New Markets: Construction Sets Grapple with Marketing, New Audiences
By Pennie Hoover
April 1, 2003
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 Tower & Track
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.)
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.