XPLORE, a collection of denim and accessories embedded with what they call smart chip technology. Inspired by the gaming industry and the challenge/reward-based loyalty that gaming breeds in users, Hilfiger’s smart chips allow wearers to earn points for wearing the clothes and for playing a Bluetooth-enabled game, points which can be exchanged for rewards like gift cards and exclusive merchandise, even tickets to the brand’s runway shows.
While this is one of the first gaming technology inspired fashion endeavours on the market, the potential of transferring gaming concepts towards building consumer loyalty in fashion is, indeed, interesting.
the first blockchain-based marketplace for trading in-game items. Covella thinks the opportunities to meld fashion and gaming go far beyond technology.
“It’s inevitable that fashion and gaming industries will increasingly collaborate in the coming years because it brings so much value to both industries, enlarging both communities,” says Covella. “Fashion could potentially make gaming popular among those who never played while designer in-game items will add pop culture to the gaming industry. Fashion would also receive exposure to a huge audience of 2.3 billion people playing games every day.”
Hilfiger’s foray into gaming tech wasn’t the first made by a fashion brand. A few years back, Louis Vuitton dipped their toes in gaming (albeit not in such a direct way) by casting a virtual character from the game Final Fantasy in their ad campaign. There is even a Swedish fashion brand, DRKN, which is solely inspired by gaming.
“There are more things in common between fashion and gaming than one can imagine. Especially, when we are talking about in-game items,” says Covella. In-game items are products gamers purchase within the game and live solely, and only, within the video game. “Both fashion and in-game assets are, often times, about displays of wealth. People buy Hermès bags for $60K, meanwhile, truly dedicated players are purchasing unique in-game skins from [the game] Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for the same price. This desire to display wealth exists both in real life and in virtual reality.”
It’s the motivational techniques used to get gamers hooked, though, that Covella believes present the most immediate opportunity for marketing in fashion by understanding and applying these techniques to programs such as customer loyalty.
What are these motivational techniques? Read ahead to find out.
- FAST FEEDBACK: We live in a society that craves instant gratification so the quicker the feedback (via text or email), the more responsive the consumer will be.
- TRANSPARENCY: In gaming, users need to know where they stand on various metrics via hard data, i.e. where you place in a game or how many points you have. It’s the idea that, “If I know where I stand with others that are participating, I may alter my behaviour depending on the goals that I set.”
- GOALS: Every gaming experience needs goals, which are typically challenges for the purpose of interaction.
- BADGES: Much akin to likes on Instagram, badges show accomplishments or mastery of skills, especially within the community.
- COMMUNITY: This is what gives context for achievement. Community is any location where points accumulated on virtual, non-physical, intangible objects can be used within the online community.
- LEVELLING UP: This defines status within the community. This happens through things like unlocking a new mission, earning badges, rewards or points. As points are accumulated or mastery of the current level has been achieved, the next level, or access to new items, is presented.
- ON-BOARDING: Some games require some level of learning or training to understand how to effectively and optimally operate and interface with the game. This is an opportunity for the game to present an engaging and compelling way for users to learn.
- COMPETITION: Everyone wants to win, it’s a game after all, and everyone wants to know how they compare to others playing the same game. Through competition, users gain insights on steps to take to either catch-up or remain ahead.
- COLLABORATION: A significant number of games are multi-player games that require individuals to work together to solve a problem, accomplish a goal or defeat an enemy.
- POINTS: These are measurable evidence of accomplishments that can be redeemed for virtual, non-physical, intangible objects
“I think we are very close to the day when Kim Kardashian will create a custom collection for World of Warcraft and in-game items trading will become even more mass market and on-trend,” adds Covella.