The accessories market is arguably more crowded and competitive than any other sector in the games industry, making it much harder for newcomers to stand out.
But Gioteck is proof that this can still be achieved.
The firm doubled its market share in January, accounting for almost 20 per cent of the month’s sales with only 12 products and establishing Gioteck as the No.1 peripherals brand – not a bad start to the year.
And earlier this month, the company walked away from the MCV Awards with the prize for Peripherals and Accessories brand.
It may be new to the market, but Gioteck is making a name for itself, and marketing manager Gail Whittle believes this is because of its determination to not follow the crowd.
“Gioteck was originally formed because the gaming market was saturated with identikit brands, offering products that looked and performed the same,” she explains.
“There was nothing our there that was different, so we decided to fix this ourselves. We wanted to be that different brand, to look and sound different from the rest and, most importantly, produce products that were high quality with exceptional features.”
And the company is about to get a whole lot bigger. While the UK-based firm is still working hard to establish itself as a leader over here, global expansion is very much on the cards.
“About 50 to 60 per cent of our sales are from the UK but we actually sell across the globe,” says Whittle. “In fact, 2010 saw our international sales grow by 40 per cent and we are constantly looking to move into new territories.
“2011 is going to be a whole new challenge: the US market has opened up to us. So we will be launching our products there this year and we have been really fortunate that five of the top retailers have included us in their spring line-up.
“Cracking the US is one of our key goals as it’s one thing to get listings with retailers, but now we need to ensure that our products sell. Ultimately we want to succeed in the US, we want our full ranges listed and we want to become the best third party peripherals company. Not much to ask really.”
All of its products – including controllers and Bluetooth headsets – are heavily targeted at 18 to 35-year-old males, primarily those who are fans of the FPS genre.
While not exactly an untapped market, Gioteck has captured gamers’ attention by promoting the high quality of each item with a distinctive marketing campaign.
Crucial to this is Gio, the company’s mascot. Her gritty but attractive appearance fits in with the target demographic and even some of their favourite titles, such as Call of Duty, and the striking red and black colour scheme of both the character and the ads matches Gioteck’s own branding.
Whittle believes the mascot has been instrumental in making Gioteck stand out: “I think the new products, alongside the introduction of Gio, plus our marketing campaign saw us really raise the bar – I think consumers finally sat up and took notice. Which is great, its what we expected to happen.”
Going forwards, Gio will continue to be central to the company’s marketing as it tries to keep the Gioteck brand at the forefront of consumers’ minds.
A careful selection of products has also been key. Rather than spamming the channel with truckloads of accessory packs, Gioteck has been much more selective – although Whittle reveals the firm will be increasing its output in 2011.
“Our decision to gradually release our products was less a conscious decision and more to do with our focus on getting the quality of the products right,” she says.
“Early this year, we performed a review of our product development schedule and have now installed a process that is faster, without losing any of that vital attention to detail. With this in place, we are on schedule to have a number of new products in store, starting in the next few months.”