Retailer Insights – How to Get Your Games On Our Shelves

How to get your games on our shelves.

And keep them there.

First design a great game that a good number of people will want to play, have fun playing and want to play again with more people.  It must be liked by people who are not your friends or on your fanboy list. If your game misses any of these I won’t consider it any further.

Example: Title visible on all sides of box

Second design a good package that allows me to display it, shows the product off and has all the right information on the box.  Make sure the package has a UPC code, does not have a price on it (unless you are doing some hard core product value protection), and is displayable in 3 directions, front facing side-facing and stacked so that the logos and product images and text look good on the shelf.  Include enough imagery and information on the box so a retailer can explain and do a shelf side demo right off the box.

Third – communicate with the retailer.  Distribution communication channels suck – we know it and expect it.  So communicate with us directly, and set up a specific place on your website for retailer to get information about your products, what is available what is not.   Communicate in a way that allows retailers to get at the info we need when we need it, not on your schedule.

When we contact you return our calls, emails or facebook messages.  If you are getting FB messages your communication system is broken, because that is a location of last resort.

Plan for and execute follow-up.  Refresh POP.  Make it available for the retailer when WE need it, not when it is convenient to send it.  Faded posters, window clings and beat up demo copies do nothing except to show they have been there for a long time.

Finally, walk the walk, not just talk the talk.  If you are going mass and going to give Target access to your entire line through a secondary non-hobby distributor – never ever tell a retailer you are only giving them one game.  If you are going to have an aggressive product value protection program – enforce it and make all the actions you take retailer knowledge.  Integrity, honesty and equity.  Learn them, live them.

I WANT to sell boatloads of great games, and as we cross the 7 figure mark for the year – know we do.  But your games do not by mere presence deserve a spot on that boat.   Passage must be earned, tickets must be paid for.  It is much easier to get aboard for a second trip if you worked with the crew on the first one.

Merry Christmas.  May all your games sell out for full MSRP.

Pat Fuge

CEO – Head Gnome

Gnome Games


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