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hin Kids Wear’s strategies to build relationships with children

A recent trend observed in marketing is the use of non-conventional media to target specific customer groups. Bangalore-based Dolphin Kids Wear, a new entrant into the Indian children’s wear market, plans to embark upon innovative and attractive initiatives to build brand recall and brand loyalty amongst its target consumer group. The brand offers high quality and fashionable apparel at reasonable prices.

Today, children are demanding and have become influential decision makers in their families. Therefore, Dolphin believes that undertaking initiatives that make children loyal to their brand is a more effective method than using conventional advertising media, which is typically targeted at parents. Selected initiatives that Dolphin plans to undertake include -

Building a play area within its stores - Dolphin plans to build a play area for children within its stores. The play area will function as an interactive space rather than simply a playground. Though it will have the conventional slides, see saws and swings, Dolphin plans to utilise this place to stage drama performances, conduct book reading sessions and organise bond building games for its regular customers. The company also plans to hold magic shows, face painting and balloon-making sessions as promotional events. Dolphin feels that by having a range of entertainment options within the store, the shopping experience will be more memorable and exciting for its target customers—the children!

Participating in school events - The company is planning to organise, sponsor or participate in school events (such as inter-school and intra-school events) and other children’s events to generate brand awareness. Dolphin believes that school events and inter-school competitions bring out the best characteristics in children, such as cooperation, healthy competition, strategising and most importantly the desire to play. The company feels that by being involved in such activities, it lends its support to children’s growth and at the same times manages to make its core market aware of its brand and more importantly brand values.

Organising a Christmas fashion show - In December 2009, Dolphin plans to formally launch its stores and to that end they are organising a Christmas fashion show for children. The event will involve auditions and 30 children (20 girls and 10 boys) will be chosen for the final show. The show will be professionally choreographed and the children will be attended to by professional fitters, make-up artists, and hairdressers. Dolphin chose to do a fashion show since it will be a confidence-building event for children that enable them to voice their opinion on their own personal style. The company feels that the show will be a successful marketing event since it will be an opportunity for Dolphin to present its winter collection to the participating audience. This will provide the company immediate feedback on their apparel range and help in improving upcoming ranges.

Providing in-store entertainment services - The company realised that when parents bring children out shopping, they get bored easily and ask to leave. Making shopping fun for them will ensure that they buy more and visit often. Based on children’s genetic psychology and preferences based on casual analysis, Dolphin plans to provide in-store entertainment opportunities, such as -

Case in point 7 - Dolp

Embarking upon initiatives to build both the brand and relationships with target consumers

Factors for success

  • Designing and executing non- conventional marketing initiatives that appeal to children

  • The brand’s value proposition of offering fashionable children’s apparel at reasonable prices

  • A hair dresser and a makeup artist for giving free makeovers to girls

  • A videogame console for boys

Through these initiatives, strong personal relationships with children and word-of-mouth publicity, Dolphin hopes to -

  • Create memorable shopping experiences for children

  • Increase footfalls

  • Drive sales

  • Heighten brand awareness

(Source: Primary research interview with Dolphin Kids Wear)

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