In Their Own Way: Stories of Online Branding Success
One of the most important elements of any venture is inspiration. Humans like to have heroes or idols to look up to, people to examine and hold up as
the best examples of success. It is reassuring on a very basic level to be able to point to someone and say; "They did it, so I know it can be done."
With that in mind, consider the following web branding success stories. These are not the names that are usually thrown about, like YouTube or
Facebook. Rather, these are people who have developed a niche success in their own field, and have become world-famous brands in their own way,
and their own time.
Zero Punctuation: The Saga of Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw
Few stories are as appealing as those of overnight success, and the story of Yahtzee seems to fit the bill. Around late 2007, he posted a pair of video
animations to YouTube. In these videos little paper-cutout-style characters enacted humorous scenes against a yellow backdrop while Yahtzee
reviewed video games in a slightly frantic tone of voice. Yahtzee tore into the games' flaws with a vigor and incisive sense of humor that spoke directly
to the irony-conscious gamers of today. Shortly thereafter, an online gaming magazine called The Escapist hired Yahtzee to produce the videos on a
weekly basis for its site.
The result was an explosion of interest. The Escapist's traffic jumped nearly 400 percent following the addition of Yahtzee's series, dubbed "Zero
Punctuation" because of his increasingly trademark style of rapid-fire speech with few pauses for breath. The white avatars on yellow background
have become icons of the gaming world, recognizable at a glance. Major game designers such as Fable's Peter Myoleneaux have responded directly
to Yahtzee's criticism and sent him their newest game to review as well, even knowing that he is likely to treat this second effort even more brutally
than the first.
Of course, Yahtzee actually isn't an example of overnight success at all. He''s been a gamer for more than 20 year