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Searching for a hot new retail concept? Looking to add a profitable new product to your kiosk or store? Examine some of the great retail concepts over the past decade and you'll discover several common factors that propelled them to success:
1. The product offered something new and unique and
2. It used brand name licenses to add credibility and boost mass appeal.
3. The product involved activity that took place right before the customers' eyes, stopped them in their tracks, and drew them almost magically to the vendor and
4. It was customized, or personalized for the customer.
5. The product featured a built-in mechanism for generating repeat/referral business.
A concept with all the above traits appeared at the Specialty Retail Entrepreneur's Expo in Las Vegas this April. Charmyn Group, a company in Brooksville, FL with a history of bringing personalized product concepts to market, unveiled GiggleMedia(tm), a line of children's multimedia products with a powerful, 'create-on-demand,' system for personalizing products right on the spot, at the point of sale.
Products and Licenses
GiggleMedia's(tm) current offering includes seven CDs, each featuring a child's name embedded in the music, so that each of the songs and dialog tracks are all about that child. In addition to this type of personalization (what kid doesn't love to hear his/her own name sung up to 80+ times on a CD?), a crucial factor to GiggleMedia's(tm) popularity is the brand power of its top selling character lineup. Each CD features the recognizable voices of the actual licensed characters, recorded in a professional studio setting, singing and speaking directly to the child by name. With 1,000 to 2,000 names to choose from on each CD, and with alternate spellings easily accommodated, the company estimates 90 to 95 percent of kids' names are available.
Michael T. Kennedy, Charmyn Group's Director of Sales & Marketing, said, "Once a child hears their own name sung and spoken by these characters they already know and love, the child absolutely won't leave without it." The product lineup includes some of the hottest children's licensed characters on the market:
The Disney "Princess Tea Party." Cinderella, Ariel, Belle & Snow White give your special "princess" the royal treatment, singing songs and discussing all the wonderful and challenging things about being a princess. They sing and talk about getting dressed, proper etiquette, and more, while preparing for and conducting a tea party fit for a king and queen.
Disney's "Mickey, Minnie & Goofy." Imagine the delight a child will have listening to the humor and entertaining vocals of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and their good pal, Goofy.
Sesame Street's "Elmo & Friends." Elmo entertains like only Elmo can, and he's joined by his friends as he sings and speaks to the child.
Hit Entertainment's "Barney & Friends." The lovable dinosaur, Barney, along with BJ and Baby Bop, personally entertains the child with a steady diet of giggles, songs and upbeat dialogue.
Hit Entertainment's "The Wiggles." The fun loving group from "down under," Sam, Murray, Jeff and Anthony, invite a child to join them on a walk. Along the way they sing songs, meet new friends, and go to a birthday party for guess who? You!
Big Idea's "Veggie Tales Sing-A-Long" and "Veggie Tales Silly Songs." Not one, but two 'vegelicious' samplings of Veggie Tales music, humor and morality. Join Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber, and Junior, as they sing and talk to the child about the great fun and interesting challenges of life as a vegetable.
Demonstration Key to Sales
Customers experiencing the CDs exhibit two reactions; "How do they do that?" and "Wow, this really sounds good." The products are not computer generated voiceovers. Each song and name is actually recorded by the original artists in the studio, so the lyrics are seamless. The resulting sound quality is excellent.
"Hearing is not just believing," notes Kennedy, "hearing is closing the sale." In many settings with the child present, one out of every 3 or 4 customers who hear their child's name on one or more of the tracks purchase immediately. "All you need to do is ask the child's parent for the name, click on the song/name combination to start the music, and just watch their faces. The reactions are incredible."
Retailers can add a touch screen to the system, so customers can sample any of the personalized CDs themselves, with their own name, again and again. The touch screen is ideal for small retailers with limited staff who want to offer the sampling capability without operator intervention. Given the touch screen can be added for about $500, it typically pays for itself in just a few weeks.
Burn Your Inventory
Inventory headaches become a thing of the past with GiggleMedia(tm). "Burns" are the Company's term for electronic units allowing the creation ("burning") of each CD on-demand, using a personal computer. GiggleMedia's(tm) burns are neither product or name-specific, meaning having just one "Burn" in your possession lets you create any one of more than 10,000 different CD/Name combinations; whichever is requested/purchased by a customer. Call GiggleMedia(tm) or visit their website, and they can replenish your burns over any Internet connection (even dial-up on a cell phone modem). All a reseller needs are blank CD-Rs and clear slim line cases, costing just 30¢ to 50¢ each. A buffer supply of labels and tray inserts, sent with the start-up kit, keeps retailers ahead of the packaging curve, and they can specify which labels and inserts they need to replenish with each download of "Burns". The result is a highly efficient, cost and space saving system.
No Ceiling on Profits
While originally conceived for cart and kiosk vendors, and with simple adaption for retail stores, GiggleMedia(tm) can easily generate sales at nearly any temporary venue, indoors or out. Due to the portability of the system, (you can operate GiggleMedia(tm) on a laptop, although external speakers are recommended), enterprising independent operators have set up booths at all types of temporary venues, such as trade shows, county and state fairs, music festivals and local expos, where high foot traffic and low rents make for handsome profits. Many independent operators work just a few shows a month to generate substantial part time or second incomes. Others focus on online sales.
GiggleMedia(tm) provides a simple start up kit that can be overnighted and configured on an existing PC, provided it's running Windows XP or Vista, and has a CD burner, in under an hour. The reseller software allows retailers to instantaneously demonstrate any song on any one of the CDs, with the customer's name in the music, and then "Burn" the CD in 2-3 minutes. Printing the customer's name, spelled exactly as they wish, on the CD gives it that final professional touch, but also offers retailers the opportunity to print their phone number and website on each CD (laser printer required).
"This is a great way of generating referrals and repeat business," Kennedy said. "When kids, parents or grandparents play a CD for someone else, the first question is, 'Where did you get that?' The answer is right on the product." The reseller software can even be configured for multi employee locations to track sales and ensure inventory security.
There is no complicated, long term payback calculation for GiggleMedia(tm). The $899 start up kit includes enough product to pay for itself and generate a $550 to $600 profit. After that, each purchase of additional "Burns" can generate a 300 to 400 percent return on investment. Top selling brands ensure strong customer demand and premium pricing. Charmyn Group backs GiggleMedia(tm) with a 30 day Money Back Guarantee.
"As with any retail consumer products, especially for kids, sales typically peak during the fourth quarter," noted Kennedy, "and GiggleMedia(tm) is an absolute gold mine during the holiday season." He added, "But there are so many events all year long, from birthdays to grade school graduations and first communions, etc., that represent important events in the lives of children, and terrific gift giving opportunities for their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. The gift of music, particularly these truly fun CDs which build a child's self-esteem, serves the childrens' market quite well. It's an enormous market that's growing every day."
For more information, contact:
Michael T. Kennedy
Director of Sales & Marketing
Charmyn Group LLC
306 South Broad Street
Brooksville, FL 34601
Toll Free: 800-423-9855
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