Monday, October 08, 2007

Boxes, Little Boxes

Before I spout about Super-Fans (the most important 1% of your customer base) I think I'll digress a bit.

Adam, how can you put all these people in broad categories? Well, of course, I can't. This isn't about individuals. Ideally, you should make decisions about your games that meet the needs of each individual customer, individually. If Allen from Wichita needs large type, and you could get it for him, you'd sell a game to Allen. Barney wants a cheap game and doesn't care about color or fancy graphics. Teresa not only wants high quality art, but she's an artist and wants a way to include her art in the game. Sadly, that's just not possible (yet.) You can't please everyone. Also, you can't choose who's going to like your game. That's their choice. What can you do? You can choose who YOU WANT to please, and you can make decisions based on that. If you don't choose, you're leaving it all up to luck. I don't recommend that. (Making a game for people who are just like you is a choice, and it can be a fine one, if you're cool enough. =-)

It's not just acquisition and retention. That's too simple. It's essential, but not adequate. That doesn't cover fans, and fans are the most important element to the success of a game. You can't just target fans, either, because they people don't start as fans. If you go up to a stranger on the street and say "join my fan club, you'll get special content nobody else can get." your success rate will be dismal. If you ask a customer who's just made their first purchase that same question, you'll find a slightly more receptive audience. If you ask somebody who buys everything you make, the response will overwhelmingly positive. Ask the right people the right questions. Give the right people the right benefits. That's all I'm saying.


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