From Old School Retailer To Innovative Media Company
For the past 25 years, Game Mania has been the market leader in gaming retail. The business model was simple: sell games and consoles. Extra margins were made by selling second hand games.
The Double Disruption Of Gaming
The past years, Game Mania stores have been suffering from the increasing move from physical retail to online shopping. A phenomenon that impacts many retailers across all categories today. More recently however, the gaming industry has known a more radical transformation, very similar to the disruption of the video rental industry when Netflix caused the bankruptcy of Blockbuster. The product (the game) is no longer a physical product, but is increasingly digitising and available to buy & download from the big gaming platforms. Tech players like Google & Amazon are launching cloud gaming platforms that negate the need to buy a console entirely. On the other hand, ‘gaming’ is growing from a marginal product, to a multibillion entertainment industry: e-sports, live streaming, specialised gaming electronics, cloud gaming, VR and other innovations are expanding the space exponentially. This could prove to be a big opportunity for Game Mania if it would be able to claim a piece of the pie.
Strategy: Transformation In Three Gears
The first step to making Game Mania ‘future proof’ again was to make a solid business strategy. We looked at market trends on one hand, and inventarised Game Mania’s strongest assets on the other. We defined in which domains Game Mania needed to strengthen its position or
expand in order to remain successful. We didn’t base ourselves on management assumptions, but we ‘brought the consumer’s voice in the boardroom’ and involved 3,000 gamers to share their input and opinions. To be able to deal with the disruption of its market, Game Mania had to reinvent itself in three gears.
- Strengthen the core business : optimise the profitability of today’s retail activities
- Expand the business with new activities and venturing into adjacent markets
- Take bold leaps by launching new ventures or doing acquisitions
Project roadmaps were made for each gear. Game Mania was ready to implement its strategy…
Strengthen Core Business: “More, Better Retailer”
Game Mania had to reinforce its position as market leader in gaming retail. It needed a stronger brand and needed to become ‘omnichannel’.
Some projects by True North to help Game Mania in achieving this: REBRANDING: In order to align Game Mania’s identity and message with its newly found ambitions, a new branding & positioning strategy was developed. STORE CONCEPT: The physical stores were completely revamped to make them attractive to a new, younger audience.
One of the paradigms of retail says that it’s much more lucrative to keep a happy customer rather than to make the effort of acquiring new ones. Game Mania developed the XP Deals loyalty program that allows customers to exchange ‘coins’ for products at Game Mania, or one of its partners.
As Game Mania had formulated the ambition to engage the gaming community, we helped them set up 15 vibrant Facebook communities and launch engaging marketing campaigns. A cool example is the Call of Duty WWII bunker weekend where influencers and the community were invited to play a WWII themed game and ride around in real tanks!
Expand The Business Model: Trade & Adjacent Business
Some projects by True North to help Game Mania expand its current business:
NEW MERCHANDISING CONCEPT: The gaming and pop culture merchandising market was identified as an obvious opportunity for Game Mania. Together with True North, Pop’d was developed and launched. Pop’d is a new merchandising store concept with a completely new branding, team and organisational structure.
As a key retailer in the market, Game Mania has access to the gaming audience. True North helped Game Mania develop a trade strategy so that it could leverage its position towards game brands to generate revenue streams from promotions.
Taking Bold Leaps: Launching New Ventures
A project by True North to help Game Mania taking bold leaps into new markets:
HERO GAMING NETWORK & VCTRY MEDIA AGENCY: With the launch of Hero Gaming Network, Game Mania has become a true data & media company. Leveraging Game Mania’s customer base and market knowledge, the Network helps brands connect with the gaming community. VCTRY is the media agency that develops and runs hyper-targeted media campaigns towards gamers.
Lead agency : TRUE NORTH