Where does the brand start?
Brand development is long-term work and starting is usually the most challenging part of it. It is important to do the groundwork properly. We must first define the goals of what we are going to do, and to whom and why? However, the final image is determined by different stakeholders and target audiences.
From the beginning, representatives of various parties: from the companies, employees, students, and persons responsible for the city of Jyväskylä own development interests have been committed to building the Digi & Game Center brand. This has been a sensible choice because in the end, the brand is built on the images we create together. We started thinking together: How we want to look, and sound like on the outside? What things do we want to represent and what kind of activities do we want to involve?
We organized two workshops and a shared survey for all the representatives of the various parties involved in the Digi & Game Center. They were able to freely participate in the workshops as well as give opinions regarding the brand and communications of the future about Digi & Game Center. From the results of the workshops we could see that people wanted to make the Center warm and receptive to anyone interested in the digital and gaming industry, regardless of age, gender, or background. The Center also wanted to be portrayed as a place where people would first seek help in the digital or gaming industry, whether they were interested in studying those subjects or in the hopes of getting to work in those fields. Information aimed at financiers and potential investors was always also seen as an important part of keeping investor interest as high as possible.
From the very beginning, the value base of the brand building was the emphasis on the community and the appreciation of working together and different ways of cooperation. There is more power in the community than there would be in people individually.
Why we are building the brand?
Underlying the brand building is the goal of increasing sales. In the case of Digi & Game Center this means that the Center’s own offices are would be as full of tenants as possible, there would be a large number of participants in the events, young people are queuing to get in to study and the city of Jyväskylä thinks the Center is a useful community for the development of the city. A strong brand base supports sales and engages customers. There are numerous examples of this from Apple to Merzedes-Benz.
To whom do we want to send a message and what?
The main target groups for brand communications are the gaming industry, the digital industry, educational institutions, investors/financiers/partners, and the potential buyers of inhouse business services. Topics raised in the communication include the Centre’s CO-Working facilities, several events held in different locations inside and outside the Center, the possibility of cooperation networks, start-up services, training opportunities for the industry, industry development in general and of course, the services of the Centre’s own resident companies, as well as investment opportunities in these companies. The City of Jyväskylä’s positive attitude towards new business and the development of the digital and gaming industry as a growing employer of the future has also been emphasized in communications. The main goal of brand communication has been for Digi & Game Center to be the first thing that comes to mind when people think about the digital gaming industry in general and it would be the first place they seek help or information related to these topics.
It would also be important for the brand to be able to stand out from other business communities in Jyväskylä and other Finnish digital and gaming communities. For this reason, the activities have been taken forward together with various stakeholders because in this case, it is the community that creates the foundation for the brand.
Residents are the most important resource for the brand and communications
The biggest asset of the brand and communications is its representatives, i.e. the residents of Digi & Game Center. How they talk about daily life in the Digi & Game Center, at events and outside of the house. As well as, of course, in general of everything they think the Center represents. A relaxed and communal atmosphere combined with professional people that work both for the company they represent and for the common good of entire Digi & Game Center. Now we are striving the companies, employees, and students working in the Digi & Game Center to spread the good news about this wonderful place, which has been created for the need. Marketing tricks will not work unless the community will stand behind the values of the Center. At the same time as the brand is being built, seamless customer experiences are also being built.
Brand creation and the future
The creation of the brand has only just begun, and its first features have only been seen on a smaller scale. Over time we can see how well the initially set goals and the models created are realized and how people themselves internalize the starting points of Digi & Game Center’s brand communication in their daily work and their communication. The goal for the future is for the Center to be known throughout Finland as an active player in the digital and gaming industry within three years. The five-year goal is for the Digi & Game Center to be recognized internationally and for the people to apply for jobs and study abroad.
The work is taken forward together, keeping the focus on the themes defined at the beginning. The groundwork has been done and now the strengthening of the brand image will continue.