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On the Road – Blue Orange Games Blog

Category: On the Road

Marketing and Sales Tips for Small Businesses – Part One

Marketing and Sales Tips for Small Businesses – Part One

Our sales guys travel the country to visit local specialty retailers. They see what is the secret to successful local businesses and how they are pillars in their local community. Blue Orange recently presented marketing tips at a convention and we wanted to share our findings with you. While these tips were made with toy stores in mind a lot of the principles can apply to nearly all local businesses. This is only Part One so be on the look out for upcoming blogs for more tips – yes, plural!

Demonstrations

  • Ask your vendor for a demo. Whether it’s a fun Blue Orange game or types of craft kits at your hobby/craft store. Keep them updated (watch for missing parts).
  • Try to keep demos at the appropriate eye level. If you have a toy store, keep the demos at children’s level for easy reach. Customers come in all sizes and ages so be cognizant
  • Keep inexpensive items close to the register for that last minute impulse buy.
Silly Times at Happy Team
Silly Times at Happy Team

 

Video Demonstrations

  • Display videos in-store
  • Use websites or social media to post instructional videos
  • Link to vendor videos through social media. It truly is the age of the video. Most vendors will have instructional/demonstration videos.
GG video
New Gobblet Gobblers video

 

Promote Birthdays!

  • Have an open book on the counter to create a mailing list for birthdays.
  • Create a birthday club on your website.
  • Send postcards or emails with $$ off coupons the week before the big day.

birthday

 

Suggestion Box/Read those online reviews

  • Invite your customers to give their feedback and check out reviews for your store online.
  • Display all positive comments, and discuss with your team how to fix the negative ones.

feedbox

 

Brand Yourself

  • Add your store name and logo to shopping bags and t-shirts. Reusable bags are a great way to show your brand around the town!
  • Offer cute postcards featuring your logo or store picture at the counter.

 

Store Displays: Be Fun and Creative  

  • Create window displays that are relatable and relevant – to draw people in and bring customers back!
  • Take advantage of vendor provided displays, signage and posters.
  • Explore your creative side with unusual and unique DIY display ideas. Pinterest is a great resource for ideas!
  • Share your displays on social media to gain additional exposure.
Castle Toy & Games
Castle Toys & Games in Beaver, PA awesome window display. We’re a little biased.

 

What draws you to your local neighborhood store? Leave your comments below.

 

 

Celebrate Summer but don’t Let the Summer Slide. Keep Kids Engaged Through Game Play!

Celebrate Summer but don’t Let the Summer Slide. Keep Kids Engaged Through Game Play!

When I was a kid and summer approached, the song by Alice Cooper played in my mind. “School’s out for summer…” I think most Americans know that song or at least can sing that famous line. So many kids are relieved to have the school year over and that includes my 7 year old. I want my child to enjoy being a kid with everything that summer has to offer. There is endless swimming, hiking, camping, road trips and so much more! I have such fond memories of my summers as a child and I want the same for him.

splash video

 Spot It! Splash being played on a slip n slide.

Being a parent to a school age child, I worry that no school for that long of a period will cause a regression in his learning. Luckily you can make the summer months about playful learning! At Blue Orange we strive to create and publish games that are fun but still provide elements of learning. Whether it’s working on improving processing speed or practicing reading words, we have a wide variety of games to help you and your kids. Last year we wrote a blog about some games that help with preventing summer learning loss. This year, we have NEW games plus some travel favorites.

SpotItOTR_OpenGame_GreenBackground_Flat_LowRes

My son loves the Spot It! games so I usually try to keep a game in the car or in my bag. I love that this game builds his speech and language skills and keeps him sharp. He wins nearly every time! You can even get versions in different languages like Spanish and French that work on simple sight words (match the word to the picture). For those long road trips, I recommend Spot It! On The Road. Not only is it great to play with siblings in the car or during those rest stops but you can play Travel Bingo with the cards. And if your destination is at a campsite, bring along Spot It! Gone Camping.

 

For those parents that want a little bit more reading and math in their child’s summer time, try Super Genius. There are 5 games. They are stored in a cute magnetic box for easy storage and travel.

SupGenius_Collection1_Flat

First WordsReading 1Reading 2AdditionMultiplication 1

What do you do to prevent the summer slide? Post your comments below!

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint by Planting Trees and Helping Small Scale Farmers

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint by Planting Trees and Helping Small Scale Farmers

Photo Credit Christian Lamontagne

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Every year members of our sales team pack up their vans and head out across the country to visit current and prospective stores. While we take pride in this unique aspect of our company, we are also aware of the impact that multiple cross country trips in a van has on the environment.

What exactly is the impact? Well, for example, it is emitting 67 tons of CO2 just in the year, 2014. That is the reason that we have teamed up with the outstanding organization, the Pur Projet to reduce our carbon footprint as a company.

