Market The Hell Out Of It – 11 Of 55 Best Selling Board Games
Frankly, some games succeed because of the level of Marketing that goes behind them, if the Marketing stopped, the sales may stop, but if you have the money to do it in the first place, big Marketing spend often = big sales (although not always big profit!).
One of the quirks of the board games business is the overlap with the rest of the toy business (the toy business looks at games and puzzles as a sub-category of toys). This means that many toy companies also have some games and puzzles in their portfolio. The interesting thing to note here is that the marketing model for toys is all about dumping as much stock as possible on retail shelves and in e-commerce warehouses, and then promoting simple but compelling key product features to children via mass market media (both social media platforms and TV advertising (yep, TVCs are still a big part of toy company marketing plans).
The difference though between board games and the rest of toys is that toys are normally designed for children to play with on their own, with other people normally not required. Games are above all a social experience and are typically a parentally driven purchase, which is a very different communication target for advertising – parents want to hear about educational and developmental benefits and about creating golden family moments.
Those toy companies who also sell board games tend to follow the classic toy marketing method i.e. heavy stock dump into the market and a lot of marketing investment.
The reality is that long term success in board games is normally driven by organic year on year growth, but there is no doubt that you can shift a lot of boxes with heavy marketing investment!
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