Wiillem de Zeeuw

Trust Gaming’s Wiillem de Zeeuw on making gaming more sustainable

Digital lifestyle accessories specialist, Trust Gaming is on a mission to deliver clever and sustainable solutions. Part of its sustainability mission includes objectives like reducing packaging sizes and plastic usage, creating products with recycled materials, and taking strides to reduce emissions at every step of the supply chain. We caught up with Wiillem_de_Zeeuw, gaming brand manager to find out the low down in the latest tech trends in gaming.

Here’s what Wiillem de Zeeuw had to say.

What’s currently popular in gaming peripherals ?
Across the gaming peripherals industry all brands are suffering from ‘post-covid’ purchase behaviours. During the lockdowns, gamers and new gamers invested in gaming because they had more time to game or couldn’t spend their money on other things and therefore did a lot of forward buying. Another factor is current inflation stopping the replacement or extension of gaming accessories. Luckily we are currently seeing a stabilisation growth in the long term.

 What would you say are the latest gaming trends?
I would say gaming as a social platform is an important long term trend where a lot of other trends such as e-sports and streaming are concerned. I could have also mentioned the word ‘Metaverse’, but I think for a lot of people it is still difficult to explain because it’s used too often. Gaming is not just about playing games anymore, as more and more games offer a platform where people digitally come together to socialise, interact, watch creators or join pop-up events. We focus on this by having a primary target audience called the ‘Social Gamer’. For this gamer, gaming is not a lifestyle but just a part of their life where there is also time for school, work and sports.

Can you tell us more about the social gamer and your positioning in the gaming industry?
We have always been offering value for money products. As of this year, we have also started to position ourselves as a sustainable value for money brand. Thanks to a refreshed logo and brand identity, we focus on clever, joyful and sustainable products with high performance. Our new products are durable, easy to use, sustainable, with a cool design, and yet affordable. Each new product is designed for social gamers between 10 – 25 years, where we differentiate in design, price and features. In short entry-level products with a dynamic and technical design for the young gamer, and more advanced and precise products for their older sibling. The changes to our brand identity are subtle but make our communication much clearer. For example, we changed the black colour palette to dark blue, and with the new logo brought our gaming brand closer to the Trust brand. As a challenger brand, we always aim for A-brand execution. We believe that this blend gives us a unique position amongst all other brands.

What are the coolest accessories that you can get your hands on?
The newest products are always the coolest. When visiting our Product Team, I always get energised by new products with a new design and/or new features. Looking to the future, we will introduce two new headsets early next year that we are very excited about. I can’t say much about them yet, but they’re based on a partnership with a global multinational and fully in line with our ‘Affordable Green’ proposition.

Why is sustainability so important to Trust Gaming?
In line with our Purpose, we like to offer products that are fair for people, fair for the planet, for fair prices. We take responsibility for our actions and started our sustainability journey last year. Looking specifically at our gaming target audience (Generation Z), some of them really care about the environment and prefer eco-friendly products. As children grow older and get confronted with environmental and climate change, they start to realise change is necessary. We expect this topic to become more and more important since it will also reach more young people via their parents or through social media.

Can you tell us more about what sustainability initiatives Trust Gaming is currently involved in?
I hope I can answer this one within the limited amount of words I have. We are lessening our impact by reducing the use of plastics in our packaging to an absolute minimum. Most cartons we use for our packaging are FSC certified, we are resizing our packaging so we can fit more in containers, boxes and shelves, and we are using recycled materials in most of our new products. The overload of eco-certificates, labels and claims make it difficult for everyone to believe and understand whether a company or products are honest in their claims or are greenwashing. Therefore, we started a coalition of sustainable front-runners in our industry with the goal to make an EU-wide ‘One Green Label’ mandatory.

How can the gaming industry look to be more sustainable?
We see a lot of companies talking about their zero or even positive carbon footprint. Based on analyses of our carbon footprint, we found out that 99.5% comes from our products, which is why we decided to make 80% of our new products using sustainable materials. In contrast, most gaming brands make use of virgin plastics with a much higher carbon footprint.

Who are your partners?
To get all the needed insights, data and latest trends from the industry, we are working with GFK and Newzoo. To get insights about our environmental footprint, Hedgehog Company made Life Cycle Analyses for our products to identify the elements on which we can continue to reduce our CO2 footprint. We also work together with our re-sell partners, for example Tesco, to reach our joint sustainability goals.

What advice can you offer to the channel as a whole to be more sustainable?
With increasing consumer demand for more sustainable alternatives, the whole supply chain is making efforts to make the product offer more sustainable – in retail, brands and the manufacturers. We should work together and help each other to reach our joint sustainability goals. The EU should also make it easier and more transparent for the consumer with ‘One Green Label’. With products that not only have A-brand performance, but are also affordable and sustainable, we make it very easy for consumers to make more sustainable choices.

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