and in recent years brand owners have applied the principles of gaming to enhance the brand experience. Boiling it down, there are five core principles that brands have borrowed from the gaming fraternity:
Principle #1: Make it challenging. Challenges are irresistible. All games, no matter how simple or complex, challenge the player to achieve something, be it fitting different shaped pieces together as quickly as you can (as in Tetris), or successfully negotiating the underworld to become a notorious gangster (as in Grand Theft Auto). The best games make the rules and parameters very clear, so there is no ambiguity as to what you’re being asked... continued on page two >