The Coffee Break. 27 August 2014.
The usual rule applies; this coffee break is coming out a day early so that it will hit the 27th of August 2014.
After reading the annual report for Games Workshop, I think the company ought to – at least – do some market research within their niche community in order to improve upon their business model per se. Within their medium-sized annual report to their investors, the GW Chairman stated (almost as a ‘thumbing-the-nose’ gesture) that they do NOT do market research or hold focus groups for their business. Coming at this from a semi-regular customer viewpoint, I can see that it is GW being GW. However if this was read by an investor or shareholder who was familiar with other markets but not this one, they might be sweating a bit and looking to withdraw some of their assets.
Market research is important, and while Games Workshop does NOT sell things like water bottles and so on (thereby rendering the need to improve things like ergonomics meaningless), having some data on what their clients within this niche market would like to see in the future could help their company earn back that 49% loss that they took on this year.
Again though I am not a market expert, and therefore my word is meaningless. Yet many of you might agree that doing a bit of market research – just a bit – even fore a niche market can help a company improve overall. People loved Battlefleet Gothic; people loved Bloodbowl; people loved Inquisitor. These specialist games and more were also once produced by GW before they decided to stop the miniature lines all together and focus on 40k, Lord of the Rings, and fantasy. People could appreciate some old classics returning to the world of wargaming and invest a lot of money into it IF GW did some research. Will they do some research to try and improve? Well the Chairman has firmly said: “no,” so throw that pipe dream down the drain cause it is not happening.
Whatever the case Games Workshop will continue to exist long into the future, but if they do not do simple things like a bit of market research, then all their complaining of profit decreases and so on will continue because people might not want exactly what they produce. The niche market can be your greatest ally, and it can bring you to the brink of ruin: your call folks. This has been the writer, and I shall see you next time.