Note: A colleague and I had the privilege today to speak about marketing to women to two groups of high school marketing teachers. They were all gathered in Greensboro for their annual convention and we were one of the breakout sessions. Great questions, lots of head nodding and several teachers who will go back to their classrooms and “preach the gospel” of marketing to women. Thanks to everyone who attended!
Post: As promised yesterday, we’re going to delve back into the world of video gaming. Check out yesterday’s post, “A Long Way From Ms. Pac-Man” if you missed it. There’s a lot to talk about here, and today I thought we could talk about women’s preferences when it comes to playing video games. I’m pulling a lot of this stuff from the Feb. 2005 Marketing to Women newsletter (www.epmcom.com), a great resource.
• Women gravitate toward games with strong story lines and character development. For instance, in “The Sims,” one of the best selling titles ever, gamers develop a simulated family and home, down to designing the furniture and deciding on details of face, clothing and hair. This character-building phase is part of the storytelling. Which leads to
• Women value storytelling over random wanderings through a game. By creating these characters and spinning stories around them, women develop a real connection with their animated counterparts and want to understand how a certain event, like going to college, might impact their character’s development. Which leads to
• Women prefer more realistic and diverse characters. Female characters who are victims, waiting to be rescued don’t cut it. Neither do characters who prance around in skimpy outfits.
• Women enjoy open-ended play that incorporates more conversation and interaction.
• Repetitive violence is boring. Simple games are boring.
• To learn how to play a game, women prefer to know the rules, the objectives and how things work before they start. Men tend to jump right in and learn through risk-taking and exploration. Which leads to
• Women and men have different ideas on how errors are “punished” during play.
So, here’s my really bad, total PinkThink (that’s a bad, bad thing) suggestion. If there are chick flicks, perhaps these should be called dame games. Just kidding. Don’t ever call them that. Or tell anyone that I said that. It’s that bad.
Here’s your homework: Is there an opportunity to build character into your brand? Your product? Sorry, Tony the Tiger is already taken…