Neo-surprise

KINDERsurprise

Recently, Kinder created a small revolution by announcing a brand new concept of surprises designed for his famous eggs. 5 years of research for more than 100 millions eggs per year sold in the world… Better not to make mistakes! ‘Infinix’ is the name given to this innovation that should change the life of numerous kids: a smart system of wheel with notches, at the heart of toy, allowing kids to compose countless shapes. These modules will be offered in the eggs according to specific themes: ‘jungle planet’, ‘sweet puppies’ to start with…

To surf on the wave of construction games and thematic worlds was the good idea for sure, as it fits with the upcoming trend how children (boys and girls alike) are playing now. Kinder must have coveted Lego or PlayMobil… More surprising is their decision to go against the well-established licensed toy strategy (especially the one linked to cinema blockbusters) that the brand has been successfully following for years. Undoubtedly Kinder has the intention to develop its own range and hope to overtake the popularity of the Smurf or the Princess of Disney… A challenge for sure… but there is no small ambitions…

As often, when it comes to apparent anecdotic facts, the creation of ‘surprises to assemble’ also reflects who we are, and which time we are living in. Yesterday, Kinder was suggesting to kids to collect figurines. Today, Kinder invites them to create by themselves… And here comes the ‘stakeholder’ child, joining the community of ‘stakeholder’ consumers, ‘stakeholder’ citizens, ‘stakeholder’ neighbors, ‘stakeholder’ pensioners…

The new Kinder Surprise finally confirms that entertainment needs to go with education today. To collect is good. To craft is better. You are now warned. Forth you know how to spend your leisure time this summer!

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The power of relationship

Force relationnelle

When Starbucks arrived in countries with a strong local coffee tradition (like France), it was hard to believe that the American brand could find its place. If bars and ‘bistrots’ are standing still, some of them have been able to transform themselves, attract a new target audience (younger), and live a second life. Within this evolving landscape, despite its expensive location strategy in large cities, Starbucks seems to have found a role to play, between ‘landmark’ for lonely tourists, and ‘urban oasis’ for a generation raised with American TV series.

Starbucks has also been able to play the card of new technologies, a way to mark its difference from the classic ‘bar of friends’ and assert its position of digital pioneer. From a ‘coffee retailer’, the brand has become a company at the forefront of customer relationship technology. Free wifi, power chargers, exchange platform with customers, electronic loyalty card, electronic wallet, online order and payment… all together comes to make the consumer experience richer and the community experience stronger… so as to demonstrate a new way to market…

Because, in this case, each technological innovation is an answer first to a potential source of micro-stress. To be almost out-of-power and have no immediate means of recharging a smartphone, to be in hurry and expect to quickly grab a coffee without queuing, to be able to access immediately to internet and download a document… those are relevant motivations to also enter in a Starbucks that are very different from enjoying a moment together around a coffee.

By bringing customers in its shops for other reasons than the ones more directly associated with its core business, Starbucks reminds us that the power of relationship of a Brand is today fully part of its identity. Therefore, brands need to pay as much careful attention to their customer relationship as to their product offer design…

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