GameStop is the largest presence in the retail gaming space. In my third-year branding elective, I revamped GameStop’s visual identity and developed ways for the brand to create real connections with its customers.
While GameStop has spent over a decade building up name recognition and a loyal following, the company has lost sight of its audience’s preferences and pain points. In light of decreasing mall foot traffic and increasing digital game sales, GameStop’s position as a market leader is unstable.
A new look and innovative marketing tactics could bring GameStop back to the front of consumer’s minds. For this project, my proposed solutions include a solidified foundation, an improved rewards program, new community-building initiatives, and the company’s first significant logo update since 2000.
My research kicked off with an assessment of GameStop’s history. From there, I evaluated the brand’s current assets and analyzed its top competitors. GameStop might not be able to beat Amazon’s convenience or Steam’s specialization, but it can leverage its brick-and-mortar to deliver unique value. Key insight: prioritize the in-store experience.
As a retailer, GameStop’s visual identity needs to be both ownable and versatile. The new logotype, MD Nichrome Bold, has a subtle retro feel while retaining the structure of the original logo. The rebrand hinges on four design objectives: advanced, accessible, imaginative, and adaptable.
GameStop’s current rewards program has a complicated point conversion and redemption system. To streamline this process, Power Up points could be added directly to a customer’s GameStop account and loaded onto a Power Up card for in-store use. Other changes could be applied to the current program tiers. The new Silver (standard) and Gold (pro) tiers would offer extended benefits, including free shipping for the Gold tier.
GameStop has tested several concept stores, including a “social store” designed to drive interpersonal engagement. Bringing aspects of this social store to more of GameStop’s locations would incentivize in-store visits and boost brand perception. Additions include demo stations, tabletop/handheld play spaces, and gaming tournament sections.
Current customers struggle to find value in GameStop’s in-store environment. That’s where GameStop Tourney comes in. As a part of this initiative, the brand would host gaming tournaments. The goal? Recapture the magic of local gaming competitions and give customers an entertaining experience.
Events could be hosted at local stores and eventually at custom Tourney locations. For those who can’t make it in-person, select events would be streamed live on GameStop’s new Twitch channel.
This project taught me about the unique challenges that retail brands face when trying to stay relevant. Where e-commerce companies can pivot their operations quickly, physical retailers take more time to adjust. This makes each marketing initiative undertaken by a retailer even more significant.
Instead of being limited to creative deliverables, this project pushed me to develop non-design solutions. I gained a better understanding of the factors at play when rebranding a company and looked for ways to evolve a brand beyond its visual identity.