The emerging middle classes of India, China, and elsewhere around the world are going to change the toy business and every business. China alone has over 800 million kids under the age of 15. That's a lot of toys. We know little about the business practices and patterns of daily life in these markets.
Getting in sooner rather than later might be important for success in the long term. On my first visit to South America long ago I was stunned at the size of the cities, and it dawned on me that there are as many or more people living in South America as in North America.
My alma mater, IIT’s Institute of Design, is one of the thought leaders on product design strategy for emerging markets and is sponsoring an upcoming Design Strategy Conference on that very subject. Major international companies like Amway, P&G, and others are already forging into these Chinese and South American markets, as well as those in Africa and wherever they see opportunity emerging. We can learn much from these emerging market pioneers.
Of course, the largest of the toy companies are doing this to some extent, but the opportunities for the future are enormous for the smaller companies and for the toy industry, as well.
Saying it is one thing, doing it is quite another. Getting started is the key.