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Philippe Guinaudeau

Philippe Guinaudeau

What LOL Surprise! needs to do to improve sales

Our children seem obsessed with watching YouTube videos and one of the most popular forms is the “Unboxing Trend” where children view other children opening packages of new toys. What is the fascination and who is doing it the most effectively?

It is no surprise to many parents that collectability is driving this “unboxing trend” and children want to learn more about their favorite brands. In fact, “collectible toys” have increased in popularity to represent 13% of all toys sold in the USA. One of the most popular collectible brands for girls has been L.O.L. Surprise, from MGA Entertainment, across multiple countries and regions of the world. Let’s dive more deeply into this worldwide phenomenon.

In the most recent BrandTrends report, the January 2019 wave conducted in 6 countries – Australia, France, Italy, Poland, Spain and United Kingdom -, we found that for girls 3-6 years and girls 7-9 years:L.O.L. Surprise was the most popular brand in Italy, followed by the UK, Poland and Australia. Of the six countries, France showed the lowest popularity level.
In the UK, more children spontaneously mentioned L.O.L. Surprise as one of their favorite Top 3 brands.

  • L.O.L. Surprise is the most popular brand in Italy, followed by the UK, Poland and Australia. Of the six countries, France showed the lowest popularity level.
  • Furthermore, in the UK, more children spontaneously mentioned L.O.L. Surprise as one of their favorite brands.
  • Consumer demand on L.O.L. Surprise confirms to be very robust, and spreads across multiple product categories beyond toys across these countries. Best country is Poland, with 4.8 categories requested, followed by the UK, and Australia, both with 4.2 categories of appeal.
  • Except for France and Spain, nearly half of all girls in the target age group in these countries already own at least one L.O.L. Surprise product, with the highest ownership in Italy, at 64%, followed by the UK, with 57%.
LoL-Surprise-Purchase-Funnel

What made the success of LoL Surprise! Products? They meet consumer demands. There’s a substantial gap between what customers actually buy and what customers really want. By listening to what consumers are demanding, LoL Surprise! has experienced the positive results and ultimately thrived within their highly competitive markets. Technically, at the level of the marketing department, here is how popularity and brand appeal can be measured, through a purchase funnel, and by correlating the brand popularity index measures. This is where the key measures of awareness, likeability, ownership and purchase intentions are analyzed for each brand. Let’s take France as the example:

  • In January 2019, the brand was known by 50% of the French girls 3 to 9 (that’s a population of about 3 million girls!). Not bad for such a young brand. That’s a nice gain in 6 months. Guess that this will keep improving in the coming year.
  • 20% of all the girls are absolute fans of the brands. When you consider that half of the target does not even know the brand, you can imagine the potential for growth.
  • More important, 28% of the girls 3 to 9 intend to have a product with LoL Surprise! On it. Again, a strong illustration of the sales potential of the brand: since there are more girls intending to have that girls’ fans of the brand, the brand recruits ‘potential’ consumers outside its fandom.
LOL-SUPRISE-Brand-Matrix

[Fresh of the press] In addition, the results 3 months later, with the information collected in April’19 (BrandTrends Entertainment April 2019 for the French market), the situation has been fluid:

  • Results show Disney Princess as the most popular entertainment brands for 7 to 9 years old girls. And 71% of these girls want to have a product wit this brand on it.
  • When it comes to LoL Surprise!, the brand ranks in 6th in this popularity contest. With this level of popularity, 51% of these girls want to have a product with the brand on it. In a 3-months period, the brand strongly increased in consumer demand, even though competition weakened a bit due to a lower intense period – first quarter of the year is not the period of extensive communication -.
  • Thus, besides the fantastic results of the brand, we can see the immediate potential:
  1. Consumer demand, for that level of popularity, should be higher by 15 points at least. In fact, this lower result only indicates a lack of products in stores, not fulfilling the consumer demand. Consumers tend to lack some of the different offerings that would just boost the brand.
  2. By further enhancing the population of those girls loving the brand, LoL Surprise! can significantly increase their results in purchase intentions. What that means for the brand owner, MGA Entertainment (MGAE)? This requires some additional work in ensuring girls fully understand what the brand stands for:
    • The first step is to identify the true perception of the brand and its superior attributes vs. the purchase decision criteria – points of parity and distinct advantage vs. competition. So, survey customers on current brand perceptions.
    • Then, generate tons of ideas for strengthening that emotional connection based on the insights from the research; and sort the ideas to those that can be implemented quickly and that have the highest potential for success at the lowest possible investment. Finally, develop a plan to implement these ideas.
    • The second step is to communicate on the values of the brand/characters through PR articles in vlogs, blogs, social networks, magazines … or through branded communication on the packaging or/and in-store (displays). The objective here is to develop ways to create stronger emotional connections (the fact girls LOVE the brand).

We also feel the L.O.L. Surprise products will gain even more awareness after the second quarter of 2019 since MGA Entertainment (MGAE) is bringing L.O.L. Surprise! to OTT channels worldwide. In partnership with kid-tech platform SuperAwesome, YouTube content such as “L.O.L. Surprise! UNBOXED” will become available to more than 50 million additional homes around the world via Future Today Inc.

Keep track of your most important brands and your competition with BrandTrends, and review the top brands quarterly, across multiple countries. We track over over 900 brands each wave, across five key age groups, by gender, in 42 countries globally. Contact our Kidz Global team for more information on how we can track and analyze your most important brands and how we can provide insights into how to maximize your brand’s success.

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