Strategic partnership on children’s concepts

Company House A/S and Ibsens Fabrikker A/S enters a strategic cooperation that will reach even in children’s rooms. Danish companies now get a unique opportunity to have unique and strong loyalty programs for children and their families developed.

Sometimes things happen, and you wonder whey they did not happen earlier. In Lejre near Roskilde lies Company House A/S, which for years has supplied loyalty programs and children concepts to a large number of major danish companies. In Pandrup in North Jutland lies Ibsens Fabrikker A/S, which in roughly the same period have supplied mascots (costumes) and plush toys to even more Danish companies. But it is not until now that the two companies have come together in a strategic cooperation that will lead to even more benefits for companies wishing to target their marketing towards young customers and their families.

The best of two worlds
Company House A/S has specialized in building viable universes around existing or newly-developed characters, which companies can use in their marketing. Among other things they have developed small books in which the different universes were presented through short stories illustrated by a number of the best cartoonists in Denmark. Company House has also produced a wide range of merchandise – everything from lunchboxes and pens to clothes, toys and figures from the universes.

Ibsens Fabrikker A/S specializes in producing mascots and stuffed toys in various shapes and materials – large and small in both plush and fiberglass and inflatable mascots. They have also developed, designed and produced many of the great mascots appearing at sporting events, fairs, business openings, concerts, etc.

It’s all in one place
The new strategic cooperation means that theme parks, resorts and other businesses in need of targeted marketing at children need go only one place, when they initiate their new concept or need some inspiration for their existing universe.

With the new partnership, companies will be offered everything from advice on marketing to children and concept to characters and stories of great mascots and a wide range of merchandise as hats, keychains, piggy banks and lunchboxes etc., all produced in one place. Today it is very common that you deal with up to three or four different suppliers when starting a children’s concept. This is both expensive and tiresome. With the new partnership between the Company House and Ibsens Fabrikker A/S you should only call once – and this naturally ensures that both characters and story is under control – not least concerning quality and economy.

Win-win – now in plush
Lars Moller Bengsten says: “I have obviously seen my share of cute drawings and beautiful mascots, but I really connected to my inner child, when I visited Peter for the first time. I was not for a second in doubt that I was facing something completely unique. He and his people have a very special ability to create figures with life. Apart from a lot of technical finesse, they are just insanely talented at creating the right expression on the individual characters – something I better than most people know can be very hard. I am therefore delighted about our new partnership, which I am sure will benefit both us and Ibsens Fabrikker A/S – and all our new and existing customers.”

Peter Ibsen is equally enthusiastic. “I know that we are among the best at developing and producing the figures that we do – otherwise our mascots and teddy bears would not be distributed over most of the country and parts of the world, but until now we have not excelled in the storytelling, that Company House is so great at. So I have no doubt that together we can accomplish great things. Because we all know that no matter how cute or cheeky a character is, it’s the personality that the kids get excited about – and makes the character last for a long time. The children must somehow get acqainted with the character – and Company House know this. They have made this part an effective discipline, which is already proven to work.”

Soft values – quite literally
When you talk about marketing to children, it is far from a new invention to use cute, funny characters to create awareness and loyalty. But too often we see a character with no idea and depth, which do not have potential to develop. With this new collaboration between Ibsens Fabrikker A/S and Company House A/S there is rich opportunity to develop viable characters and universes that the company can use and benefit from for many years. Of course, it is in general not completely free to develop and produce figures and merchandise, but there are many good examples of this being a very good investment, if done correctly. And because everything is now in one place, there is every opportunity to optimize your effort – both in terms of hours, effect and economy.

1. September 2010