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Toys are still launched in traditional ways rather than with gamification

Interview to Joana Gomez, trends and social behaviour analyst and partner in Labrand

  • Key4Communications

The recent "Report of behavioral changes in Spain" produced by the consultancy specialized in psychology of brands Labrand concludes that Spanish children no longer ask for brands clothes or shoes and that are more mature, responsible and committed. Joana Gómez, partner of Labrand, explains in this interview that the way of educating children has changed and that companies must adapt to new values ​​and forms of expression. "If hospitals have introduced gamification in its halls and achieved higher levels of tranquility and less medication, why do toy companies continue to present things in a traditional way instead of launching the products making people play?".

-The study has been conducted based on the analysis of over 3,000 signs that allow you to observe changes in behavior in its early manifestations, how exactly does this system work?
-The behavior change detection is a methodology that allows us to identify new forms of expression, revealing that something is changing in society. We have a panel of observers who regularly gather information from all that is new and different. Labrand collects everything in a database where we organize and categorize the information. The analysis of these forms of expression shows which are the social values that are motivating them facilitating brands to connect with customers through them.

-What are the social values ​​that are driving the current forms of expression?
-In our last study, we highlighted how the human factor is absolutely crucial to understand what is currently happening in society. There are more group awareness and an increase in collaborating and sharing. We are seeing the beginning of a society that demystifies materialism and begins to prioritize people. Inevitably, this new way of doing and feeling is projected in all facets of the individual, so little ones are also influenced by it. There is a considerable increase in offer (recreational, commercial, cultural, educational) for children that highlight this aspect.

-Based on the study and the change that is beginning to be perceived in children, what would you recommend, for example, to toy company to better reach their customers (parents and children)?

-I would recommend products and proposals connected with these values that we detected in children: creativity, sharing, values awareness, etc. Also proposals that arouse emotions and / or generations (parents and children or grandparents and grandchildren) connecting with the new trend of emotalent programs or spark creativity and the true potential of the child, which is something that education is not doing right now except for some few examples.

I would also recommend creating products that generate curiosity and can be shared; both values ​​stimulate and reinforce the child. Besides this, products that stimulate creativity and deepen in culture in a fun way (game education).
If hospitals have introduced gamification in its halls and achieved higher levels of tranquility and less medication, why do toy companies continue to present things in the traditional way and do not launch their products making people play (the path to the desired object should be also a game)?.

-¿Do your study show that more growth and economic prosperity also means more frivolity and loss of values ​​in families? Before the crisis, parents didn't try to educate children in other values, isn't it?
Well, rather than a loss of values, is a shift in priorities. Before basic needs were met and we live with the feeling of security and stability, but when the crisis arrived the scale of values changed. Fear of the unexpected (loss of purchasing power and jobs, mortgage or rent that perhaps can not be paid, etc) and the feeling that we lived in an unsustainable manner, inevitably leaded to the search of a less materialistic and more basic human values. Therefore, there is a gradual change in the way we educate children because adults have also opted for new behaviors to cope with the new environment.

-Which were the values ​​that prevailed before in the education of children?
-Values ​​have been quenching and showering children (like adults did or wanted), but it was not what children want or need. Adult have learned to have new values through frustration (they couldn't have what they wanted). Children, however, has adapted naturally without getting frustrated, because they are primary and sensorial, and understand feelings better than words.

-This trend of children to responsible consumption, understanding that money is not everything and having more responsibility for themselves, will it stay in the future or everything will change again when a new episode of economic bonanza arrives?
-We've been more than 15 years analyzing behaviors and social values ​​and, among many others, there is an important lesson of all this path: values ​​do not change overnight, they need a process and a time of maturation and assimilation. And, beyond trends or fashions, there are some that become part of the society; they become timeless. It is the same that happened with the environmental movement: what began more as a pose than as a real behavior became timeless and stayed in our society (motivated mainly by the obvious need to respect finite natural resources that before were believed eternal).

-Have values ​​that are being prioritize now come to stay?
-It's hard to imagine that everything learned since 2008 could disappear within two days. If anything positive has had this crisis is that the citizen has shown that what it allegedly established, is not necessarily unchangeable; that things can be done differently to how they have been developing for years. There is in general a greater awareness and contact with reality, which means greater power of decision and action. It will not be easy to give up this.

It is true that stability of a job, a salary or a house can cause some relaxation and search for other pleasures when the crisis ends. But the frivolity of which you spoke earlier is far away, at least for the vast majority of the population. And in the case of children, they are growing up with these new behaviors and internalizing them, so that change is still more improbable.

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