In the middle of an airy room with a high ceiling, lit by a strong purple light, sit Niclas Lidberg von Schantz and Pontus Johansson. We are at the head office of the office furnishing company Götessons on the Rönnåsen industrial area in Ulricehamn. But we're not here to talk office furniture. Or, of course there is a connection, but at the same time the subjects are far from each other.
The warm purple light in the room embraces us instead and takes us on a slightly alien journey, straight into the world of gaming, where Niclas and Pontus are currently creating their own little kingdom, with furniture in focus.
- As a gamer, I know that the range of functional, comfortable and stylish furniture for gaming is incredibly poor.
Pontus Johansson describes the original type of a gaming chair as something similar to a car racing chair where you sit as if you were cast. And they are often covered in artificial leather that becomes uncomfortable and far too hot to sit on for hour after hour.
- With insight into the office environment industry, I know that there is furniture that is durable - but they are often boring to look at. So then I thought I might as well create something myself.
With the realization of this unexplored niche in the world of furniture, Pontus Johansson and Niclas Lidberg von Schantz teamed up, in what almost seems to be a perfect dynamic duo.
- Pontus called me and told me what he wanted to do. I have never before experienced that there was such an unexplored market. Nobody talks about the "gaming room", even though it looks the same from Cairo to Örebro. So what we wanted to do was take a holistic approach to it, says Niclas Lidberg von Schantz, brand strategist and former owner of the Ulricehamn company IPM.
- Pontus is a fantastic salesman, who can sell anything. What I stand for is building a brand, which is about fulfilling visions and dreams and creating longing. Pontus is also a gamer, it is important for credibility that we stand by what we promise, that this is directed from gamers to gamers.
"I have never before experienced that there was such an unexplored market. Nobody talks about the "gaming room", even though it looks the same from Cairo to Örebro."Niclas Lidberg von Schantz
Pontus and Niclas honed in on a presentation of a business idea and a sales meeting later with Götesson's main owner Accent Equity, and the matter was settled. Götesson's design group joined as a partner and the foundation for the company Gsign was laid.
And that foundation rests on a number of well-balanced target images. They established early on that it is never possible to buy everything you need for the gaming room in one place. They have now changed that.
Ergonomically correct furniture for gaming has also been conspicuous by its absence.
- Just a couple of years ago, nobody talked about this, notes Pontus Johansson.
Quality and design is a third focus area.
- It's just hard work in this genre and no one has done it nicely. The gaming furniture parents buy for their children is also of questionable ethical origin. What we do is to manufacture traceable, circular and much better quality furniture.
Gsign currently has two product series. But the philosophy is not that customers should dream of the most expensive and buy the cheapest.
- The meaning is not that children should compare themselves with each other and judge each other based on how expensive equipment you have. It is rather about targeting different types of players, explains Pontus Johansson.
The potential market for the company's products is also growing, believes Niclas Lidberg von Schantz. Because to assume that only young people play is already a false image, which will become increasingly skewed over time, he believes
- In Facebook's infancy, people were always asked if they had Facebook, now it's a matter of course. And gaming is also a social media, albeit with play and competition involved. Therefore, gaming is also growing among the elderly and will become an increasingly obvious part of life for many more in the future.
How has it gone so far then? If you interpret Niclas and Pontus correctly, then probably nothing other than a rocket launch can describe the short journey the company has made since the official start in June 2022. And for those without an insight into the gaming world, it is almost difficult to understand the impact this social networking has mixed with entertainment and amusement have in many parts of society.
Just like when players come together in the virtual world, Gsign also understands that great success can only be achieved if you work together. Therefore, the company makes sure to work closely with those who play. But instead of letting paid influencers print the company's message on their channels, they have created Gsign exclusive. A kind of association where the company has tied to itself an exclusive group of players, some of the country's most famous so-called streamers*, who participate in meetings and events that Gsign arranges.
- They promote us and do fun things that help us grow. They do this for us because they think it's fun and want to be part of this journey. But it also helps them build their own brands, says Niclas.
Among other things, Gsign together with the hotel chain Choice has built ten gaming rooms in two hotels in Stockholm and Jönköping. That is, specially decorated hotel rooms, where bored business travelers are saved from hotel death by having access to fully-fed gaming stations. These rooms were introduced through an event where they invited some of their Gsign exclusive members to stream from the hotel rooms. Meanwhile, a lot of spex was going on in the background, among other things, the players were looked after with room service.
- We had 50,000 viewers during the event. And Gsign exclusive has been a success. During Dreamhack, we probably had 150 people who sought us out and wanted to participate, and there are probably a couple of requests a day on email, says Niclas.
And it's not just gamers who get in touch. On June 8 this year, Gsign launched their website and only since then have they had time to really live. There is a flood of requests for collaborations even from well-known brands that want to be seen together with the company. Jolt-cola's overlord as the players' number one drink, Nocco, is already on board. It is also the Elgiganten, which in the near future will start selling the company's products online.
Last in line to be contacted is Space Stockholm, a digital cultural center in the middle of the capital. Behind Space is the Pop house entertainment group, which, among other things, has the ABBA museum, Swedish House Mafia and the legacy of Avicii under its umbrella.
- They called us and said "we have to do something together, because everyone is talking about you".
And one might say that is a good rating for a company that, at the end of the day, after all, works with office chairs, sound absorbers and desks.