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The traditional brand Selecta celebrates 50 years of quality from Bavaria. Since the end of October 2017 Selecta Spielzeug belongs to the Berliner Spieleverlag Schmidt Spiele. The brand takeover secured the continued existence of the brand. A complete relaunch of the Selecta brand took place in the anniversary year. The rebranding was successfully completed through the launch of the new homepage. Luna Journal spoke to Axel Kaldenhoven, Managing Director of Schmidt Spiele GmbH, about the relaunch of the brand and its new image.
Since the end of October 2017, Selecta has been part of the games Publishing company Schmidt from Berlin. On the occasion of the brand takeover, the brand was relaunched. What was optimized within the company? What influence does the brand takeover have on the production processes and your end-products?
In the course of the relaunch, the entire external communication was optimized, the entire branding of the brand. In addition, we improved production processes in the manufactory so that we became even more efficient. Another important point was the internal communication between the Schmidt Spiele headquarters in Berlin and the manufactory in Edling, which we designed in such a way that we could act together quickly and make decisions.
Your products were given a new design and new packaging. What have you developed further in this respect?
The new design language of the packaging is clearer and conveys our promises and the demands on the products even better. Consumers are already informed on our packaging about the core values – Made in Germany, certified wood, water-based paints and tested safety. In addition, they can now see at a glance which toy is suitable for which age and stage of development. The visual language is more modern and the color scheme emphasizes the product even more strongly with a simultaneously high brand recognition value, which is important to us. Because: Selecta toys stands for tradition and many years of highest quality.
For 50 years, the traditional Selecta brand has been producing high-quality wooden toys under the motto “conveying and not overwhelming”. How do you put your motto into practice? What must be taken into account in the production of wooden toys?
The conception and manufacturing of our products is based on decades of experience and comprehensive expertise combined with innovation and creativity. Not too much, not too early or too late, but at the right time – every child is different and every development phase of the youngest demands different things. We translate these demands into high-quality wooden toys. We talk to parents, educators, test the products together with children, so that at the end of the day every single product keeps our promise: All Selecta toys are characterized by the fact that they encourage and promote one’s own thinking and discovering, but do not overwhelm.
How do you guarantee a safe end-product?
Our products are all “Made in Germany” and offer certified safety according to the strictest requirements. We use wood from sustainable forestry for Selecta toys. In addition, we only use environmentally friendly adhesives and water-based paints that comply with the European Standard for the Safety of Toys (EN 71). They are absolutely harmless and pose no health risk to the child. The toys are manufactured in our factory in Bavaria, where we can guarantee the highest quality management. For this purpose, we work together specifically with TÜV Rheinland, which monitors all manufacturing processes and checks our baby toys for mechanical and chemical safety to the highest standards. In this way, we guarantee a safe end-product that gives pleasure to children and parents alike and is also sustainable – for the benefit of the environment.
What is the corporate philosophy behind the Selecta brand?
As the name “Selecta”, Latin for “the chosen/selected”, already expresses, the aspiration behind the brand is to develop and produce high-quality, selected toys with an educational standards. Selecta focuses on the child as an individual with his or her very own requirements. In order to do this justice, we combine tradition with innovation and a great deal of attention to detail.
What criteria do you use to select your materials?
When selecting materials, we focus on sustainability, safety and quality. The wood from which Selecta toys are lovingly handcrafted comes from certified forestry, mostly from Germany. The colors are based on environmentally friendly water and are also tested. We only choose materials that meet our highest standards. Since we produce ourselves, we have the best control over the quality of all used materials on a daily basis.
You produce your products “Made in Germany”. What does that mean in concrete terms?
We produce “from the tree trunk to the finished toy” in our manufactory in Bavaria.
Which markets have you already exploited?
With Seletca toys we are also represented beyond the borders of Germany in France, Holland, Spain and Greece. But also overseas, for example in Japan, we rely on the high toy quality from Germany.
In which country do you record the highest turnover?
Our core market is Germany.
How do you deal with the topic of digitisation within the company?
For the 50th anniversary of Selecta, we have consciously repositioned ourselves in the digital world. We are now represented with Selecta in the social media, our new homepage serves as a guide for (expectant) parents. Nowadays, parents inform themselves much more comprehensively online about individual products, before a purchase is made and look for information and support in social networks. We step here into the dialog and give the assistance, which (expectant) parents need.
Stationary trade vs. online trade. Where can your products be sold more successfully?
With Selecta toys we are successful in both distribution channels. While younger parents tend to buy online, also because they often don’t have the time to go into the stationary trade with a newborn, Selecta toys are usually bought as gifts in the stationary trade – by grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends. Personal advice plays an even greater role here because these buyers are hardly familiar with the baby/child sector.
What are the upcoming trends for 2019 in the area of wooden toys?
The trend will increasingly be towards quality and sustainable products. Environmental protection and conscious consumption will also have a particularly strong impact on baby and children’s toys, as on the one hand the focus is on children’s health and on the other hand their future is at stake. In addition, the trend is once again towards discovering oneself – the more digital the world becomes, the more analog toys play a role in the children’s room, with which one’s own creativity is to be promoted.
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