Representing the largest single investment in the 87-year history of Schleich GmbH, the brand relaunch will roll out from July 2022 via an extensive international brand campaign.
Schleich GmbH has announced its intention to redefine its purpose and brand story with the implementation of a new global brand strategy which includes a new logo and new tagline.
Sitting at the heart of the new brand strategy, Schleich is putting an increased emphasis on igniting the joy of storytelling in children whenever they play with its authentic characters and sets, encouraging youngsters to let their imaginations run wild through unstructured play. The Germany company says children are ‘always inventing new stories, constantly experimenting and discovering the world through their imaginations’, and that it is convinced a good product is ‘90% child and 10% toy’. Schleich’s revised direction is represented in a new tagline – ‘Where stories begin’ – which will underpin all marketing activities from July 2022. The tagline is clearly visible as part of the new logo.
“Schleich is known around the world for authenticity, detail and quality – this will always be the DNA of our products”, explains Dirk Engehausen, CEO Schleich GmbH. “But Schleich has always been more than a brand that makes great characters. When children play with our characters, they are immediately swept away into their own private universe. Over the last two years, we have taken it upon ourselves to make this core element of our brand both visible and tangible.”
When children pick up Schleich characters and sets, Dirk explains, they are drawn into unseen, magical worlds of the imagination. Every Hippopotamus, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Lop-Eared Rabbit is the start of an exciting, ever-evolving story. Parents who witness their children playing with Schleich’s high-quality characters know there is more to the brand than just toys. He says Schleich is a source of inspiration for stories, and that Schleich awakens the joy of storytelling.
“Children are curious, questioning their environment and what is happening around them every day,” explains Victoria Sutch, chief transformation officer, who manages the brand process at Schleich. “We are reflecting this mindset and curiosity in our new brand values. We are taking children’s enquiries a step further by playing intensively with the ‘W’ questions that can broaden their horizons: ‘What if?’ and ‘Why not?’. In addition, during the development process we have refreshed our logo as the most visible element of the Schleich brand.”
Visible facets of the new brand strategy: logo, packaging, visual language
The Schleich logo has been modernised and simplified. Emulating the shape of a thought cloud, the logo itself is a nod to the spirit of ‘What if?’, the key question at the heart of the new brand strategy, and the new tagline, ‘Where stories begin’, is a short, memorable expression of the new brand essence. The logos of the six product lines have also been revised to appear fresher and more playful.
The rebranding also includes a revised packaging design, new POS materials and the characteristic Schleich flag on each character. The packaging materials are now also more sustainable. Plastic is avoided wherever possible, instead replaced with recycled and recyclable materials.
New visual language forms a key element of the new brand strategy and is characterised by authentic play scenarios with a focus on limitless imagination. Children are depicted as they actually play: different product lines and toys are combined, and characters are dressed up or depicted in entirely new contexts – a cow swimming in an aquarium, a fairy playing in the mud, a dinosaur having fun at a street carnival.
The brand’s digital channels are also being modernised, including a relaunch of the Schleich website at the global level. Via new calls-to-action embedded throughout brand elements, Schleich will invite fans worldwide to share their own stories inspired by playtime with its characters using the hashtag #wherestoriesbegin on Instagram or Facebook.
International umbrella brand campaign
Schleich GmbH will introduce its new brand concept in July 2022 via an international umbrella brand campaign helmed by a marquee video and a variety of print executions. The ad campaign centres around imaginative ‘why’ questions that spark a spirit of wonder: ‘Do giraffes grow in the rain?, ‘Can lions keep a secret?’, ‘What do dinosaurs eat?’ and ‘Can a tiny zebra make the sun shine?’. Ads will run digitally, in out-of-home executions and in print media, and will be supported through integrated marketing channels customised for global markets.
“When we watch children tell stories with Schleich products, we are reminded that their stories don’t have a beginning, middle and an end: they continue and grow bigger”, added Victoria Sutch. “For our new brand strategy, we are taking inspiration from the children and initiating a living process. We are excited about how we will develop the Schleich brand in the coming years.”
The new brand strategy was conceived and implemented by the agencies 72andSunny, Amsterdam and Traffic Productions, Munich.
Toy World readers should look out for an exclusive, in-depth interview with Schleich GmbH CEO Dirk Engehausen and managing director Udo Rother, plus Thomas Randrup, country manager Schleich UK, and Schleich UK’s marketing manager Paul Dearlove, in the July issue of Toy World.