What do you do when you’re challenged to take a line of toys currently licensed by multimedia powerhouse Parents magazine and rebrand it without the Parents name and with a $0 advertising budget? You capitalize on shelf space, mobilize moms and ignite the power of social media.
B.’s message to the children of the world is simple: Be yourself. Quotes from children that epitomized kids being themselves became an icon and a rallying cry all in one.
Every toy came packaged with a little booklet of children’s quotes and an invitation for parents to share their own kids’ quotes on the B. site.
A ”Quote Maker” on the website let moms create gorgeously designed, branded pieces of art from their kids’ quotes. The quotes instantly became part of the B. Quote Gallery on the site, and could be shared across social media or printed for gifts.
Submitted quotes were used to create subsequent volumes of the B. quote booklet to go in packages. It truly became of brand for kids, by kids.
With no media budget, we knew the logo, brand identity and packaging had to stop traffic and communicate the funky, independent nature of this brand in a nanosecond. Innovative packaging was recyclable, reusable and some even reversed to become giftwrap.
This new toy brand, with unique packaging, weird names and funny copy, respected the sophistication and taste of parents today. And parents responded.
Writing on the boxes, the instructions, even down to the recycling message and battery information became witty conversations with moms. When we started seeing our copy (even legal copy) transcribed on blogs, we knew we had their attention.
10¢ for every toy purchased went to Free The Children to help kids who never dreamed of getting an education go to school. We were sure to let parents know it was them who made this possible.
The website had to be as fun as the toys themselves. A fantastical world created from B. toys and recycled press proofs was at once gorgeous and engaging. The toy pages let users actually spin the toys ‘round and ’round. The Quote Gallery provided user-generated content every day and created a connection between the brand, the packages and social media.
A blog authored by Chief Toymaker Gisela Voss gave a behind-the-scenes peek.
Engaging with moms, as moms, supported a cult-like following for the brand. Parents shared birthday photos, Santa’s Christmas Eve work and videos of 1st steps, 1st days of school and impromptu rock bands featuring B. toys. It was one B.ig, happy family.
And these moms weren’t just buying one B. toy. They were buying the whole line. And gifting them. And sharing the brand with their friends like it was their baby.
A onesie giveaway on B.’s first birthday garnered 14,000 new fans to our FB page in 6 hours and spread our message across the bellies of the cutest spokespeople (droolpeople?) found anywhere.
A PR and blogger outreach program connected us to targeted and curated media outlets and bloggers. We developed like-minded brands for cross promotions.
Every piece of communication from B. came from the same beautiful, quirky, never-taking-itself-too-seriously place.
B. toys launched in January 2010. In its first month sales matched those of the previous year (when they were marketed under the Parents magazine brand name.) By the following year sales were up 30%. Pretty good for a homespun brand with no marketing budget.