The world’s most famous baby toy that doesn’t need to convince us of its worth.
By Melanie Hollingsworth
If you’re a parent, I have two questions for you:
1) Did or does your child have a Sophie the Giraffe?
2) If yes, do you know much about the brand apart from the fact that your child loved it?
I’m guessing your answers are similar to mine – yes to #1 (my son had two Sophie’s) and no to #2. And that for me is the makings of a brand that deserves our love.
Here’s a company that has made their product both the must-have for parents around the world and a top baby gift without ever spending time or money to convince us about why we need it. Instead they identified a very real pain point (teething), developed a product that truly addressed it and then let their fans do the talking.
In the spirit of this blog, I did finally do some research about Sophie so here are some interesting facts from her story:
– She was created in 1961 in France at a time when most kids’ animal toys were farm animals or pets making a giraffe exotic and different
– She’s developed to stimulate all five senses and specifically for very young children
– She is made from 100% natural rubber which means babies can chew on her safely for hours and she is still ‘traditionally produced’ through a process that involves more than 14 manual operations
– She hasn’t changed in more than 40 years
– Her empire is expanding. You can still get traditional Sophie but now you can also get the Sophie bath toy or the vanilla teether Sophie
So as adults and marketers, why do we love Sophie the Giraffe?
1) The brand’s benefits speak for themselves: I only read about the stated benefits of Sophie for this blog but I didn’t actually need to read them before. That’s because she works! Give her to a teething, crying baby and the baby will stop crying. That’s all the proof you need.
2) They’re stayed true to who they are: The Sophie from my childhood is the same one that my son loved. And it will probably be the same one my son’s children love.
3) They’ve built on the emotions of their consumers: When you’re a parent, you want to do everything right for your child. What Sophie has done brilliantly (and without traditional advertising) is to convince every parent that she is the one toy that you absolutely must have.
A few weeks ago I was at a baby shower where the mom-to-be got a Sophie. Her reason for asking for it: “I saw that all babies have one so I must need one too”. Just another case in point of why Sophie deserves our love!