Remember the old mobile game “Snake”? Originally, it was a 1970’s arcade game that was ported to Nokia, experiencing a resurge of popularity all the way to 2013. Even today, a lot of people will feel nostalgic when recalling this particular game and its simplistic design, especially when reflecting on its variety of obstacles and hours of fun - coupled with a very drained cellphone battery.
Today’s businesses can only hope for that enduring legacy and consistency. The key to Snake’s popularity was its rigid structure that guided all future releases, sticking to a core idea that could be re-worked as the situation saw fit - not unlike a marketing plan for any brand today.
So what secrets can this game give to today’s marketers?
Snake has always had a very simple set of goals to follow: eat, grow, and don’t crash into any outside obstacles. This consistency allowed developers to play with the formula without altering it too much - a flaw that’s often seen in the evolution of many video games over the years.
How does this help brands? Identifying the core values of your brand and sticking to it enables a tight-knit narrative that will not only showcase the history of your brand, but will also create stable ground for future growth.
The original design of snake over time did not change dramatically. As the technology grew and became more sophisticated, the visuals and design of the game were overhauled but remained the same. There was no fancy graphics or overarching thematic visuals in comparison to other games that followed- it was still just a snake, food, and walls.
In this aspect, design factors in heavily to a brand’s image and marketing - not so much of a visual but a psychological aspect. For example, companies marketing food products have primarily used warm colors such as red and yellow as these colors promote hunger. Institutions such as banks and insurance companies go with cool colors like blue to promote clarity and attention. Brands should be aware of their own designs and themes, as any shift in them must be handled carefully and with great reflection. If in doubt, stick to what your customers say that they like. Keep it simple - and just the way they like it.
Lastly, another great feature of Snake was that it managed its own updates- adding more walls, food and ways to gain power. There were even versions that removed walls, adjusted the speed randomly or put other player-controlled snakes in the game.
Essentially, the game was very innovative. Brands and marketers today need to understand that marketing is not a static field that conforms to a certain set of values - innovation gives us the ability to grow, change, and adapt with the times without compromising core values. With this in mind, updating your brand strategy and building your marketing plan is crucial for staying ahead.
At the end of the day, the consistency of the game Snake is certainly something that all brands can learn from. Time, commitment, patience and a little bit of innovation are all factors that play a role in how the game stood the test of time and left a legacy to be remembered - something that all brands can aspire to.
If you would like to find out more strategies to lead your brand to success, please consult with one of our myCEO experts here. For more information on how we can help you optimise your marketing process, please download our Marketing Pillar eBook today, free of charge.