Certificate BLUE ORANGE (2015-04-16)  (AH-PE-14407)

The Pur Projet organization has a vision to change the world, “Our mission is to integrate social and environmental innovations to the heart of business and corporate activities, to regenerate, revitalize and preserve the ecosystems we depend upon.” With that said, Pur Projet believes that their partnered organizations have ‘Pur(e)’ intentions to better the social and environmental issues that exists on our planet. The organization provides native trees for the reforestation on small producers’ cocoa plantations in the Amazon.

Photo Credit Christian Lamontagne Photo Credit Christian Lamontagne

Pur Projet says it right! By giving back to the environment that gives companies, like Blue Orange, the resources to produce the products that are sold, is only fair. Pur Projet goes on to say, “By integrating these concerns within their sectors and activities, Pur Projet partner organizations offer a vision and means that lead to concrete projects to improve social and environmental activities and products.” Trees are planted following agroforestry systems improving the yield of cocoa trees while preserving soil and water quality and protecting biodiversity.

Since 2000, 952,000 miles were driven by Blue Orange, releasing 370 tons of CO2, which means that 1,110 trees have been planted to date. This past year, 2014, Blue Orange vans drove 152,000 miles consuming 10 liters/100 km of gas producing 67 tons of CO2 emissions. This means that 201 trees were planted in 2014 to offset our carbon footprint! When a tree has reached it’s level of maturity, it will take 14 years for the tree to offset one year of 67 tons of CO2 emissions.Not only does this help to shrink our carbon stamp and to fight against global warming, but there are also co-benefits with social and environmental issues.

Photo Credit Christian Lamontagne Photo Credit Christian Lamontagne

Photo Credit Christian Lamontagne

The Pur Project shares that, “Small-scale farmers and their families account for 4.2 billion people or two-thirds of the world’s population. They can, if supported financially, fight efficiently against climate change by applying agroforestry models that incorporate trees to their existing crops.” As a result, 1,500 farmers cultivate Fair Trade and Organic certified cocoa to increase and diversify their earnings. While planting trees reduces carbon footprint and global warming, giving work opportunities to small-scale farmers makes the Pur Projet a win-win organization!

In 2014, our 201 trees have been planted by farmer, Elias Villacorta, in a forest area of Peru. The type of tree depends on the location and the square footage, but the type of tree planted could be a Caoba or Capirona tree.

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We are so proud to be able to reduce our carbon footprint as a company, but even prouder to do so with a world changing organization with Pur(e) Intentions, such as Pur Projet.We understand the need to work towards the preservation of our planet. We believe it’s important to take steps to reduce the environmental impact of our business and to share our passion for sustainability.

For more information, visit: www.purprojet.com
How to get involved: http://purprojet.com/en/how-to-get-involved

Photo Credit Christian Lamontagne
All photos are credited to: Christian Lamontagne

New York Toy Fair 2015

New York Toy Fair 2015

ToyFairLogo

In February, we headed off to our biggest trade show of the year to share the new and exciting additions to the Blue Orange Games catalog for 2015. The New York City Toy Fair is where the majority of our retailers will learn about our new games and since last year, the number of new games has doubled! We have been very busy preparing 16 new games and were excited to finally spread the word!

Walking into Toy Fair is like walking into a kid’s heaven, something ignites inside of every grown up and brings them back to childhood. Of course we all had to pretend to be grownups and not run through the aisles to play with all that a toy trade show has to offer.. As we arrive at the Blue Orange Games booth, even more excitement begins.

blogbirdeye
The Blue Orange booth is bright, open, and colorful which catches the eye of many press and retailers walking by. We make it a priority to sit down with every visitor and go through our new games that we are featuring for 2015. On top of that, we love to share our company’s classic successes with those who are not so familiar.

Meeting buyers and the press is a huge part of why Blue Orange Games attends Toy Fair every year. The importance of putting a face to a name and creating a relationship is what continues to help our company grow more and more. Of course, super awesome fun games help with that too.

It is beyond rewarding to see all of the games that the Blue Orange team has worked many months on and see how positively the Toy Fair visitors take to each game. With a plethora of colorful and exciting new games, it was not a daunting task to present the 15+ new games to each visitor.

SuperGenius2blog  ThumbsUp4blog  CrabStackblog

Plenty of laughs and smiles were exchanged during play at the Blue Orange booth. Keep an eye out for our new education line: Super Genius. With a collection of 5 learning games that make flash cards fun, it is no wonder that Family Fun awarded this collection as a Top 10 Game at Toy Fair!

GobbTaxiblog

Our new games were not the only stars of the show! Gobblet Gobblers received a fresh new look for the 15th anniversary of the Gobblet brand!

Not only does Gobblet Gobblers’ new packaging look great, but the Gobblers did receive their 15, well 30 seconds, of fame when their commercial was debuted in New York City’s yellow taxi cabs.

