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Games Workshop’s Great Rebranding Experiment

10/13/2014 Leave a comment

By now, most of you will be aware that GW have launched a trial rebranding of their shops in Bath, Chiswick and Edinburgh. Gone is the venerable Games Workshop logo and in its place we have this.

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As I live in Edinburgh and work five minutes’ walk away I decided to pop in and have a wee chat with the staff about the change and some of the reactions they’ve had thus far.

They explained that there were two main reasons as to the change. The first is down, unsurprisingly, to brand recognition. Many people have heard of Warhammer via mediums such as PC/console games, novels as well as other media (don’t mention Ultramarines, don’t mention Ultramarines) but don’t necessarily link this to Games Workshop. It makes sense to capitalise on this, much in the way that the majority of car showrooms place a greater emphasis on the main make they sell rather than the name of the showroom itself.

Secondly there is a reason why these particular three stores were chosen. All three receive a comparatively high number of people through the door and, particularly Bath and Edinburgh, have a high number of tourists popping in, although in Edinburgh’s case it’s probably for directions to “the Harry Potter café” (bad luck, it’s now a Chinese buffet restaurant), the Castle or “The Fringe” (sigh). Anyway, in theory this means that these stores will be best placed to judge the success or failure of this experiment.

When asked how long until a decision is made as to the project’s success it appears that they don’t have a set end date and are happy to see how it goes. While I understand the need to be flexible my inner Project Manager nearly had a heart attack!

According to the chaps on duty today, the feedback thus far has been for the most part encouraging. I can see why, it’s always nice to see some experimentation and quite frankly, I love seeing people encounter and take up the hobby so anything that may be able to do this is to be applauded. There have been a few negative comments, almost exclusively on their Facebook page, but that’s the internet for you.

As for my feelings, I like it. From a design point of view I think it’s has a far more contemporary feel and I do think it has the potential to accomplish its objective. Time of course will tell.

Also, one final thought. If GW does go ahead and rebrand its stores, where does this leave the LOTR/Hobbit game? Could this be the start of a phasing out process? Personally, I would not be surprised.