All posts by 322232pp

True digitization: ‘Board’ Games 2.0

What should result in quality time for the family or for friends, will most of the times end in crying, quitting, a tense situation after playing and certainly no clear winner: Board games

Uno, Monopoly, Risk, Settlers of Catan are all examples of popular board games that most of the people have heard about or at least played once in their lives. Although, the social aspect of playing it ‘offline’ is very valuable for the users, there is always one scare resource that limits the availability of the players that are needed to start up a game: time. Nowadays people are busier than ever and multitasking is a pre to keep yourself going and being successful. App developers have tried to bring these games to the electronic devices, which differs on success. One of the heard problems is that games are becoming dull over time and after the ‘novelty ‘and ‘introduction’ phase of the app it is very hard to keep interesting for users, especially when the users start to getting annoyed by advertisements, bugs or keep getting the same question every time. Every company wants to earn some money, every app has some bugs, but the problem of keep getting the same question every time has found his remedy: consumer co-creation.

The solution

There is a fairly new application that is called Trivia Crack which makes it possible to play and compete with friends online. The game that is played is a spin-off of the very popular Trivial Pursuit and is available as app on the most popular operating systems or platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Facebook and the Amazon App Store. The app is currently available in 10 different languages. Trivia Crack has been downloaded more than 130 million times and has been for 66 successive days been the most popular free download in Apple’s App store. However, what differentiates Trivia Crack from similar applications, especially when you realise that there were a lot applications who already tried to penetrate the app market, but failed due to various reasons.


Users function as active co-creators with beneficiary effect for themselves as well as for others. In Trivia Crack a large portion of all the questions that are available in the game are created by the users themselves through the’Trivia Crack Question Factory’. Users can create their own questions that are revised by others or by employees of Trivia Crack. However, only the questions that are positively rated by at least 100 other users will get into the final set of questions that are available in Trivia Crack. Since the app is available in 10 different languages, the questions that are added to Trivia Crack’s Question Factory are only submitted in one language. Therefore users can also contribute when they operate as translator for an already existing question in another language. Users should be mostly motivated by intrinsic motivation to become part of the Trivia Crack community. What Trivia Crack did very well is that each co-creator gets extra extrinsically motivation by receiving some recognition/glory and in-game rewards such as power-ups. After each question the original creator and the translator are mentioned by the user that is currently playing his/her game. Since it is possible to link the application with Facebook, the co-creators are featured with their full name and current profile picture when another users answers a question.

Overall, I am very positive about the current application of Trivia Crack. It is very fun to play, the content is increasing in size and novelty each day and the Trivia Crack community adds an extra element to the total experience of the game. However, the extensive review process can also backfire and becomes a negative functionality of Trivia Crack. If your submissions repeatedly get rejected and not end up in the final set, your motivation of playing Trivia Crack and especially being a co-creator will diminish. Next to that, the application should keep innovating and changing to keep the game challenging and interesting. Especially since the company is using the freemium revenue model, the benefits of playing the game for free should outweigh the repetitive advertisements shown after each round or buying the game to have it advertisements free. ($2.99 at the AppStore)





Bro’s before Co’s?

Everyone (at least we hope and assume…) is part of a certain community and there are infinite examples of communities that can be found in daily life. But how many brand communities can you think of? Are you a member of one yourself… or do you want to become one?

Lugnet, My Starbuck IDEA, ORACLE community, Being girl are only some examples of communities that are based upon a certain connection with a brand. A brand community can be defined as ”A brand community is a specialized, non‐geographically bound community, based on a structured set of social relations among admirers of a brand” (Muniz,JR & O’Guinn, 2001) Having an active and involved brand community can be seen as one of the greatest assets of a company, but only if it managed correctly.


An example of how it could benefit both the community and the brand is HOG: the Harley Owners Group. Their relationship goes beyond affection or a simple connection with a brand, because Harley Davidson is embedded in their routine, in their daily life and especially in their heart. However, due to the social interactions among individuals, people start to build up relationships with each other NEXT to having the affinity with the company and companies are afraid that the communities are becoming more focused on the social connections and events inside the communities than about  about sharing their passion of the brand.

One of the questions that could follow out of this information is: Are you loyal to the company or to a brand when you are a member of a brand community? Well, that’s the same question that Marzocchi et al. (2013) had when they started their research about the effect of identification with the company and/or with the community to build up loyalty in a brand community. Since the digitization and adoption of the Internet individuals could get more easily in contact with others to share their passion (or sometimes their envy) about companies and start up or join brand communities. Marzocchi et al. (2013) used an experiment in a setting where the sample which shows similarities to the population of the HOG; motorcyclist at the World Ducati Week and therefore the results of this research can have valuable information for HOG and Harley Davidson.

Marzocchi et al. (2013) tried to answer the research question: “how important in building loyalty in a brand community are identification with the brand owner and identification with the community, respectively? The authors try to provide a better and deeper understanding of the identification-loyalty dyad in a context, where there is a broader system of relationships.

