In business, you make money if your target market likes what you’re selling them. What happens, then, if your target market stops buying your product because of new competition? You innovate. But first, you discreetly try to hide your fear and make no comments about your business.
Ah, times have absolutely changed. Children of today wear more make-up and fewer clothes than the children of yesterday. Also, children of today are more prone to purchasing expensive items which promise “minimalism”. Oh.
Back in the old days when I was just content upon receiving a Barbie doll, kids today want more complicated (read: expensive) gadgets and devices as their Christmas gifts.
They aren’t even going to be satisfied with the good old-fashioned (read: cheap) smart phones that can perform decent applications – no, they want the big guys. They want an iPad, a Nintendo Wii, an iPad Touch and an iPad Mini, among others. Woah, talk about a tough crowd composed of Apple fan boys and fan girls.
I’m not even talking about teenagers here: the children surveyed were aged 6 to 12. Can you imagine buying your little first-grader an iPad for Christmas? How about your tiny second-grader, can she even hold an iPad properly? Would you risk your high-earned money by buying a hugely expensive gadget and giving it to your youngsters haphazardly?
Because of this phenomenon wherein the children of America have all been converted by Apple into a flock of “iSheep”, the parents and guardians of today’s generation have been turned into “iPoor”. And now, the parents and guardians of these “iSheep” kids aren’t the only one threatening to go into bankruptcy.
It seems like major toy manufacturers Mattel and Hasbro are said to be excessively worried about the major turn of events. I can only imagine their agony: imagine being suddenly rejected by someone whom you thought would be your love of your life for all eternity.
Imagine being looked down upon by someone who used to be your greatest fans.
Imagine being less wealthy. The horror!
In all seriousness, though, Sean McGowan, the managing director of equity research at Needham & Company told the Financial Times that “The top two guys, Mattel and Hasbro, are terrified.” However, in order to be able to get rid of the risk of being sued, he added, “They should be terrified, but the official party line is they’re not terrified”.
Of course, no word expressing anxiety has been disclosed by the top two aforementioned companies as of yet.
Another factor to influence the companies’ anxiety can be attributed to the fact that Mattel’s top-grossing product was a plastic cell phone case. It wasn’t a traditional toy or an informative device, it was a plastic cell phone case. This implies that the sales of this company can therefore be dictated by the sales of the high-tech gift companies. This spells bad news since a business should be stand-alone – depend on another company and you’re bound to get sucked in.
Financial Times adds another pressing burden to Mattel and Hasbro by stating that kids nowadays spend more time with technology devices because they can watch free content and play free games unlimitedly.
Did you buy your kid an iPad Mini this Christmas?