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Expert Marketer Brooke Safford Discusses Top Toy Marketing Trends

SARASOTA, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, July 26, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Many people think that all kinds of marketing are essentially the same. They believe it doesn't matter whether you're marketing a new car or a new food brand, for instance. In reality, marketing has to be done in a way that is specific to the item, not in the least because the target demographic for the said item will differ each time. Brooke Safford is an expert marketer who offers his services to a range of industries. Here, he explains the importance of getting marketing for toys right, a field that he believes is the most complex of all.

Why Toy Marketing Is So Complex, According to Brooke Safford

The most difficult element of marketing toys is the demographic. Children are still in their development stage and their interests have not yet been shaped largely by media. At the same time, children do not buy their own toys. That is something done for them by their primary caregivers. Thus, when you are marketing toys, you need to demonstrate to parents that your toy is something that their children would want, and that is hard to get right.

Safford has recently returned from the North American International Toy Fair. Here, he focused on gaining diverse insights on how gift and toy marketing is likely to develop across 2018. He is fascinated by some of the new trends, and also by the marketing innovations that have occurred.

Brooke Safford Explains Key Marketing Findings

The first thing Safford has noticed is that there has been a shift in brands. For many years, the established brands dominated the market and smaller manufacturers would simply copy what they did. Brooke Safford notes that there have major changes with regards to this. The focus now is no longer on the brands, but rather on the psychology of play, whether major studios have licensed the toys, and on Hatchimals, which is turning into a global craze.

In the category of construction toys, which has always been one of the biggest categories, Safford predicts a 3% decline in interest. Over the past three years, this category has always grown, so this is quite a shock. When Star Wars Episode VIII: The First Jedi came out, LEGO, in particular, saw a huge rebound, however. At the same time, this demonstrates that new players could perhaps get their foot in the market.

Safford also looked at the new mediums of construction, which are of particular importance in toy marketing. Strawbees are incredibly popular despite the fact that they are so simple. Made in Sweden, the brand encourages children to find common items in their household, creating fun ways of building. Strawbees is about inspiring creativity in children and teaches them that the building blocks of becoming an adult are construction toys. Specifically, it teaches children to solve problems and using things they already have.

Then, there are the Pushinz. These are toys that have redefined the way blocks come together, poking its lacquered material, not unlike foam, from the top instead of from within. What this means is that children no longer require a base, nor are they confined to sticking things to purpose-built boards. Instead, the toys can be stuck on anything, from the bathtub to the refrigerator.

Out of all new toys, the Roller Coaster Challenge saw the biggest growth, at 18%. This toy is about building roller coasters, thus encouraging children to practice their spacial awareness to solve complex challenges. They learn how to design specific shapes in order to get across obstacles.

There were many other interesting developments as well. Brooke Safford noticed an 18% increase in interest in puzzles and games. The Soggy Doggy by Spin Master was a clear winner, teaching children action and reaction and skills. It is a game that has been advertised on TV quite strongly, focusing on the cuteness factor. It is very easy to play with, making it particularly suitable for the very young. Of interest is the fact that the toy builds excitement while being a lot of fun as well.

Meanwhile, there was a 5% decrease in interest in arts and crafts. However, Crayola's Fashion Super Star, which is a type of physical-digital toy, did do very well. This demonstrates that children now look for ways to combine the digital with the physical, which is a logical development in today's society.

Finally, Brooke Safford explains that marketers need to keep their eye on miscellaneous toys. 2017 was all about the fidget spinner, the year before that was about the revival of the Rubik's Cube, and the year before that, Loom Bands were all the rage.

Adam Petrilli
Web Presence LLC
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