What is up with Wordle? Everyone is playing it!
Crossword puzzle meets Sudoku — Wordle players have to guess the word of the day with as few iterations possible through equal parts strategy and luck.
Josh Wardle created the game to play with his friend. He rolled it out publicly in October 2021 and, after exploding in popularity, was eventually purchased by The New York Times in late January 2022 for low seven-figures.
Why Should You Care?
Simple answer – because Wordle embodies many of the secrets to growing companies.
Understanding What your Customer Needs and Giving it to Them
As Covid dragged on towards the end of its second year, people were starved for fun and different things they could do regularly and with others. They needed diversion and companionship. Wordle delivered both.
Many companies focus on what customers want and neglect to focus on what they need. There is a difference.
Do the research. Analyze the data. Understand on a deep level what your customers need and then orient your product or service so that customers easily understand how your product or service satisfies their need.
Simple is better
The brilliance of Wordle is in its simplicity. Easy to learn. Easy to play. And easy to share because every day, all over the world players attempt to guess the same word in the same way. Then, they can easily post their results to social media and share/compete.
Your customers are busy. They don’t have time or energy to wade through paragraphs of copy to understand why they should care about your product or service. Within a short time of looking at your website, for example, they should be able to quickly distill what your value proposition is to them. Otherwise, you may lose them.
It is absolutely possible for a product benefit to become too complicated for its own good. Keep it simple. Make it easy for a potential customer to become a customer.
Recurring “revenue” is key
Competition has been key to Wordle’s success — people can’t wait to post that they’ve gotten the day’s word in three guesses, as opposed to friends who may have gotten it in five. It creates a conversation that keeps Wordle in the public consciousness daily — and keeps those people coming back for more.
We all hear about recurring revenue as one of the drivers to scalable success. Many companies struggle with the question being how to structure their product or service to create recurring revenue. That is the wrong question!
The right question is how we keep customers coming back for more.
Josh Wardle insisted on limiting the daily game to a single word. It gives people a time-limited experience they can enjoy every day. Players eagerly await the new word and anticipate bragging that they guessed a word in fewer tries than their friends.
But where’s the recurring revenue? Just ask The New York Times which has a goal of reaching 10 million digital subscribers by 2025 and has identified games and cooking as a key part of its strategy. As of December 2021, New York Times Games and Cooking had just 1 million subscribers each. They have quite a way to go, but have low seven-figures worth of belief that Wordle has the ingredients to fuel that growth.
Wordle also has the conceptual ingredients
to fuel your company’s growth, too.