Great Business Model - I got roped in by my 6 year old!

by phil.wheatley 11 replies
Hi Guys

Unless you have kids, you may have not heard of Club Penguin? It's basicall an online community for kids which has built in mini games. You create your character and then you can adopt a 'Puffle', chat to other games and buy stuff for your character and your Igloo.

The thing is, it's totally free to play....but, just as your kid has got hooked on playing it, and they then want to play the extra levels of the games, or adopt the cooler 'puffles' ...or buy nicer items for your Igloo, then you have to sign up for a monthly subscription. You can either pay monthly (5 bucks) or you can pay for 3 months, 6 months etc up front for a cheaper rate.

Of course, I buckled from the pressure of my 6 year old daughter so I'm now paying for this sh1t on a monthly basis lol. Anyway, it's a great example of giving value up front for free, and then charging on the back end. It was so successful, it was recently bought out by Disney for quite a bit of money ;-)

Think about how you can apply this strategy to your own business...nice

Cheers
Phil
#main internet marketing discussion forum #business #great #model #roped #year
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  • Profile picture of the author Giani
    That is the basis of any business. You give free but valuable stuff. Once people are hooked on to your service, then charge for it.

    The key here is free stuff should offer good value to them.
    .
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    • Profile picture of the author phil.wheatley
      Originally Posted by Giani View Post

      That is the basis of any business. You give free but valuable stuff. Once people are hooked on to your service, then charge for it.

      The key here is free stuff should offer good value to them.
      .
      Exactly - This is why if you're going to go down the 'free report to get an opt in' route, the report has to be killer! ...rather than some cr%p thrown together. Then people think "wow, if this is what the free stuff is like...."

      Phil
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      • Profile picture of the author Horny Devil
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        Club Penguin, Bin Weevils, Moshi Monsters . . . all very high profile, highly addictive, and my kids are into all of them. They all have huge followings, and - as you say - give a generous slice of 'free' at the beginning, then hit you with monthly membership rates if you want to avail yourself of all the different levels, shopping, member only areas, etc, etc. Of course mum and dad have to foot the bills.

        Nothing really new here though. Just another example of how to suck impressionable punters into your funnel whilst offering a selection of freebies to encourage them to step up to the next level, on the back of a memorable initial experience. The difference being that school kids inevitably possess a "follow the herd" mentality as they don't want to be ostracised from the 'gang'. What's big today is history tomorrow though.

        IM is pretty much the same. Everyone is looking for today's mythical, popular method of getting rich quick, and tomorrow there's another new fad for them to latch on to. None of them work unless YOU'VE GOT IT IN YOU to make them work.

        Kids. They've never had it so good.
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  • Profile picture of the author UMS
    Don't let your daughter near Moshi Monsters. She'll want the Moshi Membership, the magazines, the Moshi cards etc, etc. They do a great job at marketing and it is a good product.
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    • Profile picture of the author phil.wheatley
      Originally Posted by UMS View Post

      Don't let your daughter near Moshi Monsters. She'll want the Moshi Membership, the magazines, the Moshi cards etc, etc. They do a great job at marketing and it is a good product.
      LOL, too late mate, she already has about 30 of them and has discovered the website, magazines etc. Uhhh, they kinda cool though ha ha. Kids just love to collect things.

      Again, though, that has most likely come down to some very extensive research on kids, and then testing the toys on a select group to TEST (hint hint) their reaction. Again, this is all relevant to what we do online. For anybody not having luck, look to see if you are NOT doing these things. When you know what they want, the sales process becomes so much easier.

      Cheers
      Phil
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  • Profile picture of the author cj20032005
    It's much easier to advertise and sell to a child. Just like the commercials (before internet) where they make all the toys look so great. These marketers know the children will nag their parents until they, as you say, buckle and buy them what they want. It's a smart way of making money!

    CJ
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    • Profile picture of the author phil.wheatley
      Originally Posted by cj20032005 View Post

      It's much easier to advertise and sell to a child. Just like the commercials (before internet) where they make all the toys look so great. These marketers know the children will nag their parents until they, as you say, buckle and buy them what they want. It's a smart way of making money!

      CJ
      ...especially those underwater toys. Yeah, like I've got a swimming pool in my living room lol
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  • Profile picture of the author Blinking
    One of the Biggest Examples of this is A game one of my Friends Used to Play.
    Runescape.com

    They've done over a quarter billion (I think around $280 Million) In Membership. They let you play about 10% of this huge game for free, and you can play free forever, just like in your example of club penguin, but if you want any of the good items, or to do any of the exciting and more rewarding quests and skills, it's $10 a month. I played it around 6 years ago, and they really had me for about a year of membership, and then you realize what a waste it was. The thing about any of these, is (Especially if this target audience is kids / teenagers), you want their peers to think its cool. As soon as runescape became uncool, sales and membership dropped. The Second anything becomes uncool amongst your peers, you usually stop using it / subscribing to it / buying it, especially if you are in school / high school.
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  • Profile picture of the author fin
    Sounds like something in Influence about bringing out the best kids toys after Christmas. Seems they have been doing it for years.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Yep, just like the software demos.

    Give people the software to demo for a week. They get hooked on the software and can't live without it. They buy the software.
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  • You know this method can work but sometimes it can also have the reverse affect.

    I don't mind people offering something to me for free as a ploy to get me hooked so long as what they are offering for free is of value.

    I hate my inbox being bombarded with useless junk just because I wanted to give something a try.

    If you have something of REAL worth to offer then its a great idea but many companies abuse the system and quickly get blocked.
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