Driven, Selective and Responsible – these are the three brand values which make up the Gaming Corps brand identity. From business idea to vision and finally brand, this is the third calendar entry presenting the new Gaming Corps strategic platform.
To move Gaming Corps forward, the management team set out a while back to define the existing business idea further and outline a vision and a brand identity. The result was the Gaming Corps’ strategic platform which relays what we do, where we come from, where we are going, how we want to be perceived, what we stand for, what we promise our stakeholders and who those stakeholders are. The platform is a tool on which we will form our daily strategic efforts to move the company forward, and a tool on which we build communication towards all stakeholders.
Branding is a wide and complex area of business strategy which deals with everything from very tangible to very intangible factors. For many when they think of brands what first comes to mind are the products and services they use in their daily lives, such as their electronic devices, food and drink, other fast moving consumer goods, media services and so on. Most connect the word brand with the name and the logotype of a product or service, but that is just the visible part of something that is much deeper. What you see on the outside – name, logotype, graphic identity etc. – reflects what the brand stands for. Or it should. And getting to that point where this reflection is true and positive is what constitutes the strategic work of branding. Defining what you want the brand to be is the first step of that work, and after that follows a process of dedicated efforts over the course of a long time. In the case of Gaming Corps we have set a clear offer (business idea) which includes defining our target groups, and we have set an overall goal for the direction in which the company is headed (vision). We have defined our brand to align with the business idea and vision, and to reflect our ambition and what we stand for.
In short one could say that branding is about three key things: consistency, alignment and positive associations.
- Consistency: One should always know what to expect from a brand, it should deliver consistently over time – in terms of products as well as communication and marketing. If you want to build recognition for your brand it needs to be consistent and clear.
- Alignment: What you promise must also be what you deliver. Many think that a strong brand is synonymous with an expensive, perfected product. But a strong brand can be put on the cheapest product or service in the world. It has to do with the fact that if you promise something – a certain service, a certain quality level, a certain experience, a certain mood – that needs to be delivered upon. When promise meets delivery that makes for a positive brand experience. What you do and say must also “gel”. You can’t attempt to build a brand that is on a collision course with your business idea, or have two business areas within the same brand behave completely differently towards customers. On an intuitive level, your image as a company, the entirety of it, needs to make sense to the customer.
- Positive associations: In the end, you want the people that matter to your company, to have a positive view of your brand. When stakeholders think of your brand, they should intuitively connect it with a handful of positive things. We call these associations, and if you do your job well, important stakeholders will share the same, positive associations of your brand and if asked, describe the brand in much a similar way.
The Gaming Corps brand identity has been boiled down to three words, our brand values: Driven, Selective and Responsible. We have further defined them to make sure that our position is clear and that everyone works in the same direction. Using these values as tools, our goal is over time to create a strong, consistent brand which is in alignment with who we are and what we deliver, and in the end give our stakeholders positive associations to Gaming Corps as a company. This is not something which will happen over night, but for those who follow us closely, they can perhaps already see the consistent approach in marketing and communication over the course of the past two years. Now we build on that, raise our ambition and look forward.
The three brand values are connected and make sense together, but also have different roles meaning they don’t overlap unnecessarily. One very important thing to think of when understanding brand strategy is that one can’t focus solely on hygiene factors. There are always numerous factors in an industry that must be there in order for your brand to present a credible offer. If you sell raw meat, it needs to be fresh. If you sell tents for extreme weather, they need to be durable. These are things you need to talk about and “own”, boxes that need to be checked, but they are not things which will build a strong brand, unless you are the first to arrive in a market or overwhelmingly the strongest. For Gaming Corps, what matters most and take up most focus, are the areas where we believe we can find a differentiating, profitable position. For us that also coincides with what excites us about going to work in the morning and the values we have. This to us boils down to Driven, Selective and Responsible.
This brand value is about our ambition. We want to develop, we want to make a positive difference, we want to employ fresh new ways of developing games. We want to impact the industries we are in, be a prime mover in change over time, be a champion for these industries. This means among other things that we want to work with ambitious partners. This means we have an industry perspective and a long-term perspective when we plan our products for the coming years, not just the desire of making entertaining games.
This brand value is about what we focus on. We will be meticulous in what we do and what we don’t do. We have identified a selective, mature end user as the primary target group for our products and that sets a direction and a focus.
This brand value is about how we act and how we communicate. We are committed to always making the most responsible choice when it comes to what we produce, how we market our products, what we say and how we manage our regulatory communication. Partners, end users, shareholders and other stakeholders should feel comfortable in trusting us to be reliable and professional at every turn.
Gaming Corps is a B2B company in the sense that we sell products to other companies. Our products however are used by individual consumers, the end users, hence our brand is also a B2C brand as it must be attractive to both corporates and individuals. This is something we take into consideration and also something where emphasis will change over time. The current phase we are in has strong emphasis on the corporate side, on the partners we work with to build our business. As Gaming Corps’ products are more and more available on the global market, our communication will include more of an end user focus.
Next week we will share how the strategic platform – the business idea, vision and brand – formed the base of our new graphic identity. How do you take strategies and turn them into visual form, graphic components and words that instantly sends the right message of the brand? Stay tuned and find out how Gaming Corps got its new suit!