August 20, 2012 at 9:25 am by Ted Mininni
Reintroducing a “retro” brand to the marketplace is cool – but only if it’s given a modern, relevant twist. Otherwise, forget it. I mean, good vibes from fond memories can take a brand only so far. Many of us have emotional ties to specific consumer products and brands from when we were kids, but they don’t mean much to today’s youth unless manufacturers up the ante. Get kids’ attention and make retro cool by pushing it to the next level, or don’t even waste your time. You need to capture the early adopters among the Gen X’ers and Y’ers and hope they find your retro brand cool, or pack it in.
Need inspiration? Check out what Hasbro has done with its classic Furby. The electronic, robotic toy pet was a phenom when introduced in 1998, selling 40 million units in three years’ time. Hasbro knew it could be a winner again among its former fans, but today’s kids? Not so much. So why not make the new generation of Furbys Day-glo and add eyes that are really LCDs that can be altered to the current mood, or even display cool graphics like rainbows?
And what would a modern Furby be without its own Apple app that works with iPods, iPads and iPhones? Owners can feed their favorite music into the Furby, which might dance or use their iOS device to translate Furbish, aka Furby speak. These Furbys weren’t born in 1998 but in 2012; a new generation of pets for a new generation of consumers.
Artificial intelligence has been pushing the boundaries and coming up big in so many consumer products, why not a Furby for $60 bucks? A pet that’s highly interactive but doesn’t need feeding (in the conventional sense) or a trip to the vet? I’m there.
Agree or disagree?
What are your thoughts?
Categories:Licensing, Consumer Products, Marketing to Kids, Marketing Thought Leadership, Sustainability