“Battlestation – a term referring to a desktop computer setup. Includes the tower, monitor, mouse, keyboard, mouse pad (if applicable), Audio playback and recording devices (if applicable), and even wires/cables.”Urban Dictionary
Battlestations are home PC gaming hubs with custom flourishes that give them a personalized aesthetic. They are a hybrid “gaming rig” and a “home office,” which borrows features from both: ergonomic seating, gaming equipment, and aesthetic decorations.
The term first appeared in Urban Dictionary in 2010 but has been a staple in gaming long before that. For instance, a decade before 4chan’s rise to infamy its forums were littered with threads dedicated to battlestations.
Over time, the old-fashioned gamer aesthetic – previously known for a quirky mix of LED lighting, posters, and walls of collectibles – evolved and changed. To the point that Herman Miller, a notable furniture manufacturer, decided to embrace gaming culture – in the form of a $1500 Embody Gaming chair via collaboration with gaming electronics company Logitech.
The Embody Gaming chair straddles the intersection of “gamer” and “luxury home office” aesthetics. The same way that battlestations serve as multi-purpose home offices and hobby centers – typically sharing estate with bedrooms, living rooms, dens, and other spaces.
Battlestations are a vehicle for expressing what it means to take part in the gaming lifestyle. Reddit’s “/r/battlestations” subreddit has, likewise, emerged as a hotspot for inspiration and sharing.
The following demonstrates how Amazon can employ Web 3.0 (Web3) technology to build a brand association with this unique aspect of gaming culture and promote positive customer actions. The larger objective is to illustrate key principles for effective brand activations designed for the worldwide gaming community.
Smiling at gaming culture
More companies are coming around to the reach and diversity of gaming audiences, especially in the face of increasing difficulty engaging younger demographics. Yet, a prominent challenge is resonating with a community unaccustomed to heavy advertising presence from companies outside the video game industry (non-endemics).
Not to mention, the gaming community is home to a unique media culture formed by the distinct tastes of gamers – a feature which separates video games from other fandoms. It also means that marketing communication must be tailored to resonate with gaming culture as opposed to popular culture.
Click here to read more about winning with cultural branding in the world of esports.
Effective non-endemic marketing in this space is, therefore, defined by acknowledging its unique symbols, norms, and values. Battlestations are one such element of video game culture – making them a powerful consumer touchpoint for gamers across the world.
Amazon can connect with this audience by minting non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for Prime Gaming subscribers, inspired by the artistic appeal of battlestations. Where more than just possessing a visually appealing image, ownership of a Battlestation NFT would also provide discounts for purchasing the pictured items e.g., monitors, speakers, desks, etc.
Why it works
Amazon’s Prime Gaming is a service that provides exclusive in-game loot, free games, a free subscription on Twitch.tv, and everything included with Amazon Prime. The name alone communicates that Prime Gaming is intended for gamers e.g., it is an endemic offering.
Yet, Amazon – despite owning livestreaming platform Twitch and its own video game studio – is not endemic to the gaming industry. That means the Seattle, Washington based company still benefits from winning trust and loyalty from gaming audiences. Battlestation NFTs capture the sentiment that gaming setups not only serve as a place to play video games, but also act as a creative expression of individuality.
The nod to a vibrant element of the gaming lifestyle wins invaluable brand authenticity e.g., being perceived as a brand that ‘gets it.’ Gaining (and keeping) authenticity is paramount in a space where the cost of not ‘getting it’ is being labeled as out-of-touch imposter.
For example, storytelling gaps in Coca Cola’s Real Magic campaign sabotaged the intended emotional connection with esports fans. The iconic soft drink endured a substantial hit to its brand equity within the gaming community, as a result.
Battlestation NFTs demonstrate how companies like Amazon can employ innovative Web3 technologies, which are forming the basis of what is being called the Metaverse, to authentically promote products and services to the global gaming community. This approach works because, despite many in the video game industry giving the cold shoulder to NFTs, it speaks directly to the shared interests and values of gaming culture.
Empowering identity value
A passion for games sits at the center of the gaming universe. So, regardless of the target audience – esports fans, mobile gamers, streamers, etc. – all effective advertising must resonate with this unifying principle.
This is especially important because there is a stark difference between someone who plays games and someone who is a gamer. For the latter, gaming is more than a passing hobby – it is a lifestyle choice. Gamers identify with their passion in a way that connects them with a larger community of like-minded people.
That means brand marketing must communicate value that gamers, those who willingly include gaming in their identity expression, relate to on a personal level. In other words, to win customers, the product/service must offer distinct identity value – by painting a clear picture of how it fits into the gaming lifestyle.
Battlestation NFTs tap into this principle by capturing artistic snapshots of the gaming setups which inspire similar expressions of individuality. In turn, NFT owners are empowered to redeem discounts for the pictured gaming accessories on Amazon’s e-commerce platform.
The commercial upside for this customer action is particularly valuable with an estimated 3 billion people playing and spending over $192 billion on video games annually.