Neopets – Case Study
As per the Neopets website, Neopets is an online youth-focused virtual world whose primary focus is to allow members to create and take care of virtual pets. In addition to virtual pets, it also offers games, auctions, trades and messaging. Neopets have been created in 11 languages and generates more than 5 billion pageviews per month. With nearly 200 games, weekly contests, discussion boards, plots and thousands of virtual items to collect, Neopets members are as passionate about the site as they are about their virtual pets. Neopets has approximately 44 million members, and in the fourth quarter of 2007, Neopets averaged approximately 3.5 million monthly unique visitors globally.
How to avoid becoming a fad :
A fad is a short-lived enthusiasm. What makes something a fad is its rapid loss of popularity. For example the Hula Hoops were wildly popular in 1958 but the craze died in the same year. In contrast innovations rapidly increase in popularity like fads but then level off. So unlike fads, successful products don’t lose popularity but remain popular.
Why do fads decline. As per Best, Joel (2006, p121) there are two key reasons for fads to decline:
1. Collapse trigger : which is defined as growing disenchantment with an already adopted product. If this happens due to dissatisfaction with performance then the adopters are said to be debunking. 2. Elimination trigger : which is defined as growing interest in some alternative novelty that might replace the one losing favor. Adopters are said to be surfing when they slide smoothly from one product to another
Thus for Neopets to survive, it needs to avoid the collapse trigger and the elimination trigger. Neopets needs to continuously innovate and provide new virtual pet characters and related games. Neopets also needs to continuously scan the market to see new trends/products being offered and quickly adapt to introduce the new trends on its website. Neopets took the 1990s...
References: Best, Joel. Flavor of the Month: Why Smart People Fall for Fads. Ewing, NJ, USA: University of
California Press, 2006, p121
Hindle, Tim. Guide to Management Ideas & Gurus, 2008, p205-206
Jack Meyers Report, Neopets.com Fulfills Promise of Immersive Advertising, 2004, p2
Ito, Mimi ; Horst Heather, Neopoints, and Neo Economies: Emergent Regimes of Value in Kids Peer-to-Peer Networks, American Anthropological Association Meetings, 2006, p6
Viacom website : www.viacom.com
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