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This research shows that there is evidence that consumer’s identification with a brand community has a positive relationship with two constructs: attitudinal and behavioral loyalty. Furthermore, it has a positive influence on the favourability and constructiveness of comments about the company. A higher identification with a brand will then lead to a longer time commitment (attitudinal) and more sales (behavioral) with as an extra even more positive (e-) WoM! The research found no evidence of a direct impact on resilience to negative information or propensity to comment. Another finding is that the strongest influence of cohesive communities is related to a stronger affective response and trust in the brand, but that effect is mainly indirect. Next to that, the research confirmed that having a positive relation with the brand is very relevant for the creation of the loyalty related constructs. Due to the nature of the sample for this research, this findings can only be generalized for products or services with a hedonic and emotional content, luckily this is the case for HOG.

A company like Harley Davidson, which community can be seen as a very specific and intimate should embrace their community and treat identification as an antecedent of brand trust and brand effort. By building up relationships with their community it is a way to increase brand equity for the company and should therefore be an important agenda topic for managers that are involved in the marketing section of a company. By getting in detail, the needs and wants of the company aswell as for the community, it should be possible to decide which investment portfolio is the most suitable for companies who already have or planning to invest in managing brand communities and are striving to increase brand equity.


*Marzocchi, G., Morandin, G., & Bergami, M. (2013). Brand communities: Loyal to the community or the brand? European Journal of Marketing, 47(1/2), 93-114.

*Muniz, A.M., & O’Guinn, T., C., (2001). Brand Community, Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 27, No. 4 (March 2001), pp. 412-432

BEICK: Done with the traditional and dull city bikes? build your OWN!

Do you recognize the feeling that finding your bike in the city depots is like finding a needle in a haystack? Or do you feel like traditional black or grey bikes are just not that cool anymore and you feel the urge that you want to express yourself in any way possible? If the answer is yes, BEICK is maybe the ideal solution for your problem!

Beick is a Dutch company who offers their (potential) customers the possibility to create their own unique bike. From a large offer of different ‘standard bikes’ BIECKS makes is possible to customize your bike to match your own preferences and needs. They want to approach the customer segment that feels that riding a bike is more than a functional activity and/or people who wants to express and share their creativity in every activity they during the day.

How does it work? Beick offers the customers the possibility to customize their bikes by using an online toolkit (based on DPI) on their website which guides the customer through a process to build his own ‘unique’ bike, step-by-step. You start from scratch by choosing the ‘basics’ as the type of gear used in the bike, the colour and size of the tires, the type of seat and so on until you reach a fully operational bike. Assuming that there will be questions raised how changing these functionalities can lead to an assurance that your bike is YOUR bike and that it is unique, Beick has developed step two. This step will be done by deciding which colours are used on the different parts of your bike. After choosing and customizing ‘your’ bike it is possible to finalize your bike by offering a large variety of accessories that will be attached to your bike. Think of different type of bells, baskets or lock that is used on your bike. At the end it should lead to a unique bike, which is according to Beick affordable, durable and delivered with a high quality service. The service on the bike is five years, on the accessories two years and any possible reparations or modifications is done at your home by a qualified bicycle repairer.


The customer input is used actively and they function as co-creators for mass customization of the bikes of Beick. Although the customers mainly benefit themselves from being a co-creator, Beick also shows the last sold customized bikes and the ten most popular ‘standard’ bikes which is also beneficiary for others. They can gather inspiration or even purchase the same bikes as others did before them. Beick has done a good job to minimize process complexity by offering a clear and easy step-by-step method to finalize your bike and not offering too many variations in design. Although this has a positive outcome on the perceived ease-of-use of the online toolkit I think it also hinders the product utility of the bikes of BIECK. It is not possible to choose any possible colour, but only some standard colours. Also the accessories could be more refreshing in terms of creativity. For example they could work together with a company as Veloretti which offers unique accessories to really let your bike stand out a biking country such as the Netherlands.

In my opinion Beick has a big potential in a country as the Netherlands, where 34% of the daily trips shorter than 7.5km is done by making use of a bicycle. Combine this with the current trend of being different and potential high revenues and high premiums. However, the current concept of Beick has some flaws that hinders to reach his full potential. The website is only offered in Dutch, which already cuts a share of the population in the Netherlands, which do not understand the language sufficiently to order a bike at Beick. Assuming that their potential customers mainly  live in the bigger cities in the Netherlands such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam, where extrovertness is more accepted and present, translating the website in different languages will be highly advised for increasing revenue. Furthermore, the customization is not that intensive enough to fully exploit the creativity of the user and warrant the uniqueness of the bike, something that is promised by Beick and is their main value proposition.

Concluding,Beick is a creative way of involving customers in the creation process and offering them mass customization of bikes. However, at the moment the base for selling a unique bike is implemented well, but they should innovate themselves to protectBeick from competition and devaluation of the bikes. When the amount of bikes increases and customers will notice a lot of similarities among bikes, will probably makes them feel less ‘unique’, which is a high risk forBeick and should be handled immediately.