Video Game Marketing: Branding

This is the first article in a five-part series that details exactly what you need to market your video game.

Despite its moniker, the video game industry isn't all about fun and games. If you want to truly find success as a video game developer, you need to work hard - and intelligently - to help your customers identify with your products. Branding your video games goes a long way toward doing that. When you consider some of the top-selling video game brands - "Halo" and "Call of Duty," for example - it is important to recognize that these are not only great games, they're great games with a great brand effort behind them. The following details what you need to do to brand your video game for success.

Importance of a branded image

In business, a branded image is your logo, tagline, colors, fonts/typesets and other attributes that visually represent one's company. But it's also so much more: it is the ideas and emotions that these elements convey. Ten years ago if you heard the world "halo" you would have thought of a bright ring above an angel's head. Today, the video game probably comes to mind first. That is the power of branding.

A branded image is a powerful identity for your video game that allows you to connect with customers. Without it, you have just another video game; with it, you're primed to take over the world of video games.

How to identify your branded image

To identify your branded image, think about what genre your game falls into and consider the types of people who play them. It is important to know what your customers value, what they like and dislike, what their passions are, and what they respond to. As a video game developer, you know your video game inside and out so you can take your key features and turn them into benefits for your customers. What is it about your game that your customers will love the most? What makes it different or better than all the competing video games on the market?

List the results of your research and describe your benefits in shorts bursts of text. Carefully study each phrase until you come up with one, or a combination of more than one, that accurately describes what your customers will experience when they play your video game. That is your tagline, which will form the foundation for all your other branding efforts.

Branding through design

If you're a video game developer, you probably already have a video game art director, so you might already have a logo for your game. It's important to make sure your logo aligns with your branded identity - your tagline - for a cohesive marketing effort. When customers see your logo, they should feel whatever it is that your tagline says. In this fashion, a skilled graphic designer turns your branded identity from a written concept into a visual motivator. And visual motivation means you've developed a powerful video game brand identity.