 

 

Thank you to all of those who stopped by our booth and for those who missed us…we will see you next year!

Check us out on Instagram & Twitter! @BlueOrangeGames

Gen Con 2014

Gen Con 2014

For the first time, I attended the annual Gen Con 2014 convention which is America’s largest “table top” focused convention (with more than 60,000 attendees every year).  “The best 4 days in gaming” is the slogan, and it certainly lives up to the hype.  The halls are flooded with people all gathered together to celebrate gaming culture in all its forms.

Gen Con crowd
Gen Con crowd

It’s not just board games. It is also the larger “table top” community, which includes Role Playing Games (like Dungeons & Dragons and Shadowrun) as well as miniature games (such as Warhammer and War Machine). There is even a costume parade, where people dress up as their favorite characters. Other notable events are “Card Halla” a life size kingdom of towers built entirely out of playing cards. That is then crushed by objects dropped by con attendees from the floor above.

I spent most of my time in the exhibit hall, playing Blue Orange Games with our community of fans in the Family Pavilion. I got to see many of the friends that I have made at New York Toy Fair and Origins Game Fair earlier this year. I also got to meet several internationally acclaimed game designers, Bruno Cathala, Bruno Faidutti, and Charles Chevallier — all of whom have games coming out for Blue Orange next year. Of course many know that Bruno Cathala already released 2 games for us this year (Niya and Longhorn).

Bruno Cathala
Bruno Cathala

I had the pleasure to meet several of the lovely people from our community of reviewers, that prior to Gen Con I had only communicated with on the internet.

Sandy Zimmerman and her 2 “geeklings” from Adventures With My Geeklings.  Always nice to meet our biggest fans, especially when they are 2 lil’ gamer cuties! Their favorite games from the con? Our giant version of Pengoloo and our new 2014 game Aztack. You can check out more of their experience on their blog here.

Forrest Bower is the eccentric YouTube reviewer who helped build up hype for our wildly popular game BraveRats. It was great to meet him, as he is one of my favorite voices in the community. His passion for games shines through all of his videos, and he and his family are huge supporters of our games! He was kind enough to do several videos with me of our new games.  You can check them out here:  Doodle QuestLonghorn and Niya.

brandan
Forest Bower interviewing me

I got to meet Dan (The Game Boy Geek) and Zee Garcia, both from the illustrious Dice Tower network of reviewers, who for many gamers are THE go to source for information on our games.

I had the chance to hang out with my friends in the Dice Hate Me / Geek Allstar collective after hours. They are a rowdy bunch of gamers mostly based in the North Carolina area who have a passion for innovative game design and clean-playing games with dirty tactics. Their podcasts are a great way to keep in touch with the pulse of the gaming scene and their “the state of games” podcast is in my opinion the best on air. Needless to say, it was a pleasure to see what the “cool kids” of board games were playing at the con.

My favorite game of the con, was the Korean smash hit “Coconuts” (distributed in America by Mayday Games). One of the purest fun experiences I’ve had in a while. And since the con, I have played it dozens of times. In Coconuts, players try to shoot rubber coconut pellets into big plastic cups, using adorable plastic spring-loaded monkeys. Pure, simple, chaotic fun.

The highlight of the show for me was getting to meet game inventor Charles Chevallier.  He taught me how to play his new game Wakanda, coming out for Blue Orange in 2015. He also graciously lost a game to me which means I got the joy of beating a man at his own game! Of course I had to capture the moment of triumph:

Chevallier
Charles Chevallier

Gen Con was also an opportunity for me to play with prototypes from designers (some of whom were friends I made at other cons, other of whom were new). I brought back many great ideas that we will be testing out with our community of family testers in the months to come.

Blue Orange goes to Camp

Blue Orange goes to Camp

Blue Orange Games is busy this summer giving kids even more chances for fun at their camps.  Samantha is this summer’s intern and has traveled around the San Francisco Bay Area to host game days at local summer camps.  Read about her experiences as Blue Orange’s Brand Ambassador.

What Is A Camp Game Day?

By Samantha Fry

I was originally drawn to this position because it would allow me to gain experience in the field of marketing as well as build on my experience in childcare.  A camp game day consists of a taking a bunch of our games to camp and engaging kids in board/card game play.  The ages at the camps vary but we are able to accommodate kids of all ages from Pengoloo to BraveRats.  Sometimes the kids are lucky to play with games that haven’t hit the store shelves!

palo alto

These young campers are playing Doodle Quest

Long time camp favorites are Pengoloo, Gobblet Gobblers, and Fastrack.  Luckily, older campers were also able to try out some of our newest strategy games such as Aztack, Battle Sheep, and Niya!

A new favorite with the campers has been our new game Spot It! Splash. It’s just like the original Spot It! but has a fun summer theme with waterproof cards. This was a great compliment to our sometimes messy campers.

It was fulfilling to play with the kids and engage their minds in learning new games this summer.