Tuesday, December 23, 1997
aim at the kids' market
brothers let their inner child run rampant directing a consulting
firm that specializes in marketing to children
Plain Dealer Reporter
executives couldn't be talked into covering themselves with colorful,
childlike adhesive bandages for a photo shoot, let alone volunteer
for the task.
But take one
look at Sidney and Bruce Good's business cards (complete with the
words "Where I Work" next to an arrow pointing to the
company's name) and you know they aren't your average corporate
Let's just say
they let their inner child run rampant. After all, that's how they
earn a living running Good Marketing Inc., a Cleveland consulting
firm that specializes in marketing to children.
The Good brothers
not only consult with toy companies such as Tyco Toys Inc., Milton
Bradley Co. and Fisher-Price Co., but they also create such products
as Gross Outs adhesive bandages. Still, with just a two-person firm,
the brothers always turn to the real experts for help - kids.
we take any of our concepts out to potential manufacturers or licensees,
we show all of our concepts to groups of kids we work with,"
said Sidney Good, president.
a very subjective business, and it's easy to think that you have
the greatest product in the world, but if you're marketing to kids,
you need to have kids tell you that your assumptions are correct,"
it's important for kids to tell you that it's fun."
focus on expanding existing product lines, making few changes from
year to year. The toy business, however, thrives on creating new
products. The nature of the toy industry explains why Good Marketing
has grown continually since it was founded eight years ago.
41, started the company after leaving his job as director of marketing
for Hasbro in Pawtucket, R.I.
starting the business in Chicago but picked Cleveland because he
has relatives living here and he found a large pool of creative
talent such as graphic designers and toy inventors. He said he was
also energized by Cleveland's business community, especially the
Greater Cleveland Growth Association.
doing promotional work for several consumer product companies outside
Ohio, creating in-store promotions as well as product promotions.
He also served as a consultant for Cleveland-based toy manufacturer
Creativity For Kids and for Liggett-Stashower, a Cleveland ad agency.
Four years after
Good launched Good Marketing, Nabisco hired him to help develop
a new line of cookies aimed at kids. He recommended names for the
cookies and suggested approaches for packaging, promotions and merchandising,
but the project was never launched. Good Marketing began to grow
when Bruce Good, 35, joined in 1993. He had been working as an account
executive in San Francisco at two large ad agencies, DDB Needham
and Young & Rubicam.
When Bruce joined
the company, Good Marketing branched out from being a fee-based
promotional and consulting firm to developing new products that
generate long-term royalties as well. The company declined to disclose
its annual billings.
years, Sidney Good had been building resources of toy inventors
and product designers that he worked with on various projects, so
now he is able to use their skills in creating new products for
A Kansas City,
Mo., promotion agency first hired the brothers to create two different
toys for fastfood kids' meals. The results of the year-long project:
mad monster poppers, monster figures with heads that pop off when
squeezed, and monster doh, a Play-Doh-like substance with a monster
mold. Upon opening the mold, either fries or a hamburger is revealed
in the monster's stomach. Next the two created an inflatable 98-inch
super sea serpent pool toy for ERO Corp. in Chicago.
Nearly two years
ago, Good Marketing pitched an innovative lollipop to Bedford Heights-based
Cap Toys Inc. "Fossil Pop," which began selling this year
in drugstores and mass merchandisers, is a rock candy lollipop on
a plastic dinosaur fossil stick.
continues to be a fascination about dinosaurs, and we wanted to
capitalize on that popularity," said Bruce Good. "After
you eat that ball, it's over with most lollipops. There's no excitement.
We've gone from ball to a prehistoric rock that's fun to eat."
Good Marketing is expanding its clientele by recommending to companies
that they can either expand their existing product lines or go after
the kid market for the first time.
the company is currently working with Polaroid Corp. in Cambridge,
Mass., to develop new products in the kids' market.
Sarasota, Fla.-based Aso Corp., is one of several companies that
makes colorful adhesive strips for younger kids.
Now the company
makes "Gross Outs," bandages designed by the Good brothers
that appeal to children 5 to 10.
But before they
approached Aso, the Goods turned to kids to fine-tune the graphics.
we had more cartoonish characters like a smiling worm. But kids
looked at it and said, 'Yeah, but it's not gross.' They said 'give
me something gross and I'll wear it.' They helped us to add more
realistic graphics like oozing stitches, zipper blood, flies and
safety pins. Working as a team, the brothers are confident their
business will continue to grow. "This is the best of all worlds,"
Sidney Good said.
to work with my brother, and we're having fun creating fun products
for other companies."