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Vinyl Toys and the “Sweet Spot” (pt. 2)

April 22, 2010

To follow up with Tuesday’s post… More about toys.

With slogans like “Made Form 100% Recycled Awesome”, we can see the hook, the consumers emotional connection. And the hook is some people (not all, but some) just want to own a piece of “awesome” (the fact that the awesome is recycled is just an environmentally friendly, carbon aware bonus). It is easy to imagine a grown adult being attracted to a toy that smaller children wouldn’t identify with, because I am just such an adult.

True Story:

My son just celebrated his 4th birthday. As a gift, my now 4 -year old bundle of awesome, received a Hasbro© Mighty Mugg. It was black symbiote suited Spider-Man. Do you know what my son said as he opened this gift? He said “Look Dad, someone got you a present too.”

With advertising limited to internet and magazine ads, with little-to-no television ads the vinyl toy industry is still able to reach the affluent market they have targeted.

By looking at the success of this particular example of consumer insight, we can learn that perhaps an unorthodox approach (see example) to product design can open and expand your consumer base but more importantly shift your focus to a potentially unseen and previously unmet need of your consumer. Because that’s what consumer insight is, and that is why it is so rewarding when it works.

Example: Unorthodox approach like making an effigy of that crazy guy from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the one that pulls the hearts out of the chests of virgins – Mola Ram – complete with maniacal expression and a proportionate vinyl heart in hand.

In this case, it’s the understanding of the MTV generations – adult condition.  It is capitalizing on one’s desire to have interesting items that proclaim their individuality and assist in the war against becoming un-cool.  Give them something they didn’t even know they wanted. Make the customer introduction a process that they have to initiate, meaning you don’t flood the media with your presence, instead let the consumer seek you and when they do find you make sure they are happily saturated in cool stuff. That’s not a way to reach the biggest market, but it is a loyal (easily addicted) market. That is reposition and marketing-mix sensibility, at its finest. That is the coveted sweet spot.

For more vinyl goodness check some of these out.

Mola Ram collector page

Kidrobot designer toys

Fugitive Toys

– J. Hall

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