As we could see in this weeks readings, “[…] firms increasingly rely on “network” and “viral” marketing strategies” (Hill et al. 2006, Manchanda et al. 2008, Nam et al. 2010, Retrieved from Aral, & Walker, 2011) in order to drive the product adoption and sales. So basically, the attention is paid on how to make products viral using marketing strategies and campaigns instead of how to design products that can turn themselves viral (Aral, & Walker, 2011). So I was thinking of a good example of a product that went viral without using any marketing and what came to my mind was Minecraft.
Probably most of you heard or even played Minecraft, but for those who don’t know, it is a sandbox indie game that has its unique look of everything being boxy and sharp. It is not one of those high-profile games with sick graphics and real-life feeling to them. So how is it possible that a game that is not made to be perfect and not made to be fully marketed has earned its huge worldwide success?
While trying to answer this question, I came across a couple interesting articles (Minecraft, the worlds most successful casual game, Why Minecraft is so popular) which all showed some different aspects of the game that made it a blockbuster. However, the one that interested me the most was the fact, that word-of-mouth was one of the factors that facilitated the popularity of the game. So how is it possible that the game became so successful having no advertising/marketing budget, using only word-of mouth? Well I do not think this strategy from the side of the company was on purpose. Minecraft community is fairly tight, anybody can play the game, old/young, gamers/non-gamers. Thus, the whole platform is fueled by people, their engagement, so word-of mouth becomes something natural.
It is only to be discovered why exactly this works. What do you think? Do you know of any other platforms that use this strategy (on purpose or not)?