9 Dec 2011

Indie Advice: Branding Anecdote

I attended GDC11 in San Francisco on behalf of IndieCity. We ran an indie marketing workshop before the conference, and whilst there it was my mission to spread the word without beating people over the head with a sales pitch. We had some IndieCity t-shirts made, and naturally I was keen to have as provocative design as possible.

When the indie summit was over, my pass wouldn‘t get me in to any of the big-name, AAA talks. I was mooching around with a hangover, and luckily for me the quite simply ace hardcore band The Dillinger Escape plan were playing a gig outdoors opposite the conference centre. I stood outside watching the gig in the rain for a good 45 minutes, getting thoroughly soaked in the process.

After their set was ended by a threat of the police getting involved, I decided I may as well hit the public expo floor. I figured that my usefulness had ended with the end of the indie summit, but I may as well check out what was going on.

I arrived at the expo hall cold and rain-sodden. I didn‘t have a bag to put my soggy jacket in, but figured I really should make the effort to take it off so that my IndieCity t-shirt was building some subconscious brand awareness.

A mere fifteen seconds later a chap taps me on the shoulder and says he really likes my t-shirt. The shirt in question features a bomb with the words “mainstream games“, and a detonator labelled “IndieCity“. Turns out that said chap is Andreas Garbe, a rather charming journalist for German TV. After a short chat about IndieCity, he kindly asks if I‘d like to do an interview the next morning. I did (albeit with a stinking hangover, but that‘s another story) and it was broadcast on national German television.

Moral of the story? If I hadn‘t have gone to the expo, even though I thought it wouldn‘t achieve much, and if I hadn‘t been wearing an attention-grabbing an provocative shirt, then I‘d never have met Andreas.

Exploit every opportunity to meet people and promote your brand.