Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Marketing Class Case Study : Munchkin

Marketing Class Case Study: Munchkin

Image result for munchkin board game

   For my case study I choose the board game Munchkin. When most people hear of board games they think 'O how childish' games like Monopoly, Uno, CandyLand, & Life come to mind. Well with Munchkin I'm about to get super childish/geeky on you. 
     The history behind how Munchkin started much like most stories do... Told to me by by best friends' dad Pat; the story starts with, who else? The creator of Munchkin, Steve Jackson (not the famous movie director, although they do seem to look fairly similar... I wonder if someone played a Doppelganger card on themselves) also known as SJ, he liked playing D&D but he got irritated with how common dice roles are, and how campaigns could take days and games could take months or even years to finish. So he wanted to make a D&D style card game and low and behold Munchkin was born. A quick game that only takes about an hour or two to play, it has all the pluses to D&D without all the dice rolling (although there's still some involved).
     The Munchkin twitter page is all over the place with posts by both employees and fans but recently, in the news, Munchkin reveled on their Twitter page, SJGames, their The Munchkin Book.... It sure looked interesting.
     After reading the article tagged above it seems as if SJ & friends finally got around to writing a memoir about their 15 year old game. A collection of notes, essays, and what else? Stories revolving around the game, humor, and strategies of Munchkin.  
     What is Munchkin's relevance to marketing? When I asked my friend what he does for SJ Games he says that his what's called an MIB (That's right, his official title is Men In Black) unofficially he's a demo salesperson, he goes around demoing the Munchkin game at gaming conventions, games stores, etc, etc... What's makes this so interesting is that instead of getting paid to demo Munchkin SJ does a great job at having a point system, a demoer (I know that's not a real word) earns points from playing games and those points can be used to buy merchandise from the website instead of spending hard earned cash. What this does is it effectively limits the type of MIBs that play/demo Munchkin by making it so that you show the product, play the product, and demo the product because they enjoy playing not because they're trying to make a paycheck. Also on a side note I should add that more recently then the MIBs, Munchkin is now being sold in superstore like WalMart & Target.
     My opinion on their marketing strategy is genius. I don't think there is a better way to market a product, especially one that focuses on entertainment as one of the main Value Propositions. The only thing I would have changed when I first started this Blog was to add in more customer posts to their Twitter page, but alas, they had just announced their book and were in the middle of throwing some Right Hooks at that time, the SJGames Twitter page has gone back to a steedy (<---  See what I did there?)  flow of customer posts and SJGames Jabs.
     Part of this assignment was to come up with Munchkin's Value Proposition and it didn't take me long to find some of the things that set Munchkin apart from other board games, things like it's Geeky/Nerdyness, Artsy cartoonish drawings, it's SlapStick humor and Social Puns make it stand apart from all the other board games I have yet to play.
     I texted my friend who play Munchkin with me and asked them a fairly simple question. "If you were to say one thing about what Value Munchkin brings to the table, what would that Value be?"
     Out of four friends that I asked that question to the first one to respond was my friend Mike, an MIB, who said "Meeting new people and laughing. A lot of laughing." My second friend, Daniel, responded with "Amazing replay ability."  My third friend said, Fun. The value is fun., Jessie texted back. And finally my fourth friend, Jeremy, who I felt brave enough to send that text to said "7.9 if everyone's on board." Well he's not going get invited to the next game, all us nerds know the real answer is always 42.

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