I'm a huge fan of The Sims games franchise, but I don't consider myself a serious gamer. Fans of Razer, on the other hand, are probably gamers who don't take their art lightly.
Razer manufactures games peripherals, including mice, keyboards and built-for-gamers mouse pads. Its high-end mouse Mamba, sports seven independently programmable buttons, 3.5G laser sensor capable of 5,600 dpi and 1,000MHz polling rate--which, I think, means the mouse is able to relay to the computer 1 million instructions per second.
I've known Razer's Singaporean CEO for several years now, and would describe him as young, brash, highly ambitious and goal-oriented. Once he identifies his targets, he knows what needs to be done to achieve them and does what it takes to attain them.
These are necessary qualities particularly for a company like Razer, which products cater largely to a young crowd and which customer base is more likely open to new ideas. The CEO often relates excitedly about how the Razer brand is gaining momentum as a "cult", with followers who would gladly brand themselves with a tattoo inked with the company's logo.
So when I asked if Razer would like to take a guest spot on Tech Podium, he was keen to have his marketing guy, Ryan, discuss the company's use of new media tools to extend the company's brand and reach.
Razer's marketing strategy is probably not going to be suitable for every company--I doubt if every business in Asia would want their customers to get a tattoo of the company's logo or would challenge their clients to a virtual duel.
But, Ryan dishes out several relevant points about what it takes to create a corporate brand, how new media tools can be properly utilized to extend a company's reach, and why engaging the customer is also about "attitude".
It's worth a read so do check it out. FTW!
What do tattoos and cakes have in common? Nothing much to be honest, and to bring it all in a mix and say it improves sales online to your boss, would be quite a kind of a pitch that would get you packing your belongings into a brown box at your office door.
But, what makes it so interesting at Razer is that it works like gangbusters. Period.
Online sales of our products have seen a 140 percent increase over the past year due to our social marketing campaigns that have reached out to engage customers, and by spreading the word via online forums, instant messengers and on Twitter. With close to 50,000 fans and an additional 100,000 fans by end of the year on our Facebook page (btw, here's a shameless plug to check out Razer's Facebook profile), we're in a great position to share that we do have something interesting going on there.
Building a cult
Twitter, Facebook and the latest fandangled new generation "social media" tools can be all the rage (and there's even more on the horizon). However, they still just remain simple tools and platforms if your company doesn't utilize it as a true communication platform to bridge the gap between just having a browsing visitor, customer and a converted brand addict.
If we look deeper into cult brands that get fans all emotionally riled up each time there's a new product release, it's clear to see the customer has more than just a relationship with a specific product, or the company itself.
So first, what makes Razer so different from other corporate companies out there? We speak to our customers differently. We know who they are, what they want, and what they're into. We don't speak the "corporate" or use cringingly bad "marketing" talk, or hide behind corporate policies or structure our words carefully to prevent customer backlash. Our community managers are also not afraid to use words and games-only phrases (e.g. FTW!) that most other HR directors would greatly frown upon or wouldn't understand in the first place.
Have an attitude
We are not afraid to single out a customer, one-on-one, on our Twitter page and challenge him to an online duel just to see who wins in the next frag map in QuakeLive.
It's much more than just the "engagement" factor, it's also the attitude that you portray to your customers that determines whether you are truly understand them, or whether you're just trying to keep them entertained so that you can market a new product to them. It's a clear distinct difference between the two, and your customers can smell it a mile away.
March to a different beat against your competitors and you'll find that by engaging your market in a tone that is in tune with them, and your brand equity will resonate deeply much more than any marketing tagline or campaign can. And yes, there's absolutely no need to try too hard to be different.
Promote your social channels everywhere to get your fans to join in the fray. There's no use hiding a link deep down in a submenu simply because doing otherwise would drive Web visitors away. At the end of the day, it's for a greater good if it allows you to directly info-educate your customers on their own turfs and personal profiles. Share your company's profile on every channel you possibly can, and keep your users constantly updated with what's going on, inside and outside of your business.
Take the bad with the good
Run contests and giveaways to get them to take notice, sign up and join in the conversation. And yes, you will get tough questions and even unhappy customers from time to time--it comes with the territory. However, you can use that to your advantage by showing others you actually care about their experience with the company by listening to them and resolving the issue immediately.
Using your personal voice to talk constantly about current trends and related industry information works just as well, even if you're not talking about your products or services--just don't talk incessantly about your family pet or mum-in-law. You can leave that out.
Always recognize and reward the contributors and brand ambassadors to your company (and it doesn't have to be about money or free products). A common example is that for every fan that sends us a set of photos with a Razer tattoo on his or her body, we immediately announce and broadcast it globally to all of our fans and tell everyone around us.
It's really not hard to tell we are extremely proud of our fans and not afraid to show them off. Heck, even more recently two of our fans even made Razer-themed cakes for us and we posted that news through our six-figure e-mail database of customers as well as on our corporate blog.
Did people unsubscribe from our list? Sure. But, hey, no biggie. We have always rewarded and encouraged our customers to have a voice, and we're always surprised to find that our fans respond in kind, ten-fold.
Don't hesitate to determine your own social attitude, brand ethos and start converting your customers into fans today.