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Arbedark
22-11-2009, 13:45
Hi all, I'm currently writing a critical essay on customer orientation for my masters course, and it got me to thinking.

Just how Customer / Market oriented is Games Workshop?

A quick introduction to the concept for those who are unfamiliar with it, courtesy of tutor2u.net (a quick google search and this was the simplest and most general explanation I could find quickly):


A marketing orientated approach means a business reacts to what customers want. The decisions taken are based around information about customers’ needs and wants, rather than what the business thinks is right for the customer. Most successful businesses take a market-orientated approach.

A product orientated approach means the business develops products based on what it is good at making or doing, rather than what a customer wants. This approach is usually criticised because it often leads to unsuccessful products - particularly in well-established markets.

I've got my own views on this, but I'd like to see what other people think of Games Workshop's orientation.

Cheers

Chaos and Evil
22-11-2009, 14:01
Hugely based on a marketing orientated approach.

I just wrote a couple of posts here (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4149389&postcount=15) and here (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4149415&postcount=16) that brush over this topic.


Note especially my comments about GW's "specialist" wargame EPIC, a game which is less financially productive than its Core game equivilent (Warhammer 40,000) by orders of magnitude, and which hasn't been worked on actively by the company for 5 years... during which time Warhammer 40,000 has recieved millions of pounds worth of investment.

One could say that the Fanatic Games department was (at times at least) an experiment in a more Product Orientated style (or a more niche market orientated approach, actually), which was shut down as the company as a whole re-focused to become more market orientated.

Rick Blaine
22-11-2009, 14:46
From the above definitions, sounds more product oriented to me. Here's what we have, take it or leave it. Which, I would say, is the correct approach to competitive games. Otherwise you end up changing the rules every time someone whines on the internet (see: Uncharted Seas)

Chaos and Evil
22-11-2009, 15:35
From the above definitions, sounds more product oriented to me. Here's what we have, take it or leave it. Which, I would say, is the correct approach to competitive games. Otherwise you end up changing the rules every time someone whines on the internet (see: Uncharted Seas)

That really depends on who the main intended demographic for GW's games are...

...is it the few 'whine(rs) on the internet', or the ever-renewing supply of many thousands of 10-12 year-olds who play the game for a few months to a year then drop out, to be replaced by a whole new stock of 10-12 year-olds next year?

Considering that, which market does it make the most sense for GW to market the game towards?

And which are they marketing the game towards?

grissom2006
22-11-2009, 19:58
GW is about the product that product being the models the game is merely a sideline. If the game was to be meant that much it would be better written, tested and supported.

Want a clearer picture of the type of compony they are read their investor relation reports.

If they was customer orientated then we wouldn't have to wait as long as we do for what we want.

yabbadabba
22-11-2009, 20:02
Hi all, I'm currently writing a critical essay on customer orientation for my masters course, and it got me to thinking.

Just how Customer / Market oriented is Games Workshop?

A quick introduction to the concept for those who are unfamiliar with it, courtesy of tutor2u.net (a quick google search and this was the simplest and most general explanation I could find quickly):



I've got my own views on this, but I'd like to see what other people think of Games Workshop's orientation.

CheersThis is a terrible place to get opinions mate. Head to the clubs, you will be amazed at the variety of opinions. Also look at the customer bases in the stores over a period before you decide how to approach this.
I repeat, this is not a good place to get anything like the quality of information you would need.

Chaos and Evil
22-11-2009, 21:01
I repeat, this is not a good place to get anything like the quality of information you would need.
Quality isn't particularly nessesary, if all you're looking for is to guage the general opinion of a certain demographic...

...I'd be kinda interested in hearing what Arbedark thinks.

Shamutanti
22-11-2009, 21:59
And the demographic of Warseer is...?

grissom2006
22-11-2009, 22:26
And the demographic of Warseer is...?

Older veteran gamers for the most part that account for a small minority of GW's customer base.

scarletsquig
25-11-2009, 14:10
Definitely product-orientated. They focus mainly on designing the models as well as they can. Marketing is strictly limited to a loss-making monthly magazine.

