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PCR chats to Paul Rudge about the company's rebranding

Interview: Computer Gear

As of this month, the manufacturer and distributor Computer Gear Limited will rebrand to become Group Gear Limited. Matt Grainger talks to managing director Paul Rudge to find out why.

Why the need for the company rebrand?
In recent years we have expanded into market sectors such as AV shops and laptop bag stores to keep up with the evolving industry we work within. We found our current product brand of Computer Gear did not sit well when approaching outlets selling non- computer related items. Our product range had expanded to such an extent that it had outgrown the Computer Gear brand. It had gone as far as it could go and was in desperate need of a re-categorisation.

So tell us how the rebrand will be happening…
Computer Gear Limited will change its name to Group Gear Limited. Operating under Group Gear will be four brands. We hope these changes will help us penetrate further into market sectors and our product branding to become less confusing for the consumer.

And which brands will that be?
Computer Gear will remain as a brand featuring our computer accessory range. Case Gear which is also an established brand of ours will continue to sell laptop bags and tablet protection products, and moving forward this brand will also include luggage. Our current and expanding range of cables will sit under the newly formed Connekt Gear. Finally Group Gear has secured sole distribution of the VZTec brand in the UK, and this features a wide collection of data comm devices.

So is it just those four brands at the moment?
Yes, however if we need to add another brand to the company going forward we can do that, as the structure we have created allows us to move easily within the rapidly changing industry we work in.

Do you have your eye on any particular areas to branch into?
Yes, Case Gear is in a position to move into the luggage sector in the near future and Connekt Gear is looking to expand further into the ever growing AV market. VZTec will feature security offering items such as laptop locks.

So the brands themselves have a lot of scope for gaining traction?
Absolutely, it will allow us to utilise the products that we currently offer to areas that are not computer related. For example, we produce a lot of iPad cases and sleeves – these items are not directly computer related and will now be branded true to their identity. The same applies to items such as HDMI cables, widely used with TVs and DVD players. We can now approach outlets such as large media superstores and not be restricted to PC shops.

Will there be any change in the structure of the company to reflect this shift, for example, dedicated sales teams?
At this moment, no. However we will be launching a brand new website this month, a completely new site that is more interactive, a lot easier to navigate through and features a host of information on our products, making it easier for all of our vendors to work though and source products. Ultimately, we will be looking at driving a sales force behind each brand and going out into the market sectors, but that’s not going to happen just yet, more in the near future. There is only so much change you can make in one go.

So it’s really to help make that transition?
Yes, as I say, Computer Gear will remain a big brand for us. It is well established but at the moment all our products are under that brand and it no longer works. This company change and re-categorisation of products will ensure we remain at the forefront of the industry and help us to react, move forward and keep up with the fast paced and evolving market.


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