Collector Product? Think Emotion First!
Updated: Aug 24, 2019
Okay. So you want to sell product to the collector market. Whether this is kid aimed or adult collector (i.e. Sheldon Cooper) their are a million ways you can offer form factors, characters, licensed product and novelty items. However, if you are not focused on approaching it with an emotional connection, you are not set up for success.
These days everyone and anyone is selling collector product. In fact, most of the major IP (intellectual property) owners are no longer licensing their characters under a traditional "master toy license" deal as they did in the 1980's and 90's (i.e. one toy company producing the only toys from one license, think vintage Kenner Star Wars).
Flash forward to today and you can get your Star Wars fix in any number of form factors and from any number of licensees. Whether you want traditional action figures from Hasbro, super deformed characters from Funko POP!, or you prefer your Star Wars in Plush or even Angry Bird form. Lucasfilm has licensed out Star Wars to a greater number of companies than ever. In fact, the licensing industry has even coined a term for this, "Splicening", meaning a license is divided up very narrowly between multiple manufactures.
This splice can be as thin as material type (80% die cast vs. 20% die cast) channel specific (Only sold at Barnes and Noble!) or territory specific (only available in Japan!) Unless of course you buy from Amazon which sells Japanese licensed toy to America and really throws a wrench in the whole territory thing, however, that is a subject for another blog for another day.
So with so many licensors splicening out their IP to so many companies how in the world do you get your collector product to stand out? Simple. Emotion first.
They key to winning over any kid or adult collector is to understand the "WHY" of their purchase. Unlike toy product that is designed to be played with (do kids even still play with toys anymore?) collector product has a very different emotional connection. Understanding and (dare I say it) inviting this emotional connection makes all the difference between success and failure.
What form factors to use, what materials and how to package are all important, however, if you do not have a deep emotional understanding connection as to why collectors are buying (or would want to buy) your product will basically sit on a store shelf not being collected but collecting dust.
Over the last 10 years I have seen too many companies producing product because they could, without (to paraphrase Ian Malcolm) thinking whether they should.
Are you Interested in learning more about what makes toy collectors different from any other consumer out there? Drop me a line anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to creating with you!
See you in the collector aisles!