Big Changes Coming to Outset

The New Year is always a good time for resolutions.  One resolution should probably be to blog a little more often.  Last year, I managed only two postings.  But with today’s blog, we have already tied last year’s number… and it’s only the 11th of January.

But this blog isn’t about resolutions - it’s about big changes happening at Outset - and there are indeed a lot of big changes coming to Outset this year.  Changes that will help our company keep growing.  Here is a list of the top four changes for 2018:

BIG CHANGE #1 – New Cobble Hill Box Design

After 12 years with the same packaging, we are saying goodbye to the beige border on our Cobble Hill box.  With the Cobble Hill brand growing leaps and bounds, the natural question is why!?!  Firstly, we wanted to modernize the look of our puzzles.  But we also wanted to address two common suggestions - one suggestion from retailers and one suggestion from consumers.  Our new box design will feature much larger imagery on the side panels (a retailer suggestion) to help retailers to spine our boxes on the shelf.  We will also be including a poster in each box (a consumer suggestion) to help puzzlers reference the image without a logo in their way.  There are some additional changes, which I will outline in a future blog.

BIG CHANGE #2 – New Warehouse

For those of you familiar with Outset, the following might come as a big surprise.  It was only two years ago - back in 2016 - that we opened our new 70,000 sq. ft. warehouse in Brampton.  Can you believe that in two short years we already need more space!  We have leased a secondary 40,000 sq. ft. warehouse across the street, which will become the new home of our bourgeoning manufacturing division.  We produced just over 500,000 board games in our Brampton facility last year.  This new warehouse will allow us to continue to grow our manufacturing capabilities in Canada. 

BIG CHANGE #3 – TV Advertising

This coming fall, we will begin advertising a few games on television in Canada.  This is something we have never done before.  We are still ironing out the details and will have information shortly.  The reasoning behind our TV advertising is twofold - to increase product awareness with consumers, and to help us compete for shelf space with the larger more established game companies.

BIG CHANGE #4 – International Office

When I talk to other game companies at international shows, they often comment that North American companies focus too much on domestic markets, while treating international markets as an afterthought.  This is understandable - the United States is the largest toy market in the world.  But China is catching up fast, and the growth in Eastern Europe is amazing.  As the importance of international markets increases and the future of NAFTA is still uncertain, we are putting a lot more energy into selling overseas.  To help increase our exposure outside North America, we are investigating opening a permanent office in either Hong Kong or somewhere in Europe… or maybe both.


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