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Marketing Branding & Marketing: Using Indie Studio vs. Personal account?

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Hello Devs!

 

I work about half of my projects solo before hiring contractors but also have an studio LLC to distribute the game on various stores for legal protection. Thus, I ended up with two versions of all my branding and marketing channels: my personal Facebook and Studio Facebook page, personal Twitter and studio twitter, personal website and studio website, etc. Needless to say, I think it's less confusing (and easier) to stick to one. 

 

On one hand, fans today embrace the one-man-teams and want to "connect" with individuals, not big faceless companies. I feel I can be more personal and less formal this way as well. Lastly, since I work a good chunk solo without a physical office, it also feels more honest to brand under myself. Examples of other devs who do that are Brandon Chung (30 Flights of Loving), Notch (minecraft) or William Pugh (Stanley Parable). Not that I am nearly as successful hehe. 

 

On the other hannd, perhaps using the studio name would lead to be be taken more seriously by press, publishers, and profiles on websites like IndieDB. I can't use my personal credential on store-fronts (Steam, Humble, GOG etc.) for legal reasons. Thus, the tiny following I have and all my current customers/fans plus the press reviews all already know my games by the studio name, not my own name. 

 

 

I think providing links to all is a bit overkill but mixing them (i.e. studio FB but personal twitter) is confusing. I do tweet all my updates on both personal and studio accounts and do cross-posts between the two sites, but it's a bit annoying - another reason I'd like to de-clutter and stick to one. 

 

Any input appreciated!

 

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A question right back at you:

 

If you were to develop a game that gained the sort of market penetration and sales that your above examples achieved, under what banner would you want it? 

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That is a good question and thinking on it, frankly, I don't think I care too much either way. I can, again, see pros and cons of both.

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I cross posted on reddit and MazzoMilo made a good point:

Can't stress enough the importance of studio branding if you have any intention of growing in scale. Customers can still feel connected to you via your social media replies/posting where you can sign off your comments a la:
"Try updating to the newest version in the App Store, should resolve all your problems"
-GameDevName


I think this might be the answer to the question. I don't know (yet) if I ever want to grow to an official office-y studio, but big part of why I moved to a new city with a solid indie community is to find a game design partner (more a ying to my yang rather than in legal terms). Plus, some reliable local contractors I can work with on multiple projects.

So sticking to a Studio brand would make more sense if my hopes pan out and there is someone I can work together with on all future titles.

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MazzoMilo made a good point:

Can't stress enough the importance of studio branding if you
have any intention of growing in scale. Customers can still feel connected to you via your social
media replies/posting where you can sign off your comments a la: "Try updating to the newest
version in the App Store, should resolve all your problems"

I think this might be the
answer to the question.


Sounds right to me. You make games under your brand name. You, personally, are the voice and
face of your brand. Also if you set up an LLC for instance, then you are financially shielded if
there is a lawsuit or other financial setback for the company.

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Probably worth considering that in the future, more than one of your employees will be carrying out external comms work too - so would you rather they did so under a personal brand or under the company brand?  

 

There's no right or wrong way - my personal preference would be to go down the company brand route.  At the very least it means you get into the habit of using company emails to register for things etc.  If you ever find yourself exiting the business, then splitting off personal accounts, etc could get complicated.

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