Achtung Ameisen! – Sustainable colourful toy ants, encouraging children and adults to create, discover and be together
Sommersemester 2021 / Achtung Ameisen!
Achtung Ameisen! wants to emphasize the importance of sustainable and compostable toys and popularize the concept of playful activities, that lower social barriers by boosting curiosity, creativity, spontaneity, the facilitation of communication and social interaction skills. The product – colourful ants made from biodegradable plastic that with the help of a special glue can be glued to various surfaces and objects in- and outdoors – is both an innovative toy and participatory art kit.
The goal of this business plan is to analyze the sustainable toy market in the DACH region both quantitatively and qualitatively, in order to draw meaningful conclusions about the competition and demand as well as define the target customers. Furthermore, a suitable marketing strategy was developed, including packaging, pricing, advertising and sales channels in order to effectively reach the identified target groups and position Achtung Ameisen! on the sustainable toy market, while considering its USP.
In order to gain insight about the production process and costs, expert interviews with Achtung Ameisen!’s partners Ernst Wittner GmbH and NaKu were conducted. Furthermore, an online survey aimed towards the two main target groups – teachers and parents – was created. The 116 respondents were asked about their opinions on the product, packaging, usage possibilities and drivers of purchase decision. An expert interview with a kindergarten pedagogue and YouTuber Dani Varga provided valuable feedback about usage and perceived benefits, as she had tested the product in a large group of children. The data collected from the primary research was considered in the development of the marketing and pricing strategy. In addition, secondary research was conducted to complement these findings: the sustainable toy market in the DACH region was analyzed with the help of a PESTEL and Porter’s Five Forces Analysis. Using a Strategic Group Analysis, the main competitors were identified and deriving from that, a strategy to outperform them was developed using a Blue Oceans Analysis.
Achtung Ameisen!’s sustainable and colorful ants were perceived overall positively by parents, teachers and children. The social aspect and the outdoor playing possibility have been identified as the most important USP, while the locality seems to be the least crucial factor. Customers prefer a box over a bottle when it comes to packaging and think that the glue, that allows for an outdoor play, is an essential part of the product. The survey respondents and experts think that the toy is most suitable for children aged 3 to 13, regardless of gender. Furthermore, the willingness to pay has been evaluated at around 15€ per ANT BOX (100 ants and one bottle of glue). Considering that price and margin of over 4€, the projected costs and sales numbers, the company is expected to break even in the sixt year of operation. The analysis of the sustainable toy market in the DACH region demonstrates high competitiveness and low market entry barriers, indicating that a strong brand name and customer loyalty are crucial. The Strategic Group Analysis places Achtung Ameisen! in the group of eco-friendly companies, which score low on product range but high on sustainability. AA! outperforms the companies in the same group on usage possibilities, design and compactness, thus creating a blue ocean.