The boyz
25-11-2009, 15:21
Of the two deffintions given, I would say GW is deffinatley more of a 'product Orientated' company.

Wintertooth
25-11-2009, 15:40
Marketing is strictly limited to a loss-making monthly magazine.

No it isn't. They have a chain of interactive billboards in the centre of most UK towns, and more thinly spread across Western Europe and North America, which more or less break even. Which is a pretty good trick for an advert.

Chaos and Evil
25-11-2009, 15:57
scarletsquig:
Market Orientated means that GW design models that they think will sell well to a certain market segment or demographic, not that they use a lot of adverts.

Pushkin
25-11-2009, 16:28
Arbedark,

I would argue that GW are Market Orientated and as a whole they market at a 10-18 year old audience, for a few reasons:

(1) Rules are simplers, easier for younger people to pick up
(2) Emphasis of Space Marine, again very easy to understand/use
(3) Introduction on Tau, draw upon other sci-fi/anime/mech trends to attract more younger players
(4) Have ditched specialist games from the stores and don't actively make more models, 40k and Fantasy are more "sellable" than complex Necromunda/Mordheim campaigns

(Note i'm a 40k player can't comment on Fantasy developments)

I'd qualify this by saying that Forgeworld are more product based. E.g. They make bitching models/interesting army lists and people who like them go ahead and buy them.
Similarly they make high-end products e.g. titans, which aren't targetted at the casaul/young player. Forgeworld isn't marketted at any specific demographic, rather people who like the models/books buy them.

So overall i'd say GW as a whole is predominately market orientated and market force require it to constantly attract "New blood" to the hobby.

canucklhead
26-11-2009, 11:04
They are absolutely a market oriented company, they simply aren't doing it very well at the moment.

Uncharted Seas, as was mentioned, was a failure because it made the mistake of marketing to quite literally one individual. That way lies madness.

GW does produce products in line with what it perceives as it's markets' demands. A game that uses its miniatures product line. Retail points that double as gaming zones, and product conventions that are in line with the hobbyist culture.

As I said previously, they simpy have stopped doing most of that well. They've ignored the new market systems, and the advent of social media as a universal tool in the hobby culture.

Osbad
26-11-2009, 12:33
Uncharted Seas, as was mentioned, was a failure because it made the mistake of marketing to quite literally one individual. That way lies madness.

I would beg to differ in my opinion of the success of Uncharted Seas. As I understand it, demand went viral and Spartan Games had trouble gearing up to meat the level of demand for their product which was far in excess of expectations!

blongbling
26-11-2009, 13:22
osbad, dont let fact get in the way of a good non substantiated claim

Brother Loki
26-11-2009, 13:49
Has sometihng happened to Uncharted Seas? I thought it was proving very popular, and its had great reviews from what I understand. A lot like Warmachine when it first came out.

The Orange
26-11-2009, 15:05
I'd say GW is market oriented. They now focus on their 3 main games while specialist have waned. It's no secret that a remake of Space Hulk was something that the market wanted. People like SM, GW has provided ample SMs. DE sold poorly and were thus removed from shelves (at least in my area). Squats were just dropped from the range. Whenever a codex is redone GWs nerf bat usually goes where players have cried cheese.

This isn't to say that GW simply caters to whatever their customers demand, thankfully the game hasn't become just SM every time all the time, but they are IMO heavily sided towards market oriented.

Your Mum Rang
29-11-2009, 10:28
GW hater customers and their vampiric approach of 'get em young, bleed em dry and then let em go' has made me quit the hobby.

susu.exp
29-11-2009, 14:42
Has sometihng happened to Uncharted Seas? I thought it was proving very popular, and its had great reviews from what I understand. A lot like Warmachine when it first came out.

It is rather popular and a great game. The main issue with Spartan seems to be that they try to do too many things at once and are out of stock a lot (I´ve been waiting for a pack of Dwarf Heavy Cruizers from Wayland for ages). There were also problems with packaging in the innitial rush.