Funko Pivots To Be More Inclusive For Fans And More: Interviewing Dave Beré, Vice President of Brand And Marketing
by Gary Catig
The pandemic has caused companies to change strategies and adapt to the current environment. Funko has found they needed to pivot as well in order to better serve their fans. At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, we spoke with Dave Beré, Vice President of Brand & Marketing, about various things including what brands he’d like to partner with, the Mondo acquisition, and how Funko is trying to be more inclusive.
Gary Catig: How does it feel to be back at San Diego Comic-Con. You’re in-person events began with WonderCon. How does it feel to be here?
Dave Beré: It’s been a three-year journey really. When you think about the last time we were here and how much the world has changed since then. But [also] how much our fan engagement has changed. When we were doing virtual cons and we learned a lot in that. Then we moved to the hybrid cons and then we started to do more in-person shows like you said with WonderCon and then Star Wars Celebration. Really everything has led to this moment and we’re super excited that we get to share in this with the fans and that’s why we went so big.
GC: Are there any franchises that Funko hasn’t worked with yet that you’d want to partner with in the future?
DB: The one that comes to mind for me, and everyone has their own fandoms, but I’m a big Nintendo fan and we haven’t done Nintendo up until this point so that’s one that comes to mind. We’re always looking for the newest licensed to sign and our portfolio continues to evolve.
GC: The company recently acquired Mondo. Do you see the potential to collaborate on future products for some intracompany synergy or are you planning to have them be their own thing at the moment?
DB: That’s a great question. I think it will evolve. I think we definitely want Mondo to stay true to who they are. They have their fanbase and we don’t want to change that. We want to enhance that. If there are areas we can do that, we’ll do that. But first and foremost, we don’t want Mondo to lose their brand identity and we’ll do everything we can to make sure they don’t.
GC: You have a bunch of exclusives available here at SDCC. How does working with other vendors such as Target and GameStop to get those exclusives out to those that can’t be here in the show. How does that help engage with the fans to make products more readily available?
DB: I think that goes back to what we’ve learned in the last three years. Going virtual, the biggest thing we learned with that is how inclusive that was. That coupled with making the items available, we know not everyone can make it here, but we want people to participate in that. That’s a big part of this whole experience. Even if you’re not here at the show, we want to make sure you can be a part of it if you want to. Whether if it’s purchasing an item at Target or engaging with us on our social channels.