Many brands venturing into the digital world of Second Life are failing to connect with participants in the online community according to research released by Komjuniti, an agency that develops and manages brand communities.
“The first thing to stand out is that 72% of respondents expressed themselves as being disappointed with the activities of the companies in Second Life. Over a third of them were unaware of the branded presence and 42% said they thought it constituted nothing more than a short-term trend, lacking durable commitment from the companies. Just 7% consider that is has a positive influence on brand image an their future buying behaviour,” Komjuniti said in a press release.
The online survey of 200 Second Life users found that brands failed to interact sufficiently and that companies were merely trying to transfer real world marketing campaigns to Second Life which failed to strike a chord with the intended market.
Komjuniti’s findings correspond with my observations in Second Life that in order for brands to survive they need to develop holistic concepts that engage and involve communities within Second Life.
Brands needs to understand that Second Life is essentially a collective of self-administered and constantly evolving communities, often unrestricted by the constraints of the real world. Rather than simply present themselves to the communities, they need to integrate their brand in the development of the communities.
One way to think of approaching brands in Second Life is to think how brands are worked into the scripts of movies, with the understanding that Second Life engagement is longer, more changing and with less control.
What’s Happening in Second Life