The Genuine Man
The marketplace has changed radically in the past 5-10 years. All of a sudden we find ourselves in the middle of crashing multinational corporations that aren't as flexible or personal as smaller firms. The shift that has happened is a shift towards quality. Consumers today look for genuine experiences. Genuine products from genuine companies with individuals working for them, not the grey wall of suits in the giant corporations of the 80's and 90's.
But this shift has missed a small but vital point in itself. If we all look for genuine content for our lives, and that content is provided to us in genuine, but still, designed ways. Doesn't that make us anything but genuine?
In persuing the genuine experience are we trying to be genuine ourselves and if so, what does that really mean?
How can a person be genuine? Or better yet, how can a person not be genuine? Finding genuine experiences and genuine products might actually be helping in becoming more genuine people. More individual, with more specialized products. Only consuming what we really want to and not following exclusively the main stream of content.
This is a huge problem for companies today as everything from entertainment to basic services strive to be more genuine and personal without loosing it's cost efficiency. This is especially interesting for game developers as all games are crafts of art and love. There are no non genuine parts of a game. So we could, theoretically, make the entire process of creating a game, selling the game and living with the game a genuine experience available for the consumers.
But how could we do this? Well, what is a genuine experience? Creating a genuine experience is hard no doubts, and this is just a theory of mine. But let's begin with making customers part of the process from the start. Customers could be allowed to invest in the process and through investment get discounts on the finished product as well as more information about the development process such as developer commentaries, alpha footage and maybe even product testing. How much disclose is already a very fine balance and selling the information to the customers would make it even more so. But it would help keep development agile and make the product as well as the development a lot more genuine.
The product itself is actually the simplest step to make more genuine. Simply replace the word product with experience and rethink it. Very few products sold today are simply products made to used and thrown away. Start thinking about your products as experiences for the user and a completely new dimension for sales and value becomes visible. Does a player want to pay for content? Yes. Does it need to be large expensive expansion packs of ontent? No.
There are of course an infinite amount of possibility to what we can do to improve the genuine emotional impact of our products and services. But taking the first step and doing anything at all is really the hardest part.
Welcome the genuine consumer into the marketplace and start your company on becoming more genuine today. Shift happens, either we lead that shift or we're left behind by it.