Tell us briefly how the idea for the game came about?
I have run a creative agency for approximately 20 years, specialising in corporate identity and maximising brand opportunities for clients in a number of sectors ranging from finance to various leisure and entertainment sectors.
As part of this work, I have been invited to give presentations on the importance and power of brands to creative students looking to take a career in the industry.
To get away from the standard presentations I developed a brand game, which was far more engaging. Students really responded to the game and it became apparent that this was something that could have a wider reaching audience. The result is Eye-Dentity which has been a long time in the making but we are all delighted with it.
How did you go about acquiring the use of so many big name brands for the game?
There are over 320 brands represented in this first game so it was not an easy task ensuring all the permissions were granted, but because of our working relationships and strong connections with a number of major companies, our initial focus was based on our contacts within these organisations. Through our professional approach and experience in the value of a brand, these companies realised it was a great opportunity to potentially get their brands into a fun, family environment.
What sort of deal do you have for using those brands? Is it UK-only for example? Non-exclusive?
We have to adhere to corporate guidelines. These brands take a long time to develop and they should only be used in the way the owners are happy with. Initially, the deal is non- exclusive and is for the UK only.
Can you tell us a little more about the launch plans?
We have a big launch planned. We have engaged Evolution PR in organising the consumer press and already have many features confirmed. We are also working with each of the brands to further the consumer PR. This will all kick off in early autumn with a launch at Hamleys. We have also arranged tens of thousands of trial packs of the cards to be given out by retailers who in turn will also be supported by PR.
How difficult is it to launch a product from a standing start?
The organising of a manufacturer was quite simple - through my agency experience in print I was able to source a company that met all criteria and within the price point - quality was paramount; they were British (let’s face it being British is a quality that many consumers are looking for) and environmentally aware, adhering to all guidelines
Being accepted as a games supplier was more complicated but through hard work and contacts we have got there. Initially, I approached retailers whose brand values I admired, and complimented Xanadu's.
Once they accepted I had a direct channel for these retailers to list the game. We have also been working with Esdevium to ensure that we take the game which is suitable for older and younger players to a more diverse market
Tell us a bit about the marketing plans?
Our marketing plans include point of sale material and also the samples that can be given out to customers at the till points.
The game is amazingly addictive so to give out game cards to potential customers allows them to see immediately what it’s about. We have organised a full schedule of competitions many of which will be in conjunction with the brands we have used in the game to increase awareness with a potential reach of millions and we are also in talks with a major newspaper group for a nationwide promotion.
If the game is a success, where do you take the concept after that? How do you plan to follow it up?
The game board can be utilised time and time again and we already have various themed additional card packs in the pipeline.
A travel version is also being considered along with electronic and AP editions, which are a possibility to extend the brand.