Do you know what an Easter egg is? Are you sure?
If your answer is: egg-shaped chocolates that are sold and eaten around Easter time; then you are ri…hum…wrong!
Actually, the term Easter eggs also refers to messages/animations… hidden in computer programs, websites or video games. These hidden bonuses are called Easter eggs in parallel with the custom of hiding and then hunting Easter eggs (the chocolate kind) that sometimes contain little surprises.
Indeed Easter eggs are a bonus, an unnecessary tweak added to a website that would have worked just fine without them, only they bring some extra fun. From this point of view, Easter eggs are mostly about enriching the customer experience.
Whether they are really simple or more elaborate, Easter eggs are a sure way to add some edge and fun to a brand image. The drawbacks of hiding an Easter egg are basically nonexistent whereas the benefits can be tremendous.
Build a community and create a bond with the brand
An Easter egg is a reward for you customers and an efficient way to build a community. Easter eggs make those who managed to find it out feel like they have been entrusted a secret that makes them an insider of a selective circle. The members of this community share a knowledge with the brand, like some inside joke that the “outsiders” are not privy to. In this way Easter eggs are very effective because they create a bond between the brand and the customers and between the customers themselves.
Break the monotony by adding humor
Usually brands try to provide as much information as possible and display it clearly so that customers won’t have any trouble finding whatever they are looking for. As it seems counterintuitive for a company to hide something on its website, it won’t come to most customers’ mind to search for Easter eggs. Therefore they will be pleasantly surprised when they stumble upon one. Hiding Easter eggs where people least expect it is a sure way to break the monotony of browsing the website. It’s the cherry on top that makes the user experience funnier and more enjoyable.
Show the company is fun and trigger engagement
Because Easter eggs are entertaining and unexpected, it is a good way for a brand to show that they are fun and don’t take themselves too seriously. A cleverly designed Easter egg can go a long way to help a brand earn sympathy and loyalty from its target audience. Easter eggs help a brand seem friendlier and less sales-oriented. Customers are more likely to be persuaded to purchase from a brand if it seems friendly and creative rather than stuck up and greedy.
Encourage exploration and reward true fans
Like their chocolate counterpart, Easter eggs are a treat. They are designed as a wink or a reward for a brand’s true fans. The ones that made the effort to thoroughly search the brand’s website to find the Easter eggs. Indeed, most often – when brands don’t hint at it as part of a marketing campaign – Easter eggs are found by true fans. Therefore, Easter eggs can often take the form of little inside jokes that only the most loyal customers of a brand are privy to. Those Easter eggs are a reward that encourages exploration as well as loyalty.
A little tip: hide it well. Like in a treasure hunt or an actual Easter eggs hunt, it should not be too easy. About 40% of the fun comes from the search process itself, 50% from the pride and achievement of eventually finding it and knowing your secret, and only 10% from whatever animation/message you created and hid.
Efficient marketing tool: WOM can make it viral
While some customers chose to keep the secret of the Easter eggs to themselves, most prefer to share it – if only to show that they know something you don’t. Thanks to Word of Mouth, Easter eggs can quickly become viral and gives a brand some good buzz. Easter eggs naturally trigger talks about the brand and then you just need to sit back and watch the fire spread.
Some great examples of Easter eggs
Google is known to be quite good at making Easter eggs.
Atari breakout (on Google images)
Google gravity -> I’m feeling Lucky
Find chuck Norris -> I’m feeling Lucky
Google l33t -> I’m feeling Lucky
Some great philosopher once said “Life is like a box of chocolates”, I beg to differ “Life is like an Easter egg”