What was the thinking behind the new identity?
Chris Peacock: The industry has been evolving for many years and it has had a major effect on distribution. Gem have over 23 years’ experience in supplying UK retail. However we have changed significantly over the years to grow with the demands of both our supply partners and retail customers. We have created a new-look identity that signifies this change and represents the progression of Gem to its role as more than just a distribution solution.
So is this a new Gem?
CP: We don’t think about this as ‘new Gem’. We’re proud of the services and achievements we’ve provided over the past two decades, but the industry is changing and we’ve been changing with it. We took a look at where the business is now and where it’s going and rather than merely responding to the industry, Gem has future-proofed itself and is in a position to lead thanks to the services we can offer. We will continue to grow on the fundamental business we have established, while striving to add to our offering for both customers and partners.
So this is more than just a new logo and a ‘rebrand’?
Simon Lee: Absolutely. The logo is only an indicator of the changes that are taking place. It was important that we made a statement that there has been a change, while emphasising that we’re still doing the same things, only better and with extra services.
How has Gem changed in recent years to benefit its partners?
CP: We work closely with our retail customers and supply partners to establish their needs, present and future. Adding value in the sector and channel has been key to Gem for many years now and our partners can utilise Gem in a number of different areas or as a complete solution. Effectively, we can position ourselves as a multi-faceted end- to-end solution.
For example, our Gem Logistics division is based around our distribution centre, which boasts incredible efficiency as a primary and secondary facility. We can now also offer a range of unique services such as home fulfilment and European distribution.
We have also made considerable investment in our employees to cater for our push into new sectors such as the audio visual, books and toy sectors. Gem is constantly adding to the range of products we distribute, in current and new sectors, targeting converging technologies and bringing them to market and the attention of our customers.
So are you expanding your services and product lines?
CP: In addition to positioning ourselves as an end-to-end integrated supply chain solution, offering added value distribution to the retail channel, we are in the process of launching a completely new ecommerce system which will offer greater functionality for our retail partners. Customers will be able to browse an online catalogue of our range and place orders online for the products we stock.
It will also be a resource tool, offering access to key consumer and trade product information. We see this as adding real benefit to our customers, especially independents where they may struggle to place orders during the day and need a good resource tool to get information on our product range.
In response to increasing demand from our supply partners, we’ve also announced a brand new in-house division, Gem Creative, which will serve as a complete design and production agency solution to support their needs in the retail channel. Gem Creative can be used by our supply partners as a second tier agency to complement their existing in-house facilities or agency arrangements, especially where additional requirement is needed.
Ultimately, what message are you sending to the industry about the new identity of Gem?
SL: The new logo symbolises that we’re forward thinking and growing along with our partners’ needs – essentially that Gem is developing beyond the traditional role of distribution, a result of our valued partnerships with vendors and customers. We’re also aiming to challenge the current perceptions of Gem.
The video games industry, for example, may only see us as a solution for their gaming software and hardware needs. This simply isn’t the case, we provide solutions on behalf of the biggest manufacturers in the world. We are also looking to establish our name within the AV market. New and existing next-gen technology driven products like the Meivo TV from Rock and Philips amBX are examples of cutting edge products we are partnering with vendors to bring to the UK channel.
THE GEM DIVISIONS EXPLAINED:
Gem Sales and Distribution
Gem describes its ‘traditional’ business as providing its partners with ‘end to end integrated supply chain solutions and added value distribution to the retail channel’ for software, peripheral and connected home technologies. Gem owns exclusive UK distribution of Xbox, Xbox 360, NCsoft games, Take 2 and the CA PC security range, as well as being a leading UK distributor for vendors such as Logitech, Microsoft and Symantec, producing an annual turnover in excess of £200 million. The company has also recently extended its category reach into the audio visual, book and toy markets.
Gem Logistics’ services include primary and secondary logistics, end user fulfillment, import/export facilities, European distribution and retail specific virtual warehousing.
Gem Creative can offer design and production support in key areas such as trade and consumer advertising campaigns, point of sale material, repackaging, bundling design and retail solutions, as well as offering media buying and publishing facilities.
Founded in 2004, Exspect produces cases, covers and accessories for iPods and other MP3 players, portable games consoles and more. Since its acquisition by Gem in May 2006, Exspect has gone on to develop a new range of over 100 products and has extended its reach into technical product areas including FM transmitters and premium speakers for the Apple iPod.