RL brands in SL – study

Market Truths Ltd released the third of their reports on Second Life this month, entitled Real Life Brands in Second Life (Q1 2007).

The study will be interesting to anyone weighing up what effect Second Life can have on a brand. Some might argue that the sample size could have done with being a little larger, but even the 201 responses used give a useful insight into what SL residents think about the impact and effectiveness of real life brands. To give you some idea of the findings, here’s the table of contents:

  • Executive Summary
  • General Attitudes Toward RL Brands in SL
    • Overall Attitudes
    • Expected Effects and Consequences of RL Brands in SL
  • Exposure to RL Brands Currently in SL
  • Marketing Tactics
  • Marketing Implications
    • Link RL and SL
    • Give Residents Things to Do
    • Provide a Quality Experience
    • Make a Contribution
    • Tread Lightly
    • Try to Work with Small Content Creators
    • Increase Awareness
  • Appendix A: Methodology
  • Statistical End-Notes

I was pleased to see that IBM comes out pretty well, with a good score for positive brand impact and 20% of respondents being able to name it as an RL brand in SL, making it the leader in terms of awareness and putting it ahead of Adidas, Dell, Toyota, Reuters and Coca-Cola in that order. (The latter is fascinating, because as far as I can tell the presence of Coca-Cola textures in SL is unfunded and unofficial).

The study also lists some of the key features of what each brand is doing in SL, along with some detailed discussion of the implications for marketing in SL, and suggestions for what to consider and what to avoid.

If you’re reading up about this area and trying to gather evidence for whether it’s worth getting involved you may well find this an interesting and useful study. You can buy it for US$200 from their website or for L$25000 from their SL office.

3 thoughts on “RL brands in SL – study

  1. Thanks for mentioning our report Roo.

    I just wanted to comment about our philosophy regarding sample size, since this is an issue that comes up from time to time.

    Given where Second Life is in its development (evolving very rapidly and starting from a very limited information base), we’ve been prioritizing sample quality and report timeliness and frequency over sample size (once we reach the threshold required to do the analysis desired for a particular project).

    With regard to quality, only people who have verified accounts and have been in Second Life for at least a month are eligible to join our panel. This reduces the potential for people providing invalid and unreliable information. We also implement a variety of data checks each time we collect data to identify any panelists providing invalid or unreliable information so we can exclude that from our analysis. Furthermore, we are careful about maximum overall participation frequency and not questioning the same panel members about the same topics in too short a time frame to ensure data quality is not compromised either due to respondent fatigue or lack of independence.

    With regard to timeliness and frequency, given the rate of evolution of Second Life, we believe it’s important not to let the period for data collection for any project extend for too long (since the phenomena itself could change), and also that we’ll be able to achieve a better understanding of what’s happening in virtual worlds by measuring what’s going on more often with smaller samples than less often with larger samples.

    Having said all of that, we are very open to hearing from members of the business community about how we can best meet your need for information about what’s happening within Second Life and other virtual worlds.

    Mary Ellen

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