Toys R Us Rebrand

Written by Shanna Dennis, Brand Strategist

There has been a lot of talk this week around Toys R Us and their new rebrand into Geoffrey’s Toy Box. Generally, there are a lot of mixed opinions around their strategy. I can’t wait to see how this will all play out.

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I use the Toys R Us / Babies R Us brand as a good example of what not to do when trying to win over the hearts of your customers.

It’s been 9 years since I discovered how wrong they had it, and their recent bankruptcy did not surprise me at all. I am curious to see if their rebrand will get it right this time.

So what happened?

Long story short… investors came in and bought the rights to use Geoffrey Giraffe’s name. They want to brand to launch a toy store area within other existing companies. So, in the near future, you may find Geoffrey’s Toy Box in the back corner of Home Depot, for example.

Here are my thoughts: no matter their name or location, if they don’t focus on the customer experience, they are going to land in the exact same position as before.

Where they went wrong

Toys R Us and Babies R Us missed so many opportunities to make the experience better. You would think a store dedicated to pregnant women would offer a place for them to sit! Also you would hope they’d hire staff who know the difference between the 100 different bottle choices they offered. And you would expect a toy store, dedicated to families and children, to have some holiday spirit. Where were the twinkle lights? Why couldn’t they serve hot chocolate in the parking lot or bring Santa in to visit? Why didn’t the store have things to distract my children while I was running around the store shopping for them?

If the store just sells toys and offers no extra experience, people will buy that toy in a more convenient way.

Geoffrey’s Toy Box is launching in November, just in time for Christmas sales. I am super curious to see how this will play out. If this rebrand is simply a new name and logo slapped on to the old way of doing things, they are heading towards another bankruptcy. The fact that they want to become a store within a store leads me to think they are gunning for that convenience factor. So I would expect them to position themselves as a commodity again, offering cheap prices, convenience, and service with a smile.

How to get it right

If they stimulate all our 5 senses, which ultimately forms our perceptions, it will trigger brand love! What if they gave us an experience such as playing uplifting music, installing video game consoles to play in-store, and handing out candy treats? How about hosting children’s craft opportunities and offering holiday decorations and magical ambiance? They could be the go-to place for holiday shopping and toys year-round. People would drive the distance and pay a bit extra for the experience!

Let’s wait and see what’s in store for us.

Will they be brand-focused and sell a childhood dream? Or will they remain as a commodity and just sell toys through “lowest price”?

Check out the current Toys R Us Canada website.

Want to see some of our Rebrands? Check out our Portfolio.

Shanna Dennis

Brand Strategist

We are a strategic brand agency located in Barrie and Toronto Ontario, focusing on spreading our passion for branding within Toronto and the GTA. We love working with small to medium sized businesses looking to brand or re-brand their company. We also love working with entrepreneurs who are passionately shaping our economy with their innovative visions for our future. If you are an entrepreneur, a business owner, or a marketing director, we’d love to work with you on your brand strategy and discover ways to heighten your consumer’s experience. Our Discovery Session and our Define Before Design® strategic brand process has been developed for you.

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