Growing up, kids are surrounded by tons of brands of toys, snacks, and entertainment. Some of my favorite childhood brands I remember most vividly are still alive and well today, even if they’ve evolved significantly. Of the many toys, franchises, and entertainment I enjoyed as a kid, Disney and Hasbro are the companies that stand out the most as I look back.
What kid isn’t completely and utterly obsessed with all things Disney? I was the little girl running around Disneyland in a princess dress asking Cinderella for an autograph and singing “Part of Your World” incessantly. Disney is one of Forbes Top 25 public companies, and for good reason. The brand has inserted itself into many industries, including amusement parks, film, television, publishing, music, retail, and travel. While their prices may be going up, consumers will still dish out the cash to experience “the happiest place on earth.” Disney designs their movies to grow up with the children who watch them, strategically releasing sequels so their beloved characters grow older with the audience. Reviving and rebooting classics also attracts viewers of every generation. Disney Channel and even Disneyland have seen a lot changes, but Disney as a whole has remained one of the most popular companies among not only children, but teens and adults as well.
With classic games such as Monopoly, Clue, Trivial Pursuit, and Battleship under their belt, Hasbro has managed to stay afloat in the board game industry despite newer technologies like iPads and Xbox. I loved playing board games with my family and friends as a kid, and to this day I never mind playing a Hasbro game with little cousins or kids I babysit. While it’s undeniable that apps and video games are taking precedence for a lot of kids, Hasbro’s toys and games are still sitting pretty at the top of the toy industry. Their partnerships with other companies such as Disney and Dreamworks plays off of children’s favorite film characters, promoting their own toys as well as the movies. If they continue to evolve their products based on kids’ interests, they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
It’s hard to keep a kid’s attention for 30 minutes, much less a decade. Companies like Disney and Hasbro know how to grow up with their audience, and appeal to the children of their previous audience. It takes constant evaluation and evolving to stay relevant in such a fast-paced industry such as leisure and entertainment, but these brands are doing it right. ❈