We saw this article the other day and have been pondering on it ever since. “To become more profitable than Google” reads like an answer you’d give on a business loan application, if you had absolutely no business plan in place. No-one would have that as an actual goal, right?
But why not? We’re not talking about being more successful or recognisable than Google but more profitable.
This article uses Games Workshop as an example of how to create an incredibly successful business out of your passion and now making a profit margin of 43% – bigger than Alphabet, Google’s parent company, who operate at 25%.
Why has Games Workshop been so successful?
If I know anything about Games Workshop customers, is that they’re dedicated. Games Workshop absolutely know their target market and they dip their toes in many different media, be that film, animation, RPG, tactical card games and magazines. Their core Warhammer brand is known world-wide, even known to people who have never set foot in a Games Workshop.
Talking of which, Games Workshop still have a strong retail presence, which is really great for our high-streets. These retail outlets don’t just sell, they’re more like a destination or even a gallery of artwork. Their staff are passionate about what they do and the customers love that they can go in and get a whole bunch of knowledge and enthusiasm from the people they’re talking to. Perhaps this is the key, less sales people, more genuine passion.
There’s also no denying that the UK coronavirus lockdowns gave GW a growth-boost. Whilst GW value had been on an incline for years, when the first lockdown started in early 2020, after a short period of hesitation, their share price soared and haven’t looked back yet. Games Workshop offer their customers an unrivalled immersive gaming experience and so lockdown was a perfect time for customers to invest in their sets and disappear into the battlefield.
The growth of boardgames in general has seen a massive surge in popularity, with families wanting to spend more time together. There’s also been a big increase in popularity in the fantasy genre thanks to the Netflix Stranger Things effect!
Games Workshop are proud to designed and manufactured in Nottingham, UK and focus greatly on keeping the quality high – also key to its long-running history.
There is some outrage amongst fans over GW’s new brand policy however, where they are cracking down on fan-made animations that are based on their own characters. We’ll have to see where that one goes.