Tanks for the memories
You may think it odd to discuss an online tank game in a business blog.
Yet this product holds the Guinness World Record for player (read ‘customer’) engagement.
A feat achieved in its first year.
If we captured clients like this crew, we’d be sunning ourselves in the Bahamas right now.
Plus, it’s Russian!
So let’s take a look …
World of Tanks (WoT) is one out of the box. In fact, there is no box.
You download it. For free.
You can also play it for free.
Yet many players happily fork out tidy sums to play at ever higher levels.
Why? (I’m sure there’ll be PhD theses on this question.)
My player’s view is that WoT excels at creating fans.
Not just enthusiastic or ardent fans: rabid, welded-on fanatics.
The way WoT achieves this allegiance is:
- Astonishingly imaginative.
- Mind-blowingly comprehensive.
Below is a tiny sample of WoT’s customer-related services and content.
WoT has its own television channel, replete with crazy Russian accents.
It offers tutorials, forums and specials.
There’s a wiki.
It promotes fan art and videos.
It holds competitions. Not just tournaments, but also treasure hunts and design challenges. Even … bake-offs!
WoT provides fan kits for evangelists to spread the word.
It even encourages partners to play.
In short, resistance is useless.
Is this approach insanely over the top?
Is it devastatingly effective?
(24,000,000 tankers can’t be wrong.)
We may not be able to replicate this community blitzkrieg in our businesses.
But we can certainly close the range between ourselves and a global benchmark.
So what do you think of these crazy comrades? (Who, while making money hand over fist, are now developing World of Warplanes and World of Battleships.)
Winners are grinners.
Especially in business.
In the battle for customer hearts and minds,
what’s one more thing you could do
Paul Hassing, Soviet T-50-2 Light Tank Scout, Prokhorovka.