The Psychology Behind Pre-orders


Collector’s editions and pre-order bonuses act to bridge the gap between the screen and consumer, via tangible objects in gaming. These promotional products add an extra layer to the entire gaming experience. To put this in perspective, at promotional events, printed products link a company to clients outside of their stall interaction. By giving clients tangible objects of the brand, an extra layer is added to the entire promotional experience.

The physical products act as reminders in the real world to the consumer about the game / company. Prompting the client to think of, and buy future products / services of the companies throughout the year. Some companies invest in large products for their collector’s editions, whilst other companies go for much lower cost promotional products, such as keyrings and stickers. Either avenue holds the same intent. To market and remind consumers of the brand wherever they are, months after the initial sale.

Applying this marketing to your brand

There are two tiers of marketing that gaming companies use to sell their games. The first one (the pre-order) is more of a little bonus. Whereas the latter (collector’s edition) is a big investment, aimed at long running fans of the franchises (long time clients). Pre-orders are an artificial way to inflate the product. A game (promotional product) is just one item. So, by adding keyrings, coasters and other peripherals with company branding, the consumers are getting multiple products for the same price they’d pay after release (purchasing the product after conference). This method promotes a buying impulse mentality in the client.

The Collector’s edition takes it a step further and will offer a promotional product that is only available with the collector’s edition but is charged at a hefty premium. Sometimes three times the value of the actual game.

Pre-order method

In many ways, the premise of the pre-order method can be applied to your next marketing campaign. You can sell a high valued product (the game) and then give away promotional products, such as cheap keyrings and pens. Then mark-up the initial outlay against the higher priced item. This ensures your company and brand is exposed in multiple ways to potential clients outside of the conference, whilst allowing the client to believe they’re getting a lot more for their money. The purpose of this marketing is simply enticement with additional brand exposure, while turning a profit.

pre-order gaming

Collector’s edition method

The collector’s edition method of promotional products is an interesting one. It’s basically the same as the pre-order method but with an additional promotional product. These collectors edition also act as a now or never deal, with the product being in high demand and low supply. If a client at your stall doesn’t purchase this exclusive item now, they won’t be able to. These Collector’s editions could be an executive, metal pen with a stylised font and an anniversary printed or engraved along it.

Making these promotional products seem scarce (only available at that conference) will drive more demand for the item. The Collector’s edition will also act as a status indicator, not to show off that the client is ‘better’ than those who didn’t get the product. But, rather, to show they supported the company and was there at a specific event.

Final thoughts

So, what’s our final verdict? Marketing is the cornerstone of any successful business. Using similar methods to the gaming industry will differentiate your company from many others at the same conference. The illusion and allure of more for a client’s money is always a useful way to sway them to purchasing one of your expensive items. Sending out flyers to your loyal customers with a contact and pre-order link will also go down well. Allowing you to not waste money and end up with dead stock.