The practice of gamification: applying game mechanics to less playful contexts to motivate behaviours and effectively convey messaging, has proved a powerful tool for marketers, trainers, and educators to effectively engage audiences and deliver on desired outcomes. For marketing specifically, it’s an exceptional form of media through which to introduce new product lines, as inviting potential customers to play, to participate with and explore your content, is a great way to not only snatch their attention from the multitude of distractions, but to keep their focus, and keep their minds engaged on what you’re offering.
I hear you, I hear you, that might be great for launching a candy bar or promoting a movie, but I’m running a fashion brand here. How is a Quiz or a customised puzzle going to sell the latest trends online and in stores? More broadly, how can games support fashion? Specifically, how can marketing games and gamified content help fashion brands engage with their audiences and boost sales?
Fear not, dear reader — gamification is far bigger than it might initially appear, and with far more applications than its earlier forms and the available technologies made possible. So fire up the cafetiere, compose yourself elegantly but comfortably on that chaise longue, and read on to discover how games and gamification can help you achieve your marketing goals as a fashion brand.
Fashion and games: the unlikely dynamic duo
It’s perhaps not an obvious pairing at first glance, games and the fashion industry. You don’t think World of Warcraft with brunch, and ask yourself what loafers would be most appropriate? Would I be laughed out of the tavern if I went for something tasselled? None of it goes together.
But think of mobile gaming, think of the time people spend with their phones. Modern marketing games, such as the ones you can easily create on the Drimify platform from existing game engines, are built mobile first. This means they can be played on smartphones, tablets, and home computers. They’re shareable through links on social media and through mailing lists, and can also be accessed through QR codes in print magazines, and even in stores. This means marketing games offer a cross-platform piece of interactive content, that any member of your target audience has the hardware to access, at any given time of day.
You should also consider the hardware itself. The smartphone is so far ahead of what mobile phones looked at in the 2000s. They can support high-powered graphics, and have highly capable digital cameras built in. This is important, because fashion branding, to be effective, needs to reflect how premium the product it’s selling is. Also, some marketing games now come with photo functionality for user generated content — this can massively compliment the visual component of effective fashion marketing, and can tap into the creativity and desire for expression that fans of your brand may have.
Use marketing games to deconstruct looks
Fashion is more than a tee-shirt, or a dress, or a pair of trousers, it’s how clothes are put together and how they’re worn as much as anything else. This is where something like a customised Product Recommendation Quiz could be utilised. Say for a simple example you were releasing a new line of clothing. You could invite your audience to look at images of outfits put together, and ask them multiple-choice questions about what they liked or didn’t like about certain looks — ultimately, on the results screen, delivering them some product recommendations for putting together an outfit from your new line.
For a more specific example, let’s imagine you sell performance clothing for outdoor recreation, and you have a new line of winter coats in. You could customise a Product Recommendation Quiz that’s more grounded in practicalities, asking them questions about the temperatures and conditions they normally go out in at winter, and what kind of geographies they venture into, to ultimately suggest the best possible winter coat for them on the final screen. If they’re on the more extreme end of that, such as a user who likes to go out into the mountains when it’s snowing, you could include a results screen that suggests appropriate add-on products, like waterproof gloves, or a hat.
Both of these examples of interactive content encourage your potential customer to interact with your product, look at on-brand imagery of it, and indulge the possibility of purchasing. If you include a limited edition promotional code that’s available if they submit an email address on your contact form, they’re more incentivised to buy, and having gone through the various questions, your game has acted like a virtual salesperson in that it’s matched the customer’s tastes and needs to the right products.
Generate interest in new trends through interactive experiences
We mentioned earlier the possibility of incorporating user generated content in fashion marketing games in the form of photos. By satisfying the natural creativity and desire for expression some fans of your brand may have, and rewarding them for it, you can really compliment your marketing campaigns across social media.
Let’s say for example, you release a new line of clothing — we’ll call it “Line A.” After it’s been out for a little while, and it’s started selling, to boost sales and to boost your own branding, you could launch a marketing games campaign around a customised Photo Contest. You customise it on your Drimify dashboard to have your graphic design, your tone of voice, and your call to action: “Submit your strongest Line A looks for a chance to win exclusive prizes.”
Without wishing to generalise, the modern fashion conscious consumer is someone who takes a lot of photos, plays around with filters, and likes to look their best. With the right clothing line, and as part of the right campaign, this is the sort of approach that could perform really well across social media as you share some of the user generated content that comes in — you share it to encourage people to interact again with your Photo Contest: to vote for the winners. This can show members of your online communities who haven’t initially gotten onboard with Line A, or haven’t purchased any of the line yet, some of the ways other members of your community have cultivated looks with the product. This provides an interactive, community-wide experience that’s highly shareable from the perspective of growing your audience, but also rewards your existing community with interactivity and diversion, and in some cases, prizes. (Pro tip: this sort of marketing game works best in the summer months where there’s more daylight for your audience to take their best photos.)
Engage and reward the fans of your brand with playable, interactive content
Online marketing games are one of the most versatile and engaging forms of content available to marketers today, and when used effectively, they can help fashion brands stand out from their competition. Modern marketing games are highly visual, and the range of game engines available to fully customise on the Drimify platform can allow you to connect your audiences to your lines in sophisticated and elegant ways, as easily on their commute on their smartphone, as on their home computer when they’re considering updating their wardrobe for the coming season.
Invite your customers to participate in your brand’s story, reward your communities, and grow them too. Fashion as an institution may pay a lot of lip service to legacy and tradition, but the people who make it an industry pay more to disruptors and innovators. Marketing games are an engagement tool that reflect that spirit of creativity and new thinking.