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ATB Games Ltd launched a brilliant upgrade to the classic games of draughts in 2015, Quadraughts. Essentially it’s sophisticated draughts for 4 people, those 4 people can play individually or in pairs. It’s a much more involved, strategic game than draughts as often you are surrounded on all 4 sides by opponents, so much so, that it is really a completely different game. They thought it would take the board games market by storm. How wrong they were.

The company was not able to achieve a single retailer listing. Sales through Amazon averaged about 50 per annum until stocks ran out a year ago. Despite very poor sales those who did buy and play it gave incredibly favourable feedback. Most loved it.

On the back of this feedback, the company decided to give it another go which is when we came in. We were asked to critically appraise the brand, assess its lack of appeal in the market and recommend a different approach for a relaunch.

‘Just like draughts’

The brand had originally been positioned as a retro product for the family. A classic nuclear family of 4 was used as the primary image on the front of the box. A traditional purple was used for the background colour. The only concession to modernity was the brand name typeface.

We conducted a small round of mini in-depth interviews having shown respondents an image of the front of pack and a description of the game. 85% of those interviewed said that the game looked and sounded just like draughts and they wouldn’t purchase it because they already had draughts. In discussion with the client it was agreed that this was the biggest hurdle to overcome.

A brand new game

We decided to reposition Quadraughts to being a brand new strategic board game with no mention of draughts, thus appealing to a totally new audience. On the back of the new positioning we created a new name Q4 and designed new packaging. We recommended to ATB that instead of the classic round counters they produce bespoke square ones.

Even though the game itself is identical a new game was born. The Q4 version looks and feels very different. The first order has only just landed and ATB haven’t yet started presenting it to retailers so it is too early to measure the success of the changes we have made but we are confident that it will be received much better than the first version.

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