You’ve heard the saying “evolve or die”, well it couldn’t be more true. If you are a business you can’t continue to do things the same way year after year because you’ve always done it that way. No one cares what you want or what makes you comfortable, if you don’t put your customers front and center you won’t have a business to run.

Take Toys R’ Us for example, the company just declared bankruptcy which has taken a lot of us (ok, me) by surprise. I don’t have kids, so I haven’t kept up with the retailer as I have no need to buy toys…besides checking out the latest in Star Wars action figures. So…the news came as a surprise to me until I started reading the reasons behind it.

  1. The company was resistant to e-commerce. To this I say, know your audience. If I was a mom, there is no way in hell I am bringing my kid into a toy store when I can easily order it online and avoid the inevitable temper tantrum.
  2. All of your competitors are in the digital space, refusing to compete is just idiotic. If you want to compete with Amazon, Target, Walmart, etc. then you have to be in the space they are in.
  3. Brick and mortar is becoming extinct, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for it but it can’t be the only facet of your business.
  4. If your audience is moms or young familes then you need to consider their lifestyle, buying patterns – you know do the market research.
  5. A quick look at the company’s social media revealed that there are a lot of rogue Facebook pages out there. It would appear there is no company wide policy for individual stores. On top of that, several posts all publish at once, there is no strategy around it. On September 15th, 3 posts went live at 9:00 a.m. – how the hell does that make sense?

The company had so much opportunity to get it right. I mean you are a TOY STORE, what could be more fun to market? I’m talking video, charity outreach, Facebook live, Instagram, Pinterest, influencer outreach, celebrity endorsements…the jingle “I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys R’ Us kid…” still plays in my head.

Toys R’ Us needs to grow up and fast. I hope they can turn this around.

 

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