Neopets Marketing Case Study

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Date Submitted: 01/17/2009 08:37 PM

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The Neopets Case Study (Daniels, 2007, pp. 591-594) addresses a number of issues that are relevant to the International Business course. This essay will address several of those key issues, as they relate to the Neopets phenomena.

Whether or not NeoPets has the potential to transcend fad status is subject to debate. Kotler (2007, p. 280) describes fads as fashions that are quickly and zealously adopted by the public, which peak early, and then experience a rapid decline. Examples of fad “victims” include the Hula Hoop, Beanie Baby’s, Title-M-Elmo, and Rubik’s Cube. Each of these products shares certain common factors: each was bought by a significant percentage of the general population, and each became a part of consciousness of an even larger percentage of that population. (Bergman, 2002)

Kotler theorized that these types of products failed to survive because they did not typically satisfy a strong need. According to Gerbner’s Cultivation Theory (Cited by Wollslage, Eilene and Dr. Steiner, Mark, 2005, pp. 6-7), the Online environment has the potential to shape audience beliefs and perceptions. In keeping with these rationales, NeoPets has become much more than a virtual space to engage in video game play. To the contrary, it has become a cohesive community of users with an emotionally vested interest in taking care of their pets alongside a network of social and economic relations in which they operate. (Kumar, R. and Ryan, Michael, 2007) As such, NeoPets’ highly interactive site components have been extremely successful in emotionally targeting and reaching its devoted user base and in maintaining their long-term participation.

This writer believes that of the key factors which enhance NeoPets prospect of achieving long term viability is its innovative use of communication and social networking as product...