Last October, kids and adults alike faced a devastating loss: Toys R Us.
Though big box retailers tried to pick up the toy slack, Toys R Us recently decided to make its grand return. Two stores will open in 2019 and more are planned for 2020.
With a reopening comes an effort to reinvent this once-iconic brand. Toys R Us has already made huge strides in their rebranding process that are successfully elevating the anticipation of their opening.
Get The Word Out
Toys R Us coming back is monumental, and the company is making sure everyone knows about it. A press release announcing their comeback is making its rounds on the internet, including viral news outlets like CNN, Fox Business, Yahoo, CNBC and Buzzfeed News.
Richard Barry, CEO of Tru Kids Brand, the parent company of Toys R Us, pitched the rebranding of the company at an undisclosed conference in Las Vegas. He needed to make sure that the corporate giants of the toy industry were aware of Toys R Us’ big comeback.
A successful brand relaunch doesn’t happen if nobody knows about it. A press release is the first logical step in spreading the news about an exciting change in your company, and backing it up with other initiatives, such as a pitch, lets out the word of your rebrand.
Include An Upgrade
Toys R Us stores aren’t just rebranding, they’re upgrading. Though the stores will only be approximately 1/3 of the old stores’ size, they’ll involve an interactive and experiential adventure.
The rebrand involves a partnership with b8ta, a company renowned for their concept of retail as a service, stepping away from the warehouse feeling of traditional stores. The new stores will be a place to try out toys and the majority of Toys R Us’ profit will come from vendors advertising in the store.
Upgrading while rebranding is a tactic to create more hype around your initiative. Former customers will be more inclined to visit your business or buy your product if they know that it has changed in an exciting and new way.
Gain And Utilize Third-Party Support
Nothing is more important than third-party support. Following Barry’s conference pitch, Isaac Larian, CEO of MGA Entertainment Inc., gave his approval to the rebranding and reopening of Toys R Us, “I hope they’re successful. There is a need for an independent toy chain in the U.S..”
On top of partnering with b8ta, CEO Vibhu Norby has showed overwhelming support.
We've been waiting to share this for a long time...I'm proud to announce that we've partnered and entered into a joint venture with Tru Kids to bring Toys R Us stores back to the US this year— Vibhu Norby (@vibhu) July 18, 2019
Read here for more info from b8ta on our exciting news: https://t.co/9sTcvJYh1g https://t.co/hMwSkrCdVN
He was also quoted in TimeOut saying, “The new Toys R Us will be the most progressive and advanced store in its category in the world, and we hope to surprise and delight kids for generations to come.”
Third-party credibility is an effective way of flaunting your rebranding efforts. It’s one thing for a company to be excited about its own efforts, but when others unrelated to the process are advocating for the brand, consumers know this is something to be excited about.
Keep Nostalgic Favorites
Though the Toys R Us rebrand is bringing in a lot of changes, the company has decided to keep around old favorites.
Most notably is the grand return of Geoffrey the Giraffe. Toys R Us made sure their mascot will have his own interactive section in the store. Tru Kids Brands tried to keep Geoffrey alive by teaming up with the U.S. grocer Kroger to set up “Geoffrey’s Toy Box” during the closing. However, the hype of Geoffrey’s return is only getting bigger as he threw the first pitch at a Blue Jays game earlier this week.
HIGHLIGHT: Geoffrey the Giraffe's 1st pitch— Blue Jays PBP (@BlueJaysPBP) July 25, 2019
Geoffrey the Giraffe impresses in Toronto with a stellar first pitch before the Blue Jays take on the Indians
People love feeling nostalgic. Food, toys, stores, mascots and more from their childhood provoke them to want to relive the memories. When they have their own children, it attracts them even more because they want their kids to experience what they already did. Keeping the small factors that people love charms them into returning to your business or buying your product.
Toys R Us’ efforts to rebrand have successfully raised excitement for their reopening. Seeing how devastated everyone was upon the company’s close, it’s no surprise that there’s a great deal of excitement for them to return.
The lesson their efforts teach us is the act of going above and beyond. The reopening would have been exciting without publicizing in the news, upgrading the stores, gaining support and keeping small factors of nostalgia.
Gear up for November; Toys R Us is coming back and aims to be better than ever.
Kyra Beckish is a Marketing Associate at Flackable, a national, full-service public relations agency headquartered in Philadelphia. To learn more about Flackable, please visit www.flackable.com.