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A Bit of Marketing: Vinyl Toys and the “Sweet Spot”

April 20, 2010

I admit, I created this guy just so my post would have an image.

A while back (a few terms at least) I took a look at the vinyl toy industry for an assignment in Intro to Marketing.

I had questions to answer:

What is the appeal of these toys? What can we learn from the success of this market positioning? How was the “sweet spot” (official marketing jargon) identified and how was it hit so accurately? (As an artist you get to study and research cool stuff like this all the time)

And answer, I tried.

I just thought it was nifty how the positioning of vinyl collectibles targeted the 18-34 year old post – graduate market. This approach towards the consumer’s needs is, in my opinion, a fine example of consumer insight. By taking a product that was originally intended for kids thru teens and designing it with references to the pop culture a few decades past, the vinyl toy industry was able to reposition itself to reach a very powerful and very specialized target.

While the market is dominated by the 13–17 year old, the vinyl toy industry shares a considerable portion of 18-34 year old, middle income to affluent college graduates. This is from an industry that produces products with the age requirement of 6 and up. These statements alone might indicate that the share of older, more affluent consumer is more inclined to be of the parent or relative buying something for their teen variety (which, no doubt, happens quite often). However, when you look at the product itself – like a series of very stylized Star Wars, Atari and Political characters – you can see the position is something familiar to a previous generation.

The vinyl toy outlet has given the parents and uncles and married or unmarried and same sex couples, abstinent singles and sub culture, counter culture, main stream, yuppie, hippie, teacher, student, Jedi master, do-gooder, do-nothing –er, and hardened criminal alike an opportunity to relive the joy of just having cool stuff.

And to that I say, thank you.

– J. Hall

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