The outbreak of Covid-19 has had a profound effect on everyday life. Lockdown measures are in place in many countries and people are spending more time than ever at home. The virus has also had a huge impact on many businesses around the world.
And, while the NPD Group and the likes of John Lewis, have been reporting increased demand for certain categories of toys and games (i.e. outdoor toys, board games, puzzles, construction toys, arts and crafts, to name a few), companies in the toy industry have been working hard to maintain some level of operation to ensure the supply of these sought-after products. Some of these companies have not only been successful in meeting this demand, but they have also helped to support frontline workers with PPE, and kept families entertained with creative resources made freely available.
Zuru is one of the fantastic toy companies that has been busy over the last couple of months, responding to this surge in demand for certain toy categories, all while continuing to deliver on its commitment to environmental social responsibility.
Renee Lee, VP of Global Marketing at Zuru, spoke to TNP.MEDIA about the products that were proving particularly popular during lockdown. She also discussed how the team has revised its marketing strategy to ensure that it is relevant in the current circumstances. And keep reading until the end to find out what’s in the pipeline for the remainder of the year!
Have you seen an increase in demand for your products as families look for ways to both keep kids entertained but also educated during lockdown?
We have seen increased demand particularly in our construction and outdoor toy categories. We expect this demand to remain and for consumers to be hunting for more value driven, lower price point toys heading into Q3 and Q4, which our lines definitely support.
Have you adapted your marketing strategy in light of the outbreak? If so, how has it changed?
Our largest campaign that was launching was for Bunch O Balloons. For this brand we completed revised our campaign message to be more relevant for today’s current state. Previously, our campaign was centred around ‘Unleashing Fun in your Neighbourhood’. We revised the campaign to focus on fun with your family in your own backyard/garden. This will be launching shortly. We are also looking to help parents where possible and have created a list of ‘Backyard Ideas’ with Bunch O Balloons that can be found here.
Additionally, for our digital marketing, we shifted our efforts to drive more e-commerce sales. We recognise that families have been asked to stay indoors, so online shopping should remain popular – as we have seen in the past few weeks! We are working with our partners to offer as many online packages as possible and keep things in stock, so parents have access to entertaining products for their kids while at home. This has been in place across our entire portfolio.
Have you got any upcoming launches? If so, what’s in the pipeline?
Yes, summer 2020 and Q3 and Q4 includes extensions to our 5 Surprise collectable capsules with the UK launch of Mini Brands. This has already been a massive success in the US market where we experienced a sell-out in various outlets and saw it go viral following a launch across TikTok.
In addition, we will be adding to our existing Dino Strike and Unicorn themes. And there will be a new brand pre-launch at the end of the year.
Fifi the Flossing Sloth will also be a focus for us which proved a hit during this year’s Toy Fair season and joins our Pets Alive range with the likes of last year’s hit Boppi the Booty Shakin Llama.
Rainbocorns series 3 arrives in July and we will be adding to the range with a selection of brand lines throughout the second half of the year. Both of our previous Rainbocorns series have achieved Plush Toy of the Year status so we have high hopes for our new Wild Heart Surprise lines.
Smashers Dino Epic Egg evolves with a new Ice Age theme, and we’ve a really exciting new girls collectables range – Itty Bitty Prettys – which brings innovation to mystery toys with a tea party theme.