cranium logo

As Director of Sales for Cranium, Brian Maggio experienced the best and worst of a company’s life cycle. While the Cranium Team was second to none, and the brand was strong, the year prior to acquisition by Hasbro was a total pressure cooker. With all eyes on sales and daily reporting to the bank, Maggio worked with the sales team to move over $6 million in stale inventory in 6 months, while at the same time helping to launch new products into Target, WalMart, TRU, and a host of mid-tier National Accounts. “As painful as it seemed at the time,” recalls Maggio, “the reporting disciplines we put into place during those last months at Cranium have become SOP as we talk to clients about how to set sales goals and track results with real-time metrics. Prepping a company for a $77 million sale wasn’t fun, but it was a priceless experience that we bake into our consulting practice every day.”

“Brian kept focused on sales during a difficult time for Cranium. His ability to continue to drive sales as well as many special projects while the company was being sold is commendable. I would welcome the opportunity to work with Brian again in the future.” - Chris Legler, Controller

NetGeo Logo2

The National Geographic catalog is one of the premier branded retailers in the US. Their heritage as an authority on history and exploration mandates that any product sold must adhere to strict quality and authenticity guidelines. Working closely with National Geographic, Revenew Sales was able to develop a line of historically significant “Cultural Classic” games that have been featured in their catalog for each of the past 5 years. We brought together our “adjunct team” of designers and factory partners to streamline the development process and deliver a quality product that continues to satisfy the needs of National Geographic and its consumer base.

University Games Logo

When Industry stalwart University Games acquired the Front Porch Classics brand, they engaged Revenew Sales to help integrate the brand and gain a better understanding of the distribution channel and brand attributes. Tom Rushton was on point for reintroducing the dormant brand into National Accounts across the country. “It was a unique challenge at first, because many of the retailers felt ‘burned’ by the previous owners of Front Porch”, says Rushton. “They had definitely moved on.” But through consistent communication and reinforcing the benefits of University Games’ ownership, Tom was able to navigate product back in almost all prior accounts, and continues to build programs on behalf of University games today – 6 years later.

 BarnesNoble logo

Barnes & Noble has gained a following as one of the most progressive retailers in the toy & game category. Revenew has been a strong sales partner during much of this growth, introducing not only new products, but also working in tandem with the buyers to develop signage, planograms, and other merchandising solutions. Calling on our expanded resource network, we have also developed proprietary products for B&N for seasonal items or particular promotional themes. Our product developments have spanned games, puzzles, art vinyl, and plush.

“Revenew looks at our business as an entire category, helping Barnes & Noble in all phases of the merchandising process. They put our needs first,, ahead of their own, which makes them true partners for my business.” - Ellen Heaney-Mizer, Director - Party City, previously; Barnes & Noble

 
 Front Porch Logo

Founded in 2000, Front Porch Classics was one of the new breed of Seattle startups in the game category. Being VC-funded made things even more interesting for this company in terms of growth expectations and heightened visibility. Brian and Tom both came on board in 2004, when sales were lagging vs. the VC group’s goals for that year. We took a very tactical approach to the sales process – building a rep network, manning trade shows, and placing a huge focus on maximizing key accounts. Over the next 3 years, we increased sales by 360%, culminating in an acquisition by the Sababa Group in 2007.

“Brian is top-tier - he is tenacious, he is terrific at developing long-term relationships, and focused on bottom-line results. I've worked with Brian in the past, I'm working with him presently, and I'll work with him again in the future.” - Steve Edmiston, founder and CEO of Front Porch Classics and current Industry associate

 kidrobot logo

We were first introduced to Kidrobot in late 2008, when the then-CEO brought Revenew in to expand their distribution in National Accounts. While it was a new category for us, we saw tremendous potential based on the rabid fan base in Specialty. Being cautious, we took a “walk before you run” approach, rolling the product out as a smaller test in retailers like Barnes & Noble, Hot Topic, and Borders. By working with the se retailers to define and promote the category, and leaning on Kidrobot’s knowledge of the best product mix, together we turned a 10-store test in 2008 into millions of dollars in business by 2014.

During this time, we also identified a structural gap in Kidrobot’s Sales org, so in addition to tactical sales we also took on the role of “Interim VP Sales” for the company in 2013. Over a six month period, Revenew was able to define key roles within the sales team, assign accountability, define metrics, and implement a forecasting system that brought together several functional areas within the company. In doing so, we set the stage for Kidrobot to hire on a full time VP Sales in 2014.

 pokemon logo

Pokemon USA uses a Distributor network to manage most of its US retail base. However, there are a handful of retailers that need special attention, or for whom a traditional Distributor / Merchandiser model won’t work. Barnes & Noble, in particular, has a stringent set of guidelines for their collectible category, including “slotting fees” and an very involved Vendor Guide – hurdles that were (literally) foreign to Pokemon as a Japanese company.

