Spielwarenmesse: Interview with Souza for Kids: Toys as an indikator of lifestyle

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Interview with Souza for Kids: Toys as an indikator of lifestyle

from Harald Hemmerlein

Toys and brands express the lifestyle of their target group. Also the retailers should address their customers’ lifestyles in a good ambiance. We spoke to Angeliek Clercx-de Jager, Souza for Kids – Phanine.

Spielwarenmesse®: Toys are increasingly an expression of different lifestyles as well. Can the target groups “parents” and “adult gift-givers” be segmented according to lifestyle type and which lifestyle is currently considered the mainstream?

Angeliek Clercx-de Jager: The feel good factor is very important. It is important that your child has a happy feeling, and that your child has a happy experience. They have to be able to express this for instance by wearing nice costumes, and that they have for instance their hair done with nice accessories,  you feel happy when you feel pretty. It is also important to have the right brands. Brands represent a certain lifestyle: quality and design. The experience is often more important than the actual possession of products.

Do you notice differences in the characteristics of different lifestyles when comparing countries?

Angeliek Clercx-de Jager: Yes we see a clear difference between the North and the South of Europe in spending for their children. Also the taste regarding colours is different.

How do toy retailers successfully address their customers’ lifestyles?

Angeliek Clercx-de Jager: Many toy retailers have not yet discovered this. There are still many old fashioned shops that look like a warehouse. Piles of boxes with stock, instead showing a good ambiance. However there is a trend to change this, shops have an interior that is designed to express a good atmosphere. And more and more retailers are organising events in their shops to attract people and influence them. For consumers the process of the actual buying is a very important experience and has to give them a very good feeling.

Toy design is evaluated very differently by children (the users) and grown-ups (the buyers) when it comes to functionality and aesthetics. A marketing challenge?

Angeliek Clercx-de Jager: Yes, children are most sensitive to the brand. They are sensitive for what their friends think about them. So therefore for them it is very important to have the right product of the right brand. Parents however will look more for a functional product and are more price sensitive; a B-brand might be good enough.

 

Author of this article:

Harald Hemmerlein

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