The unexplored power of buzz in the video game industry

Detta är en Magister-uppsats från Högskolan i Halmstad/Akademin för ekonomi, teknik och naturvetenskap; Högskolan i Halmstad/Akademin för ekonomi, teknik och naturvetenskap

Sammanfattning: Background: The global video game industry is today bigger than both the film- and music industry and is subject to a lot of competition. Companies are always looking for alternative ways to reach consumers and buzz is identified as a crucial success factor by many scholars. From real life examples, buzz is shown to have both positive and negative effects. There is however little knowledge about the phenomenon and what role buzz can play in the customer-based brand equity (CBBE) of video game companies. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding about buzz and examine what role it plays in customer-based brand equity for companies within the video game industry. Method: A deductive approach was adopted and in order to fulfil the purpose of the study, a qualitative study (i.e. a case study) was deemed suitable. Interviews were held with five companies within the video game industry. Also, observations were made of how the companies work with their promotion and creation of buzz during the pre-release period. Theoretical framework: The theoretical framework consists of theories regarding the buzz phenomenon and CBBE. These were combined in order to examine the potential role buzz plays in the context of CBBE. Findings: Buzz is shown to play a big role in the video game industry but is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain. It is also found that buzz can have a “life of its own” and become unmanageable through speculations. Speculations can lead to higher expectations and pseudo-promises[1], making buzz even more difficult to manage. Regarding CBBE, buzz plays a role in all aspects. However, it is shown to play a different role in the CBBE of video game companies depending on how high the brand loyalty is within that company. The study also results in a conceptual model, illustrating buzz and what role it plays in the CBBE of video game companies both pre-release and post-release.

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