Synonymous with arts and crafts, the Crayola brand has been making waves at retail this year, having lost its way in recent years as the battle with own brand discounting made market conditions difficult. Vivid Imaginations has rejuvenated the brand since acquiring Crayola's UK and Ireland business in December 2005. Under its guardianship, sales of Crayola products have already grown by 49% to May, according to NPD retail audit data. So what explains this progress? Emma Sherski, Vivid's marketing and licensing director explains. 'Innovation can compete with low price points, especially when you can deliver good quality, relevant products. Crayola has invested in strong proprietary rights in new technology, which has helped to drive sales at higher price points than similar own brand products.'
But innovation alone isn't necessarily enough to be successful. 'Crayola is a trusted brand, particularly with parents who have grown up with it. The right mix of imaginative products and a commitment to heavy promotion from Vivid should see the brand excel,' says Emma. Vivid aims to grow the Crayola business by 25%; a warning shot to own brands and a sign of confidence in the branded arts and crafts market.
In another example Caran d'Ache, the Swiss manufacturer of fine arts products and writing instruments, has entered the licensing market for the first time, after signing a deal with Warner Bros. Consumer Products for the official UEFA EURO 2008 marks. Products include water-soluble colouring pens, mascot colouring books and branded ballpoints. It is a sign of growing confidence in the market that brings these two partners together.
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