March 2, 2022
Whether you avidly play (me) or complain about (also me) the Wordle phenomena, there are a few things we think every communications professional can learn from this simple word game. If you’re launching a new product, re-engaging a lapsed audience, or attempting to expand your current audiences, look to Wordle’s cut-to-the-chase DNA for some pointers about what people value these days.
Below are four components we think contributed to Wordle’s explosion amongst English-speaking word gamers that could be applied elsewhere.
1. Wordle’s rules and process are easy to follow.
- Those new to Wordle grasp the how-to’s almost immediately, which is critical because you can only play once per day. You don’t need to build high stakes like that into your messaging platforms, but can your audience quickly figure out who you are and what help you offer after a few moments on a landing page or engaging with your social channels?
2. Playing Wordle is enjoyable because the interface works and is uncluttered.
- Think of how many times you’ve left a website, app, or put a product back on the shelf because it felt clunky, slow, didn’t feel right in your hand, or simply couldn’t figure out what you’re looking at. I’ve timed it, and I can unlock my phone, Google “Wordle,” and be playing in less than seven seconds – the opposite of clunky and slow, which keeps me coming back. Is your website optimized for speed and performance?
3. People like to share what works for them.
- I first heard about Wordle on Twitter (the mysterious green boxes seemingly everywhere on my timeline), and soon after I was grabbing people by the lapels begging them to join me. Wordle gained widespread adoption without spending a single dollar on advertising (even though the creator wasn’t attempting adoption), and this organic growth is a direct result of a reliable and fun platform that’s easy to understand and communicate to others. Is there anything in your business that provides an opportunity for you to build fan affinity and word-of-mouth buzz?
4. Once you have something great, don’t mess with it.
- Iterating until you have something worth unleashing to the world is part of the process, but once you see traction, observe and recalibrate. Say what you want about NYT’s taking the game over, but they might have benefitted from waiting and watching the backend metrics longer to get a sense of how Wordle works and why people love it so much (and why there are so many Wordle clones popping up around the web).
Copying Wordle’s ethos, we’ll get out of the way for the day. But we hope this quick list helps you think through communication challenges you’re facing and how you can use some of the momentum Wordle has generated to your brand’s benefit. If you need a helping hand, let’s chat.