Depending on your industry, this year has likely been disruptive. Yet, for those in the technology sector, 2020 has a bright side. As this year has consistently delivered one surprise after another, tech continues to thrive. Which has meant that the playing field for these companies has grown more substantial — and more competitive.
The global gaming sector, in particular, is on fire. It’s expected to bring in more than $150 billion in revenue in 2020. Esports is especially impressive, with dedicated arenas popping up all over the world. Full Sail University made headlines recently when they spent $6 million to build an enormous esports “Fortress” at its Winter Park campus.
Eyebrows rose when esports’ revenue climbed to more than $1 billion in 2019. But records are made to be broken. This year, analysts expect esports to smash that milestone by reaching $1.6 billion, leaving little debate that gaming is a true cultural behemoth.
When a gaming trend hits, it hits big. Consider Pokemon Go and Animal Crossing, two global, cross-sectional success stories that have kept two legacy brands (Niantic and Nintendo) fresh. Between the two games, there are nearly 100 million active players — and yes, Pokemon Go is still going strong, despite the game coming out more than four years ago.
So, the question is, what are these brands doing right to gain an impressive market share? Second, with all this activity, how can a tech brand launch a product in a way that excites fans and drives purchase?
For tech brands looking to launch new products in this noisy global marketplace, here are 3 ways to rise above the roar.
Gamification is a clear match for gaming, even beyond the name. When brands incorporate fun, interactive strategies during a product launch, they will naturally receive deeper engagement.
Gaming brands can make global inroads by launching a worldwide tournament that features a new game or product. Partner with influencers and artists to ensure your tournament gives attendees a culturally rich experience unlike any other – and simultaneously ensure massive social amplification.
Tournaments can take place within each market and can be in person if restrictions allow. As local players narrow to the finals, the brand can host a final global, virtual tournament featuring each market’s winner. This style of activation plays on the popularity of esports and gaming tournaments while providing the tech brand with a proprietary virtual event. The FOMO has never been greater.
There are plenty of examples to look to related to the scope that these types of events can reach. Consider Epic Game’s recent runaway digital success. The brand’s crown jewel, Fortnite, played host to a super-hyped, much-anticipated virtual concert featuring Travis Scott. And the brand delivered. A record-breaking 12.3 million players from all over the globe logged in to watch the performance, in which Scott rampaged over the island as fans flocked around him in the lush digital environment. It was an authentic, interactive experience that showcased the game and its ability to pull off something as ambitious as a digital concert.
As brands look ahead, they can delve into how gamifying a product launch and partnering with the right influencers, ala Epic Games and Scott, can give your new product the launch exposure and excitement it deserves.
Launching any marketing campaign on a worldwide level requires deep expertise. In order to execute successful campaigns, brands need partners with a global presence and scalable infrastructure already in place. They need to be able to deliver training, messaging, and much more on a global scale, often in real-time.
Pick a partner that understands and has experience with the challenges and best practices related to global activation, including production and staffing. Everyone in your ecosystem should bring knowledge to the table to increase the chances of your global launch’s success. The reality is, when it comes to pulling off an expansive campaign, you need someone with the right tools and expertise, not someone who is scrambling for Cliff’s Notes as they go.
Getting an accurate read on local markets requires local insight. It’s not easy — even big-time brands get it wrong from time to time.
When Starbucks expanded into Israel, for example, the move did not go well. Within a year, the chain had closed its six Israeli stores. One oft-cited reason for the failure? Starbucks missed the mark, culturally. Critics felt the brand did not understand or appreciate Israeli coffee culture and misinterpreted local coffee drinkers’ tastes.
Sometimes it’s as simple as your message getting lost in translation. When PepsiCo launched in China, the company brought along its cheerful “Come alive with Pepsi” slogan. Somehow, the brand failed to realize the direct translation. In Chinese, the slogan was definitely not on-brand. It read, “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead.”
Before you move forward with launching a new product on a global scale, make sure you have in-market partners in place. When it comes to translating your global brand message for a local audience, often time the best people for the job are local brand ambassadors.
Tech companies need to come strong with unique consumer engagement strategies; they need to partner with the right globally-focused agencies, and it’s critical that they find ways to translate their message to fit the local culture. While earning attention and love for a new product isn’t easy, it is achievable with the right strategy in place.
Elevate is the industry’s only truly global event staffing agency, with offices in the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany. If you are launching a new product, with Elevate you have a globally aware, connected team behind you every step of the way.