Thursday, March 26, 2009

For Those About to Rock

Continuous Revenue Streams
Video games Guitar Hero and Rock Band are extremely profitable because their manufacturers are constantly producing new songs for download that weren’t included on the game disc. New songs come out all of the time. As long as the game stays fun and exciting, Activision (Guitar Hero) and Harmonix (Rock Band) will stay profitable because there is a limitless amount of songs that they could produce and sell.

But are Activision and Harmonix doing all they can to make sure that they produce the most popular – and therefore the most profitable – songs?


I don’t think they are.


Leverage Your Customers

Guitar Hero and Rock Band need to post onto their website a list of the top 500 songs that they’re considering for release. Then, ask the fans to vote for their favorites. Give fans the option to suggest additional songs. It’s free market research and it gets the fans involved in the games that much more. Fans will feel like part of the process, and they’ll tell their friends about the game.


The songs that receive the most votes should be produced first. Those songs will sell the most, and this process will keep Activision and Harmonix as profitable as possible.


The Classic (T-Shirt) Example
T-shirt seller Threadless provides one of the most classic case studies of how a company can successfully engage its customers, get them to do all of their market research, and only produce products that will sell. Through its website, www.threadless.com, anyone can submit a design for a t-shirt. Site visitors vote on the best shirts, and only those get made. It’s simple and it works.

And Guitar Hero and Rock Band need to do the same thing.


Remember: Everyone has an opinion, and when prompted, nearly everyone will share his or her opinion with you. You just need to be ready to receive their opinions and translate them into meaningful pieces of research data.

Add This to Your To-Do List

Have you given your customers the tools they need to give you their opinions about your products and services? Are there opportunities for free market research that you’ve been overlooking until now? Are you doing everything you can to engage your customers by asking for their feedback? Find a new way to tap into the minds of your customers and you’ll find that you produce better, more profitable products and services.


Keep on rockin’.


There’s never a lack of ideas.