Well they’ve done it again. I honestly didn’t think Wizards could disappoint my marketing self any more than they normally do, but somehow they’ve done it. As usual Wizards made their big, exciting announcements on a live stream that they scheduled while a vast majority of their customers were at work. While this is a disappointing and confusing life choice on their point, it’s normal. I will tut excessively as a marketer, but I will continue on since it’s a normal thing for them.

But then, they had to go on and change the name of Grand Prix to Magicfest. Me having strong negative feelings about WotC’s marketing is just another day ending in day, but somehow Wizards brought my disappointment down to a whole new level. Normally when you present new branding you research the name—you google it, you make sure no one else is using it, you do some market research and make sure your audience likes the name, etc. Most marketers don’t even use a hashtag without doing research, never mind presenting a new brand. Apparently Wizard didn’t do their due diligence on Magicfest. This name is not only taken but so are several variations of the name. Plus, well, most of the Magic community has already agreed it sounds pretty stupid.

When creating a new brand, a marketer’s goal is to make it unique and memorable. RIght now, when you google Magicfest half of the hits are for a Magic (performance, not the game) festival in Scotland. Magic has lots of unique terms to play upon for naming purposes; but instead of that they used the extremely common word Magic, which relates to lots of things that aren’t Magic: the Gathering. Grand Prix didn’t really need a new name, especially one that would be abbreviated as MF. I understand their making a lot of changes to GPs, and the idea of rebranding seems beneficial from a marketing standpoint; but I don’t see the changes as excessive enough as requiring a rebranding, especially one as mediocre as Magicfest.

Marketers find research and best practices extremely important, but I have a lot of trouble believing that Wizards is doing these things. I can’t imagine any amount of research would have left them believing that Magicfest was a good idea for a rebrand. It doesn’t leave the vibe they’re looking for with their target audiences, it isn’t a unique brand, and isn’t inspiring to existing audiences. I have a deep love for Magic, but I sincerely hope that they make major changes to how they approach marketing. WotC seems to hope to expand the brand without a good marketing and branding department they will be limited in what they can achieve.

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.