Nico Blauw is President and CEO of BOTI, Ltd., and BOTI Europe, BV. Nico has an impressive resume, having founded BOTI and serving as the CEO of Upper Deck International BV/Upper Deck Europe BV. He is an outspoken advocate for the toy industry. Here is his take on the state of the toy business in the Netherlands, with the arrival of Smyths, one of Europe’s leading retailers.
I guess we all have it: words and/or sentences that give you the shivers.
My brother in law, for example, can (mentally) not deal with hearing someone saying “banana split”. It has nothing to do with the dessert, but as soon as somebody mentions “banana split” he gets cold shivers and goose bumps. Why? No idea. Of course we make fun of him in the family: like giving him a call every now and then. It goes like this: He picks up the phone “hello, this is Joop speaking…” but the only thing he hears is somebody saying 10 times “banana split”… and then he just hears us ROFL on the other side of the line, while the shivers and goosebumps prevent him from pushing the “end call” button. Obviously he has blocked his brothers in law on his cell. He also refuses to have dinner with us as we always order “banana split” for dessert at the restaurant. Anyway, so much for our beloved brother in law. We are very protective of him as we only have one, my sister loves him to pieces and he is much stronger than my brother and I combined.
In our industry we tend to use words/phrases that give me the shivers. For example, I cannot deal with press releases that quote people saying “I am thrilled”. What is wrong with us? Do we really need to pay PR agencies 1000s of $ to quote the same thing over and over again? Are people always “thrilled” when quoted in press releases? What about just being happy, excited, anxious etc? Our industry seems full of “thrilled” people and that worries me. If everyone is so “thrilled” something must be going wrong very soon. I am holding John Baulch Richard Gottlieb James Zahn and their colleagues responsible for publishing “thrilled” press releases moving forward and causing me mental agony!
Equally bad, now the toy shows are over, people have the tendency to post “That is a wrap!”. Just look in the mirror and say “that is a wrap!” and repeat it 10 times. It doesn’t look good and it cannot be good. In the pas 48 hours, only on linkedIn, I have seen at least 100 posts starting with “That is wrap!” now the London and Nurnberg Toy fairs have ended. OMG! Listen, gifts are wrapped, chewing gum is wrapped, but the show has just.. ended.
My problem? It prevents me from sleeping, from reading and it keeps me out of pocket for a day. Beloved industry colleagues, please help me stop this “wrap” and “thrill” nonsense.
Our industry constantly talks about the urgent need to always innovate, to be different, make a change…yet when it comes publishing posts or articles we tend to be in the repeat business.