Friday 16 November 2012

What GW should do - Merchandising

In case you didn't know I've bought Citadel Miniatures and GW products since the late 80's. I also have a blog, it's quite cool you can view it here. Those two facts alone qualify me to make 'suggestions' to Games Workshop and their subsidiaries in how they can grow their company/improve their products. So, free of charge I will be sharing some of my sage business advice to them and just you wait as 'we're bound to see them take forward my ideas with gusto.

If you didn't know GW released a new version of 40k earlier this year [hooray for delaying these posts ;) ], I may have mentioned it but if not what the flip have you been reading on this blog? Anyway they decided to celebrate that release with a number of items to help promote the new edition. Now I think this is a good idea and something I've thought for a while they should be doing permanently, not just on special occasions. First up we have their Beanie Hat. I was definitely up for one of these, despite the rather small embroidered badge on it. I said to myself if it was less than a fiver [but predicted it would be £6] I'd get one. I'm partial to a hat being follicly challenged and was amazed at the £4 price tag. I was even more amazed when I got home and saw they were going for £16 on ebay! By that stage I'd already discovered it was too small for me and I'm pretty sure my head isn't particularly large, small-medium in fact. I'd gifted it to my son and then immediately regretted it once I saw the resale value, ha, ha!

Next up a rather cheap looking belt, I wasn't interested but to each his own.

And here's the doozy - Lanyards. Now I'd been suggesting these for months to our local GW manager. I saw his official GW lanyard and when the 40k 25th anniversary pin badges came out I recalled some of our holidays at Haven Holiday Parks. They sell lanyards and have dozens of pin badges for a couple of quid each. they encourage the kids to buy and swap the pin badges with their friends and to bring them each time they come on holiday to add to. The kids go mad for them and being only 'pocket money' priced they'll buy a couple. I suggested it to the manager but he didn't think they'd go for it, but lo and behold they'd already got it in the pipeline. GW still need to step up the pin badges to stick on it. A range of half a dozen should do because what else, aside from a pot of paint, can you get in store for about £2?

There's more though - t-shirts. When was the last time GW did T-shirts? Certainly not in the two years I've been back gaming. It's not like you can't make a big return on a T-shirt anyway. I can't imagine anything less than £10 for a T-shirt and more like £15 and most t-shirts I've looked to get printed you can get them for about £5 for 50 printed. Given the economies of scale GW could get printed they're bound to be cheaper increasing their margins. More importantly though, like any good sports manufacturer will tell you, slapping your logo on an item of clothing and getting your customer to pay you to then advertise for free as a walking billboard then that's just win-win!

Of course there are plenty of items at Warhammer World but I think there's still room in your average store for merch. So some of my ideas they've somehow stolen from my mind, lets see if they start expanding their merch range?


  1. Hi there, I do (online) Product Marketing for a living and have a different view:
    GW's business model is around getting you to buy regularly, and to spend more than you anticipated. This type of cheap merchandising items could actually make customers -us- spend less.

    That said, you can get that type of merch items (tees, caps, lanyards...) from a variety of online providers for a low price.

  2. T-shirt's end of story There should be about 2 a year one for each half that are limited edition and themed with the most recent release. That way fans of what ever army just came out could show there support. also my warhammer 25th anniversary T-shirt is worn out so I could use a 6th edition one to replace it.....