As Christmas time is upon us, the idea of starting a toy company seems like a pretty lucrative entrepreneurial endeavor. Especially when you consider the sheer number of people who are actively buying toys during the holiday and throughout the year for birthdays, this could be a major cash cow, and something worth considering venturing into. However, designing and developing a toy company is a tricky business, which is why we’re giving you a few helpful tips to consider. Check them out below:
Look At Current Industry Trends
Although entering the toy business seems like an interesting venture, it’s also one that’s widely shifting. While in years past the industry has often been inventing items that are at a low cost to make but could be sold at a high enough margin with the right marketing push and product idea. This has changed dramatically because the toy industry has declined in overall sales by 0.8 percent in the past five years. There are a few factors to consider with this trend: not only have smartphones and tablets replaced a lot of traditional toys in exchange for apps, but the types of toys people have buying has shifted as well. And if you’re going to be launching a new toy company, it’d be wise to consider how to formulate your business around industry trends.
Granted, assessing the “need” of toys can be difficult, especially since it’s a market where you need to have a toy that will impress the audience and is different than anything they’ve seen. This lends itself to a few different options regarding your business structure, as it doesn’t necessarily have to be just a singular item, but rather a multitude of features under one roof. For example, the toy store Jizels is creating custom adult toys, all available online.
Know Where Your Market Need Stands
As you look to establish a market need, the first thing you need to consider is why your toy is going to shine above the rest, as well as be something that others will gravitate towards. According to Entrepreneur, 42 percent of businesses fail due to no market need, which in the toy industry, could mean an array of things. Especially with how inventive you have to be when creating a toy, thinking of need is probably going to be one of the biggest hurdles you’ll face with this project. However, that’s why you need to take the approach of what you can bring to someone’s life that either teaches them something or is incredibly engaging.
Jot down a few concepts you think your strong suit would be for toy design. Is it educational? If so, what type of subject does it teach (geometry, geography, math)? A lot of this practice is a science in itself, creating something that makes learning not only fun but something you don’t even recognize as an educational activity. If the toy isn’t educational, then another helpful point is that it should be something so engaging that even you, as an adult, would find yourself being able to spend hours on it. All-in-all, as the core foundation of your offerings, take your time in making something that you’d enjoy having in your home long-term.
Come Up With A Cohesive Brand
With a toy established, it’s time to start thinking about your going to brand this thing. Considering that this is the image that’ll be the most strongly associated with your toy or lineup of toys, it’s important to create something that will resonate with your audience and stick with them as a fun, playful brand. A big part of creating this is breaking down the different aspects that compile into a brand, such as color, typefaces, and symbolism; for example, by utilizing loose but broad brush-like strokes with a happy face underneath, Hasbro has a logo that showcases both creativity and fun. Yes, diving into the details on items like this will be crucial, which all starts with your core offering.
In circling back to what you offer, ask yourself what type of personality your lineup of toys has, as well as how you’d showcase that. This needs to be designed in a way with repetition in mind, ingraining this imagery in someone’s brain; for example, as noted by Ragan, color increases brand recognition by 80 percent, which goes to show how much these factors make a difference when our brand is out in the wild. Furthermore, your brand should be able to stand out amongst the crowd, giving people an understanding of what type of toys you sell before they even inquire. While this all might seem a little overwhelming at first, remember that through development over time your brand will be something that you’ll feel in your gut, so be patient with your approach until the feeling’s right.
Get Efficient With Your Digital Marketing
Finally, with a brand in place, it’s time to start letting the world know that you exist, which digital marketing will be one of the most efficient methods for doing so. As one of the cheapest mediums to advertise on, not only will this be a great place to see a quantifiable ROI, but also where you can gain feedback and develop an audience based around your toys. Especially when you consider the number of young people who are on social media now, it’s a wise strategy to get hip to, as something you’re going to want to consider as you’re looking to push your product.
A big part of your digital marketing plans will be dependent upon what type of base you’re looking to build, as well as where that audience lives. For example, if your toy is based more for younger people in their teens, then aiming towards Snapchat or Instagram might not be a bad first suggestion because as noted by Pew Research, 71 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds are on Instagram, with the common trend of younger generations going for more of these personalized social media platforms. Creating a base on a platform like Instagram is going to take a foundation, which is why going with an agency like Social Gone Viral can be smart. They give you genuine engagement based around what your current marketing goals are. Brainstorm what your ideal pipeline is for an audience to start producing content and engaging with your base, giving your toy company a foundation to build off for a long, long time.
What are some strategies you’d like to implement for starting a toy company? Comment with your insights below!