The merchandise market is not just B2B business – Insert Coin designs and sells its merch directly to gamers and has proved more than once that it's the top dog of the industry. We catch up with head of communications Dan Long.
Insert Coin rebranded last year – what's changed for the company since then?
We've been really busy. It's started to take us in a new direction and opened up more opportunities for us and our community. People are starting to see representing their favourite games in the real world as something they can do with a bit more style.
Last time we spoke, your Pokmon pop-up store had been a huge success – will you be doing more pop-up stores in the future?
We are definitely looking to continue with more pop-up and expo stores in the coming months. As a company that's driven by community, it's hugely important for us to step out from the internet, into the real world and meet up with the people who support us.
How would you assess the state of the merch market right now?
The merch market is always changing, and there's always something new on the horizon. Gamers are definitely becoming increasingly savvy and are looking at ways to combine their favourite games with the latest trends. Our job is to keep looking for new and exciting styles and making that awesome apparel a reality.
What projects do you currently have in the works?
There's a lot going on at Insert Coin over the next few weeks – we've already announced new Gears of War and Mass Effect Classic collections, and we've got loads more secret ranges incoming too… Some of that expands on ranges we've already got on our site, plus a few surprises too, of course.
What are the trends affecting Insert Coin right now?
There are so many great trends in the video games industry right now – whether it's the love of old-style retro classics, or the latest releases. There's always something new and different for us to work on.
How was EGX Rezzed for Insert Coin this year?
Rezzed was fantastic fun – we absolutely loved it. It was such a great atmosphere and it was wonderful to be amongst so many awesome games, game devs and gamers. For us, it's great to see people discovering our brand for the first time and realising that we make gear for their favourite games.
How much of your business comes from these events? Can you tell us a bit more about your events strategy?
Events are a hugely important part of our calendar. It's vital for us to reach out, meet with the gaming community and talk to them about what they love and what they want to see next. It's definitely part of who we are as a company and we're hoping to add more events to our line-up as we continue to grow – both in the UK and around the world. We always try to reach as many people as possible and so we plan to go to the biggest and best shows – we really can't wait to hit EGX again later in the year.
What's your ambition for the coming months?
The next few months are going to be really exciting. We have loads of things planned for the rest of 2017, 2018 and beyond. Most importantly, we just want to help more and more gamers get their geek on – that is what it's all about.