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The Engaged Gamer: An Exploration of Consumers’ Engagement and its Consequences for the Video Game Industry’s Strategic Brand Management

Leander, Oskar LU and Weber, Dominik LU (2016) BUSN39 20161
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this research is to understand the phenomenon of the engaged gamer, that we term video gamer’s engagement beyond purchase and playing games and how it affects the strategic brand management in the video game industry.

Theoretical Perspective: The study relates engagement to strategic brand management, including the creation of a brand identity within the production process of video games. It allows to reflect, include and foresee the impact of gamers’ engagement on video game brands, including their identity, communication, reputation and positioning along the production process and lifecycle.

Methodology: This study features an abductive, qualitative and exploratory research design. In a first step, a... (More)
Purpose: The purpose of this research is to understand the phenomenon of the engaged gamer, that we term video gamer’s engagement beyond purchase and playing games and how it affects the strategic brand management in the video game industry.

Theoretical Perspective: The study relates engagement to strategic brand management, including the creation of a brand identity within the production process of video games. It allows to reflect, include and foresee the impact of gamers’ engagement on video game brands, including their identity, communication, reputation and positioning along the production process and lifecycle.

Methodology: This study features an abductive, qualitative and exploratory research design. In a first step, a typology of engaged gamers is created to understand and classify gamers’ engagement behaviours, based on a micro-ethnography including in-depth interviews with engaged gamers. In a second step, two (2) qualitative case studies based on a secondary data analysis are employed to identify how gamers’ engagement affect the process of strategic brand management in the industry. Finally, this paper triangulates these two parts through a thematic data analysis to elucidate how different types of engaged gamers affect the strategic brand management.

Findings: The study finds that engaged gamers affect brand building in the video game industry through co-creation, social, influencing and observing engagement behaviours, both positively and negatively. Their strategic importance can be assessed with the Brand Impact of Gamer Engagement model and situated in the video game production process with the proposed Brand Building and Engagement Wheel. Engaged gamers need to be seen as internal and external stakeholders and influence brand identity, communication, reputation and positioning.
Theoretical Contribution: The study bridges the gap between strategic brand management and the engagement concept by conceptualising the Brand Building and Engagement Wheel, that highlights the relation of engagement on a brand’s identity, communication and reputation. Furthermore, the paper determines gamers’ impact on brands as enhancement, collateral damage, attack or constructive criticism, based on their intentions.

Managerial Implications: As engagement occurs persistently, brand management needs to continuously address engaged gamers through communication aligned with identity. Furthermore, due to the service transformation in the industry, video game brands need to be based on an identity designed for both continuity and change.

Originality/Value: This study explores for the first time empirically the phenomenon of the engaged gamer from a strategic brand management perspective, bridging the research gap between strategic brand management, the concept of engagement, video game studies and the video game industry. (Less)
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author
Leander, Oskar LU and Weber, Dominik LU
supervisor
organization
course
BUSN39 20161
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Strategic Brand Management, Brand Management, Engagement, Video Games, Digital Games, Video Game Industry
language
English
id
8887080
date added to LUP
2016-08-08 15:24:27
date last changed
2016-08-08 15:25:03
@misc{8887080,
  abstract     = {Purpose: The purpose of this research is to understand the phenomenon of the engaged gamer, that we term video gamer’s engagement beyond purchase and playing games and how it affects the strategic brand management in the video game industry.

Theoretical Perspective: The study relates engagement to strategic brand management, including the creation of a brand identity within the production process of video games. It allows to reflect, include and foresee the impact of gamers’ engagement on video game brands, including their identity, communication, reputation and positioning along the production process and lifecycle.

Methodology: This study features an abductive, qualitative and exploratory research design. In a first step, a typology of engaged gamers is created to understand and classify gamers’ engagement behaviours, based on a micro-ethnography including in-depth interviews with engaged gamers. In a second step, two (2) qualitative case studies based on a secondary data analysis are employed to identify how gamers’ engagement affect the process of strategic brand management in the industry. Finally, this paper triangulates these two parts through a thematic data analysis to elucidate how different types of engaged gamers affect the strategic brand management.

Findings: The study finds that engaged gamers affect brand building in the video game industry through co-creation, social, influencing and observing engagement behaviours, both positively and negatively. Their strategic importance can be assessed with the Brand Impact of Gamer Engagement model and situated in the video game production process with the proposed Brand Building and Engagement Wheel. Engaged gamers need to be seen as internal and external stakeholders and influence brand identity, communication, reputation and positioning.
Theoretical Contribution: The study bridges the gap between strategic brand management and the engagement concept by conceptualising the Brand Building and Engagement Wheel, that highlights the relation of engagement on a brand’s identity, communication and reputation. Furthermore, the paper determines gamers’ impact on brands as enhancement, collateral damage, attack or constructive criticism, based on their intentions.

Managerial Implications: As engagement occurs persistently, brand management needs to continuously address engaged gamers through communication aligned with identity. Furthermore, due to the service transformation in the industry, video game brands need to be based on an identity designed for both continuity and change.

Originality/Value: This study explores for the first time empirically the phenomenon of the engaged gamer from a strategic brand management perspective, bridging the research gap between strategic brand management, the concept of engagement, video game studies and the video game industry.},
  author       = {Leander, Oskar and Weber, Dominik},
  keyword      = {Strategic Brand Management,Brand Management,Engagement,Video Games,Digital Games,Video Game Industry},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Engaged Gamer: An Exploration of Consumers’ Engagement and its Consequences for the Video Game Industry’s Strategic Brand Management},
  year         = {2016},
}