Skip to main content

Virtual Worlds Come of Age

Barnes, Stuart J. (2011) Virtual Worlds Come of Age. Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, 3 (3). pp. 3-18. ISSN 1941-8477. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)

Abstract

Virtual worlds have been purported to provide a fertile bed for marketing and brand-building for real-life companies. In Second Life, for example, there was a flurry of media hype and activity by companies in the period from 2007-2008. Several years on, however, the reality is that most of the big name brands have pulled out of Second Life. One of the reasons for this is the poor level of value generated for customers by the virtual brand experience, poor interactivity, a lack of brand and channel fit, and inadequate understanding of virtual communities. Recently, a new form of more targeted brand offerings has emerged. Branded virtual worlds, many of which are targeted at the youth segment, are growing rapidly. Many of these worlds attempt to bridge the gap between the real and virtual worlds, including advertising and real-world tie-ins, as well as subscriptions and digital micro-transactions. This paper examines one such virtual world, buildabearville.com, and its real-world counterpart, Build-a-Bear Workshop. This successful case study has become increasingly important in driving revenues and cross-channel activity for the company. The paper rounds off with conclusions and implications for practice in this very new area of investigation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: branded virtual worlds; brands; marketing; buildabearville.com; case study
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics > HA33 Management Science
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School
Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School > Management Science
Depositing User: Cathy Norman
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2013 09:26 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 10:24 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/34730 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):