For companies in all sectors across the globe, reputation is one of the biggest factors that can make or break a business. Shahid Ahmad (the former director of strategic content for PlayStation) famously said: ‘If you don’t have reputation, you only have your game. And your game is up against thousands and thousands of other games.’ So, it can be argued that your reputation as a brand is even more important than the games you put out into the world.
In 2020, consumers are very much in control of gaming company reputations, and these customers also have a much louder voice than previously, especially on channels such as Reddit, YouTube, Discord, Steam and Twitch, as well as game-specific forums. With your reputation formed more quickly than ever before, here are four reasons why it matters:
- It influences buying decisions
Shifts in buying behaviours over the past decade mean that games (both digital and physical) are now purchased online, rather than from physical stores in many cases. When purchasing online, studies by Dimensional Research have shown that 90% of consumers say that positive reviews influence their purchase decision, and that 91% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so it’s no secret that customer reviews can improve your reputation.
In the same vein, the reputation of your game can often stem from the reputation of your business as well as the quality of your development team. If you’re struggling to keep up with all the blogs, videos and social media mentions, use a brand monitoring tool or something simple like Google Alerts to help you keep up with it all, and to help you react and respond where necessary.
- Your reputation affects your profits
Your reputation will not only affect your products and the prices your customers are willing to pay – where consumers will be happy to pay more for a game that’s bug-free, exciting and matches their expectations – but beyond the obvious benefits to sales volume, a good reputation has enormous marketing and ROI benefits. Gaming companies with a good reputation can afford to spend less on marketing because consumers will often do much of the marketing and communications organically on their behalf, by creating user-generated content, sharing content and starting discussions.
- It benefits the perceived and actual value of your business
If your gaming business has an end goal of being bought out one day, your reputation can actually affect the perceived (and, therefore, actual) value of your business.
This not only affects your products, where consumers are happy to pay more for a game that’s bug-free, exciting and matches their expectations if your reputation and prior release history is good. But also, the value of your business as a whole increases as your reputation does, as long as there isn’t a significant reputation-reality gap.
- Attracting employees
Employees generally want to work for companies that match their values, treat their employees fairly and have a positive company culture, and the gaming industry is no different. Companies with positive reputations will be able to hire better-qualified staff, will generally have more engaged employees and a reduced churn rate.
To conclude, your reputation as a business in the gaming industry affects all areas of your business; product output, sales, marketing strategy, staff and ultimately, your bottom line and value as a brand.
Image Credits: Aleks Dorohovich