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Twitter Users Reveal 5 Reasons Why Brands Fail on Roblox

Updated: Jul 19, 2023


A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about pop star Olivia Rodrigo's under the radar efforts releasing two UGC virtual items on the Roblox platform. At the time of writing, the two branded UGC items had only attracted about 2K favorites, which is quite low and points to below average awareness and sales.


When I shared this article on Twitter, I posed the following question: "Why do you think these items didn't break through?"



To my pleasant surprise, a number of people from the Roblox community jumped in with their answers. While I don't believe any one of these answers is 100% right on its own, I do believe that collectively they are useful to unpack and understand.


And while these answers are specifically focused on branded Roblox UGC, I believe they also may apply to other types of Roblox activations including integrations into existing experiences and custom-built branded experiences.


1. Poor Planning

Roblox is an open platform, and anyone can build on it, whether you're a lone individual or a massive company with a big budget. But because it's so easy to jump in and get started in a matter of weeks or even days, especially when creating and selling UGC virtual items, it doesn't mean you should do so without proper research and planning.


Having a plan, especially one based on data, trends, and an understanding of the Roblox community, is essential for success. Plans should be as thoughtful and wholistic as possible, going beyond the basics of what - what to make, what to call it, etc.


Builders, especially brands who may be new to the platform, should go a layer deeper and think about why - why people will want what is being offered and why these campaigns will be successful. Asking why puts you on the path to unlocking powerful insights that can lead to breakthrough results.


Simply taking items from the real world and translating them into digital versions isn't an automatic recipe for success. Success comes from more than that, and the earlier brands can understand why some things work on Roblox and others don't (and plan according), the better results they'll enjoy.


2. Poor Execution

Poor results can come from brand directly, and sometimes they can come from the agency or provider who is executing on behalf of a brand. That's why it's important for brands to work with providers who have a track record of demonstrating success and a deep understand of the platform and the community.


That's not to say that brands and their agencies will execute flawlessly every time. But it's important for both brands and agencies to make smart, data-informed decisions based on what works and doesn't work on the platform. And it's important to learn from mistakes (your own and others) in order to increase performance over time.


When you come onto the platform flying blind or with the help of someone who isn't intimately familiar with the space, you run the risk of appearing as an outsider who is out of touch with the Roblox community.


The goal should be to have a solid understanding of Roblox, either internally or through your agency partners, that allows you to show up onto the platform in authentic way that truly resonates with people.


3. Being Boring

When a brand comes onto Roblox and there is not much of a response, one possible reason is that the execution just wasn't exciting. With tons of new experiences and UGC items added to the platform every single day, there's lots of developers and designers competing for attention. It stands to reason that only the cream will rise to the top.


If an item or custom build experience feel bland and boring, people within the Roblox community won't get excited. And if they're not excited, they won't tell their friends about it (aiding discovery), and they certainly won't buy or visit.


4.. Lack of Awareness

When a brand activation lacks originality and isn't seen as special, this can lead to poor outcomes for the brand. And what does a poor outcome look like? Well, one poor outcome is lack of buzz that leads to people never hearing about the campaign.


Because most Roblox campaigns at this time are focused on achieving marketing goals (reach, impressions, engagement), people failing to notice your campaign is a huge problem. Given all of the time and energy that goes into creating a brand activation (no matter the size), this is certainly an outcome that brands want to avoid.


What's the solution? Well, some solutions would entail building awareness into your plans from the very beginning. That could look like understanding and tapping into current UGC sales trends, hiring UGC designers that have expertise in making branded items that have sold well, and partnering with influencers for paid promotion.


5. Low Quality and High Pricing

I like how this comment calls out that Roblox users don't care who you are. When a big brand shows up to a new platform like Roblox, it's easy for the brand to think they're great and everyone will love them. But that's not always the case.


A great way for a brand to show up to any new platform is with openness, humility, and respect for the existing community, rather than overconfidence. By putting your own brand ahead of the people you're looking to connect with, you're setting your brand up for failure.


This tweet also calls out pricing, highlighting that 100 Robux is an expensive price point. Certainly pricing can be used to signal when something is premium. And perhaps the brand in this case thought that more premium pricing was the way to go. But a danger with charging the wrong amount for UGC items is appearing out of touch yet again with the community.


If the quality being delivered is being perceived as low (which is what happened here), people will not spend much (if anything) to acquire the item. So sellers must ensure that what they are offering is special (actually wanted to people) and price accordingly. Given the amble historical data already available about branded Roblox UGC, this doesn't have to be a guessing game for brands.



Stephen Dypiangco is the CEO of Metaverse Marcom, a strategy and consulting firm helping entertainment and sports brands enter Roblox and monetize via UGC.


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