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Building New Markets: Construction Sets Grapple with Marketing, New Audiences
By Pennie Hoover
April 1, 2003


Rokenbok Tower & Track
Manufacturers of construction sets are building up sales by looking at new markets, while enlarging their targeted consumer base. By increasing venues and using hands-on point-of-sale displays, the world of construction sets has been developing new strategies to keep growing.

Rokenbok, a construction toy manufacturer, hit the market in 1996 and has experienced notable success with its hands-on store displays. “Six-to eight-year old boys want to feel powerful,” said Rokenbok Marketing Manager Christine Norris. According to Norris, the company wants kids to tactilely experience pushing barrels, dumping balls or scooping dirt.

Norris said the focus of the company is on modular add-ons, so each new purchase adds value to the existing set. This strategy keeps customers playing with Rokenbok into the Tween years. In a year when construction set sales are down slightly at 6%, Rokenbok has had its best year yet in 2002.

K'NEX Mech Wariors

Kate Stec, Manager of Marketing Communication at construction toy manufacturer, K’NEX, said aisle flip charts and mini-poster take-aways have been effective in building up sales. K’NEX has success with mall tours, with the hope that--like samples at a bakery--once you taste it, you have got to have one. K’NEX continues to grow, with brand sales up 22% in 2002. (Cont.)


Writer's Bio: Pennie, a graduate of Indiana University School of Journalism, is a freelance writer and lives with her husband and three children in Visalia, CA.


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