Children today spend more time viewing content than children who grew up in the early 90s. Today, children have the capability to view multiple screens and have an array of channels to choose from. They can choose which content to view and at what time. How the toy and gaming industry use these trends to grow brand and sales revenue will reveal the true winners in industries that each produce more than 20 billion dollars in revenue.
Just how big is each industry? The toy industry itself is a 20.4 billion dollar generator, growing 5% in 2016 according to NPC(Market Research). The Video Gaming industry is expected to reach 23.5 billion, just in the U.S. by the end of 2017. As you can see, both markets are full of opportunities, but learning how to reach the customer in a changing customer journey will become the best tool for success.
The Connected Kids Report, has collected data from 1995 to 2015, in order to create a comprehensive picture of media habits on boys and girls between the ages of 5-16.
Children are watching significantly more hours of content, especially with the older group of boys and girls in their teenage years. Teenage boys in particular spend the longest amount of time watching content, averaging 8 hours. In contrast, 8 year old girls averaged the least at 3.5 hours.
The biggest trend change comes from multi-screening and on demand services. Children in the 90s were connected to the media by magazines and television. This new generation is connected through different devices (mobile, tablet, and game consoles).
Multi-Screening: As children receive mobile devices at a younger age, it should comes as no surprise that they’ve learned to manage multiple screens. 60% of watch time comes from mobile device. However, this is only one device that can be streaming content simultaneously with other viewing platforms. It’s important to note that some screen time will be concurrent.
On Demand Services: Most children between the ages of 5-16 years of age will watch television via catch up services and YouTube. YouTube is the most popular on demand service with more than 1/2 of respondents accessing TV and video via the site since 2013. According to Google’s I/O 2017, nearly 1 billion people come to YouTube to watch videos every month. The YouTube app. is available on more than 1/2 billion smart TVs, game consoles, and streaming devices. On Demand TV viewing has significantly grown from 2015. In particular within the age group of 13- 19 year olds.
Understanding these new trends are vital for any company in the gaming and toy industry.
Publix has become a true Floridian staple. What other supermarket chain has 2.8 million Facebook followers? From a social media standpoint only Whole Foods came close with 4.2 million followers. However, Whole Foods has presence in 43 states while Publix only has distribution in the Southeast. This clearly showcases what happens when you not only deliver an extraordinary experience but you also create a unique culture that creates customer loyalty. The question now becomes, what is the next big thing for Publix? #FloridaStaple #whereshoppingisapleasure Publix Super Markets
I’ve always imagined a 6 year old as the perfect impulse buyer. When was the last time you walked into a store with a child and they did not ask “Can I get a toy”? However, the majority of toys are being sold online, or so that is the story data tells us. According to the Toy Association, the toy industry generates around 26.5 billion dollars. Amazon, takes the biggest share with 2.16 billion, followed by Walmart with 1.3 billion. Toys R Us came in third with 912 million.
How does Toys R Us compare to the toy industry? To put in perspective, Mattel’s American Girl brand brought in 570.8 million dollars in revenue for 2016, according to Mattel’s full year 2016 report, while Toys R Us brought in 912 million dollars in revenue. American Girl, was the third highest revenue generating brand for Mattel’s portfolio.
What did “Toys R Us” miss? Being digitally friendly and developing a unique culture that would create loyal customers. American Girl, has developed a culture that lures customers into their retail locations. Their stores are filled with a unique customer experience. In these stores you can enjoy a lunch (and bring your doll along)at the in store cafe. From a digital standpoint, American Girl has 14 applications, as of September of 2017, where you can play doll games, create music playlists, and use American Girl emojis.
Digitally Friendly: Toys R Us needs to understand the many touch points in the customer journey. Sephora’s V.P. of Digital Product, Lucinda Newcomb, mentioned during a Discover Growth Facebook Live event, that Sephora took a standpoint to always think about “What does she want to do with the experience”. Sephora has come up with innovative ideas that take place on the social media platform, from booking a beauty appointment, to trying on different shades of lipstick.
An interesting trend, according to the Connected Kids report, complied by market research Childwise, children 5 to 16 spend an average of 6.5 hours viewing on multiple screens, with teenage boys averaging the highest at 7.5 hours . The top viewing website since 2007, Youtube. Having exposure on this digital platform is imperative. The internet has empowered children to explore their own interests rather than being tied to content streaming on television. It would be interesting to see, how Toys R Us utilized YouTube and other digital platforms to execute their marketing strategy.
In Store Experience: This is simply an idea, on how Toys R Us could develop a loyal customer base. Most children between the ages of 2-9, will receive toys on two major events, Holidays and Birthdays. Had Toys R Us focused on capturing the Birthday experience and luring in an emotional connection with Geoffrey, the giraffe, and worked with vendors to display hot newly released toys for play time during birthdays, maybe parents would have been more inclined to purchase toys from Toys R Us rather than Amazon. However, the digital friendliness, is still a major pain point for the toy retailer.
However, we cannot assume that the retail store is not one of the many touch points in the customer journey. In marketing, its hard to identify the many vessels that impact the overall purchasing sales point.