Toys should be about fun. It seems like common sense, but 10 years ago it was actually an unconventional idea.
I spent five years at baby toy and products manufacturer Kids II, Inc. and the focus —not only in our office but throughout the industry — was on infant development. Toys that would make babies smarter, toys that would fine tune senses and motor skills.
Kids II had launched their Bright Starts brand based on that template: pastel, “baby” colored packages featuring developmental tips from a well-known pediatrician. But neither initial sales nor buyer feedback were encouraging and company management decided quickly that we needed to go back to square one.
As head of marketing/communications, the rebranding project came to me. Our group focused in on a few things quickly: that “fun” was missing from the marketing of baby toys, that we had become disconnected from our target parents, that there was a lot of room in the baby aisle for bright, bold colors.
Though I did not personally design any of the elements that became iconic to the new Bright Starts brand (we had an immensely talented design agency for that), I wrote much of the positioning, handled the bulk of the creative direction and worked closely with our packaging group to solve technical issues that might arise in production.
The project was a success and the brighter, poppier image helped Bright Starts branch into new categories and claim a larger share of the shelved. And even a decade after we relaunched the brand, it doesn’t look much different.