Valuing the exchange of experiences, entrepreneurship and mainly the promotion of e-commerce, the 5th Rio Grande do Sul Congress takes shape. With the participation of different segments of retail and companies for a day full of knowledge.
Highlighting the importance of affection during a shopping journey and especially when communicating with consumers, Criamigos is one of the brands invited to the ECBR auditorium.
In a preview of E-Commerce Brasil, the company, which creates much more than plush toys, answered some curiosities about its business model and gave tips to entrepreneurs. On the day of the event (14/11), Natiele Krassmann and Veronicah Sella, co-founders of Criamigos, will be responsible for presenting the company’s business model.
A brand with heart
Inspired by an affectionate memory, the Criamigos brand emerged through Krassmann’s bond with his paternal grandmother, who sewed crochet dolls and performed the heart ceremony. In stores these days, this is the time when a deeper bond between the customer and the plush is developed.
“We have to communicate the bond, the affection, the generation of memories and how much Criamigos can participate in the lives of its consumers at different moments in their lives, whether they are children, adults or elderly people”, reiterate the founders.
Furthermore, the organization highlights the pandemic as a precursor of challenges and opportunities. During this period, the brand’s positioning was extremely significant in reinforcing the bond with children, as well as affective family memories.
Stella and Krassmann further detail: “all this through personalization, do-it-yourself and the customization differential that the brand offers”.
Another key point for the company’s success is communication. In the words of the members: “we believe that Criamigos is for all children, including those who have already grown up. We are a children’s brand, but not childish, and that makes all the difference.”
Check out the full interview below
1. How did Criamigos begin its journey and where did the inspiration for the company’s development come from?
The inspiration for the creation of Criamigos came from an affectionate memory between Natiele and her paternal grandmother, who crocheted dolls and had the whole ceremony from her heart. This affective memory was combined with a visit to a business model outside of Brazil, through a business immersion trip that Natiele and Veronicah took for NRF, in 2015. From there, the development of the company began and in bringing this innovative business model in a very exciting format that took care of the purchase journey.
2. Did the post-pandemic period present any changes, positive or negative, for Criamigos? Was there an impact on the brand’s physical stores?
The pandemic as a whole had a positive air of opportunities for the Criamigos brand, where we were able to position ourselves as a child’s bond with toys and as family affectionate memories. As a result, our online sales grew significantly at that time, we had excellent opportunities for negotiations with Shopping Centers, which meant that franchisees who were willing to invest in the midst of this turbulence gained many negotiation advantages.
3. Considering that Criamigos’ largest audience is children, how do the company’s actions get publicized? Is there any communication directed to those responsible for the children?
We believe that Criamigos is for all children, including those who have already grown up. We take great care with the company’s communication because we are a children’s brand, but not childish, and that makes all the difference. We have to communicate the bond, the affection, the generation of memories and how much Criamigos can participate in the lives of its consumers at different moments in their lives, whether they are children, adults or elderly people. All this through personalization, do-it-yourself and the customization differential that the brand offers.
4. How was the plush creation process, which is so fun in the physical store, transformed for e-commerce? Are there any different tools applied to digital?
No, today our e-commerce is a digital retail presence, so we sell products and it behaves a lot like brand repurchases. Our consumers live the experience in physical stores and our e-commerce ends up being an extension of the repurchase experience. We have a very strong digital arm on Youtube, which is Clubinho Criamigos, which is a musical series/cartoon that alternates original songs and public domain songs with a lot of affectionate memories from parents, very much with the aim of being present in the lives of our consumers each more and more. That’s why we look to digital tools as a way to increase this bond.
5. Considering the competitiveness within the toy sector, how does Criamigos differentiate itself from other brands in the segment? Is there a specific strategy designed for the category?
The toy market grows every year in the country, we have been following the numbers since 2016, the year of our inauguration, and we see that children are at the center of family decision-making, so more and more family consumption is initially given preference in children’s desires. So our strategy is to demonstrate the difference that our brand offers. We always say that it’s not what we sell, but how we sell it, as teddy bears have existed since our grandparents’ time. But the personalized bear, which the child assembles in the store, puts their heart into and makes a wish, is our biggest differentiator.
6. Thinking about entrepreneurs who are just starting out, are there any tips or advice on how to enter this market?
Our biggest tip is to pay attention to details. Whatever the business model, there is a way to add enchantment, there is a way to make a competitive difference beyond the basics.
7. What are the expectations for the coming years, are there projects, strategies or plans already underway?
Yes, we are under construction of Mundo Criamigos, which will be the first themed children’s hotel in Brazil, which will open in June 2024 in Gramado. It is an entertainment complex where there are several family activities to generate connection and long-term affective memories. Following the same strategy of continuing to be present in consumers’ lives, increasing our fans and looking at brand continuity. For example, the person lives the experience in one of the stores in Brazil, they can go to the Criamigos entertainment complex, stay in the brand’s themed hotel and in this way we will increase our community of fans.
We have the Criamigos club that has six characters, so we are looking forward to working on licensing with them in the near future and it is getting closer and closer to the lives of our consumers.
To learn more about the trajectory of e-commerce, and how brands differentiate themselves within this universe, participate in the 5th edition of the Rio Grande do Sul 2023 Congress on November 14th at Barra Shopping Sul.