According to an article on WWD last week, playing games may be the new way fashion designers and brands will be tapping into their customers. 505 Games, Funcom and IMG Worldwide teamed up with DKNY as their official fashion sponsor for their Fashion Week Live game (living exclusively on Facebook at facebook.com/fwlgame), as a new way to engage their consumer base.
Pegging an avatar version of DKNY PR girl as the host, players climb through the ranks. A boutique with virtual products and designs will be at their disposal to help them advance in the game, and as they climb the ranks users are presented with virtual job opportunities at the company, more products, as well as a virtual upgrade in their apartment. But here's the catch — there's no actual physical prize, the goal is gaining experience and prestige.
Macala Wright, founder and ceo of Why This Way and editor in chief of FashionablyMarketing.me, notes in the article that she believes incentivization in gaming (such as points) can foster player (and consumer) loyalty.
“When you reward a customer based on the success of their actions, the value and the perception from that consumer increases, thereby maintaining brand image,” Wright said. Social gaming, in essence, fills the void for the “quick fixes” that social media caters to, and plays into our emotions and impulses, as shopping does.
With DKNY exploring gaming in fashion since 2007, other brands that have caught on to the gaming trend include Aldo's “Shoe Paradise,” Nike's “Winter's Angry Perseverance Campaign,” and Norma Kamali's 3-D scavenger hunt, all released in the past year. According to the article, it's estimated that there will be 74 million social gamers by 2013, and 53 percent of them are women.
So what does this mean for the blogger? As social media and fashion are integral aspects of the fashion blogging community, it will be interesting to see how (and if) this has any affect on blogging. Will bloggers one day have their very own games? Or be used as tools in bigger brands' social gaming? Do you think that fashion social gaming will become more of a regular part of everyday lives, say like Angry Birds or Farmville?
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