As a sales agent, Revenew was able to bring the two parties together and create a modified set of operating procedures that would enable Pokemon to sell directly to B&N, while maintaining the volume and margin goals that B&N needed. We have clearly communicated the shipping and fulfillment guidelines along the way to avoid the type of chargebacks that plague many smaller vendors. Beginning with a 1-sku test in 2009, Pokemon now anchors the better part of a 4’ section at B&N, and both sides agree that it has become a meaningful program.

 Identity Games Logo

In 2013, Revenew crafted a deal for Identity Games International, a Holland-based game company, to acquire the global rights to the well-known Find It® Game. Over 8 weeks, we were able to draft an agreement that separated assets from liabilities, appoint a trustee, determine a value for the brand and hard assets, mediate tricky royalty issues, and minimize tax implications – all with an 8-hour time difference! Once the ink was drying, it was clear that Identity would need help running the business on a day-to-day basis as they determined the right path forward for production, sales, product development, and marketing. Brian Maggio stepped in as interim GM for the new US business, managing vendors, re-energizing sales, and hiring a new staff to move the business forward. Going into fall of 2014, Identity Games saw the 3 millionth unit of Find It® sold, and has added other great new products to the line. “We don’t often get this far in the weeds”, acknowledges Maggio. “But due to the distance issue and the fact that it was a brand new market for Identity Games, we knew we had to step up and take ownership in the first critical year of this transition.”

 hallmark logo

Hallmark Corporate was looking to enter the “Family Game” market in a more meaningful way; the buyers were unclear on the category, and what to expect in terms of reveneue and profit numbers. Moreover, they were unfamiliar with the landscape of Game vendors, and did not have experience with the buying patterns in the industry. The Hallmark team brought Revenew in for a multi-day consulting session, in which we provided their Leadership team with a category overview, brainstormed marketing ideas and packaging concepts, and developed a fairly detailed plan for their chain wide introduction of this section. In the process, we also sketched out at least 5 product concepts, and had fantastic barbecue in Kansas City…

Revenew Sales helped us in the early development of our game assortment for our corporate stores. They helped us identify variables of focus that were critical to our consumer and channel differentiation. They also introduced us to new game manufacturers and hot new games for inclusion in our assortment, which have performed very well for us. . - Mary Schoepf, Merchandise Manager Kids and Plush, Hallmark Retail Division

 Modarri Logo plain

Modarri Cars are the first big release from Thoughtfull Toys. Founded by industry veteran David Silverglate, Thoughtfull is an amalgamation of designers and sourcing experts who set out to create an elegant yet functional DIY-style product line.

Revenew was brought in to provide guidance on the product launch. With Tom Rushton as acting VP, we also set up a national network of reps and put Key Account plans into place. In 6 short months, we set up reps in every territory, and had the product presented to (and placed in) outlets like Books-a-million, Hallmark, and Toys R Us… During the launch time, we also helped with the second wave of product development for 2015; identifying needs for Specialty and Key Accounts and providing feedback and direction on marketing and product plans. We also continue to work with Thoughtfull from the standpoint of forecasting at the account level to best plan production and financial resources.

 FH08 DaddyOLogo BC03

Retailers sometimes ask us for custom products, or items built to their specifications for a specific promotion or season. We first turn to our client base to see if we can find a match, but sometimes the project is outside the wheelhouse of our clients’ brands or capabilities. When that happens, we engage our network of designers, developers, and factories to bring a product to market. “Daddy-O Productions” is our umbrella company for such opportunities. You can see examples of Daddy-O products here. If you are a retailer looking for exclusive toy, game, or puzzle products to fill a specific space or price point, we can help.

 Original Find It Logo

Find It Games was one of our first clients in 2008. At that time, the founder was seeing tremendous success in Specialty and wanted to expand the business into national accounts, but did not want to disrupt the specialty channel in doing so. He also wanted advisory services to help with a longer term strategy that included options to one day sell the business. Revenew worked on a product and distribution plan that grew the business by 430% over three years. We also engaged a number of other manufacturers along the way as potential acquisition candidates down the road (see Identity Games profile). The four year plan of steady growth led to great exposure for the brand, significant profit for the owner, and eventually an acquisition path that has become a long term residual opportunity for the owner.