DISCOVERING CONSUMER TRENDS THROUGH VIRTUAL WORLDS

-R

As relationships are the main goal of social media use, businesses may find it difficult to actually promote their product without damaging existing interactions.  While offering exclusive deals to valued customers may work, a business needs to promote its product in fun, subliminal ways to really sell the product. In The Economist’s March issue, the article “The Buying Game: Can Play Shopping Transform the Real Thing?” discusses the benefits of pertinent social gaming as it comes into the spotlight of social media tools.

Fantasy Shopper was created by Chris Prescott in the quaint town of Exeter, England. Acting as a hybrid of gaming and real life shopping, the game allows consumers to visit a city competing to find deals and create the best outfits. Players can share their outfits, ideas, and ‘badges’ with their real friends via Facebook and Twitter.  While the money is virtual, the products used in the game are real and sold in stores around the world. The stores involved give away products as occasional prizes, as well as coupons and vouchers for when consumers are ready to hand over their real money.

Because the game allows for corporations to subtly promote products, it allows current feedback from both existing and potential customers on what they want to buy and how much they would spend. Fantasy Shopper, and games that allow the consumers to use, share and potentially buy the product give businesses vast amounts of insight into the consumers. Their taste, price range, combination offers, how often they use coupons or vouchers, and how their friends influence their decisions can all be pulled and organized based on how their virtual character plays in the virtual world.  While mainly aimed at girls ages 20 to 25, the article enforces at the end that the dialogue between consumers can change the game, as males might use the game to allow their friends to weigh in on their fashion choices before purchasing.

Social Media Strategy Framework -Ross Dawson

For any business, securing the framework for your social media plan is incredibly important. Ross Dawson created a presentation to display the power of social media for clothing retailers. By first determining the demographics you want to reach, and more importantly, why they reach out to you on social media, a business can create a plan to succeed.  As with the virtual gaming world, a business can use social media as a tool to better understand its consumers and their motives and to use that information to persuade them to a product or brand.

Consumer Reasoning on Brands – Ross Dawson

 

-Rachel Chesno

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~ by goodpackagedconsumers on September 23, 2012.