I have fond memories of playing Monopoly as a child with my family. My favorite piece was always the battleship. As it turns out, even one of the most popular board games ever needs some updates.
Although there have been countless versions of Monopoly released over the years, with the game tracing its roots back to the turn of the 20th century, the tokens that come with the traditional deluxe set have remained remarkably consistent. The board game has impressively maintained its popularity over decades, striking a chord with generation after generation. However, some of these newer players have never seen or used the once common household objects offered as tokens.
In an effort to bring Monopoly into the 21st century, powerhouse toy company Hasbro recently announced a campaign where Monopoly fans will determine which classic game token will be retired and which new, contemporary piece will replace it. According to Hasbro, “in an unlucky roll of the dice, every Monopoly token has landed in jail. One will be locked up forever and replaced with a new piece.” Avid fans can vote once a day every day to save their favorite token and usher in a new one at apps.facebook.com/saveyourtoken. The new tokens include a robot, ring, cat, helicopter and guitar.
This campaign is another example of Hasbro adapting to the changing times and preferences of consumers. Clearly we’ve entered an age where family game nights have been replaced by apps on our phones and tablets. Rather than throw in the towel, Hasbro is adapting by continuing its strategic partnership with Electronic Arts (EA), allowing EA to create digital games based on Hasbro’s IP, including Monopoly.
I doubt the executives at Hasbro imagined 10 years ago that they would be partnering with a video game company to transform their iconic board game into a digital, handheld experience. But Hasbro’s willingness and ability to evolve its model, with a continuously open mind to different approaches and partnerships, has allowed it to remain successful and relevant. What’s more, the company is involving the consumer in the process. While the contest is hosted solely on Facebook, driving its page’s fan base to more than 10 million strong, it is leveraging it across all of their social media platforms to generate even more buzz.
Regardless of the campaign result, Hasbro has demonstrated how to continually evolve and adapt to the changing environments, trends and tastes of consumers. The campaign strengthened the Hasbro brand by evoking the strong emotional ties many of us have to a favorite childhood game.
Hasbro clearly isn’t the only company to rework its business strategy to adapt to a new generation. However, there are countless businesses that have simply created a presence on social media without gaining the benefits of truly engaging the consumer. The days of one-way conversations from a business to a customer have come and gone. Social media has created a two-way street of engagement and forced companies to rethink their business models and marketing strategies. Can you think of other companies like Hasbro that have been able to so seamlessly make the shift?
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