Monday, October 15, 2012

Heroes in a half shell - [LEGO] Turtle Power!

Step aside, sex; nostalgia sells us adults too.

When I was a kid, I loved two things; LEGOs and Ninja Turtles.

Can you imagine the joy that pulsed through my veins when I first received this email? I’ll try to contain my excitement.

I want ‘em in the worst way.
 But why, Dan? You’re almost 30. Grow up.

But that’s precisely the attraction – and marketers know it.

Yes, I’m an adult now, and I’m bitter.

Youth is wasted on the young, remember?

We all long to be kids again. And we don’t ever really grow up, we just grow old. So sleep tight, kids - the rules of the playground (still) apply. Mommy and daddy (still) worry about fitting in; they talk (and are talked about) behind the backs’ of friends – (we’re essentially a world run by children – scary, huh?).

But I digress. Back to marketing…

The toy industry says that while parents control resources, kids are the primary decision makers.
Not always true.

Sure, they are heavy, heavy influencers, but parents must ultimately decide when and for what they’ll shell money (see what I did there? shell/Ninja Turtles? Was I born to do this or what?). :P

Now LEGO is a bit of an anomaly; possessing a sub-culture of AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO) that buy and collect sets for themselves.

But all of us miss our favorite childhood toys – and if not, at least the memories.

So when we’re back in the toy aisles on behalf of our next of kin, it’s no wonder we’re most inclined to stop for a familiar face.

It’s why marketers of Furby are laying it on thick this upcoming holiday. It’s why the Care Bears enjoyed a slight resurgence a few years back.

And so, I argue that
when you’re a toy, you only have to break through to one generation of kids.

Once secured, ride the generational wave.

Set your marketing alarm clock for 10-15 years into the future and take a nap.

The next go-around, it’s just as easy to grab the attention of the parents, your former playmates.

Apply some tweaks so that you boast new, fundamental features and benefits in demand with today’s youth and wave down parents traversing the toy department no doubt lamenting their own squandered youth.
Repeat x 1,000!
Solid game plan? What do you think?

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