Phones, Sharks and Yellow Umbrellas

“High Five,” by Editorial Director David Gaunt, counts-down his personal observations, suggestions and shout-outs about the children’s business.

Face First. Hold the Phone!

If you want to peeve a patron, talk to someone on the phone and let the customer right in front of you wait.

Yellow Umbrella Kids is a Bright Idea!

At the March ENK Children’s Club I met six brands that formed a co-op to get more marketing mileage from their show dollars by exhibiting and planning show promotions together. The sunny synergism was a success through the teamwork of ever/after, Milk and Honey, Llum, Adore La Vie, Velvet & Tweed, and Huggy Bunny. Their slogan is “Carry Your Own Sunshine.” See more about this brilliant branding and link to these six independent labels at

Early Bird Catches the Client

The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss recommends making phone calls to hard-to-reach people first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening. Chances are better that you will bypass operator blockers and catch your big fish before it feeds on “something more important.”

RSVP ASAP to Attend Trade Events

Trade show managers tell me that up to 60% of retailers do not register to attend until about 3 weeks prior to the event. Manufacturers have to reserve space and invest in the shows up to a year in advance. Not registering early is like being invited to an expensive party, but the host never knows who might show up! Respect the exhibitors’ need to know.

“Shark Tank” Sinks Those Not Ready to Swim

ABC TV’s second season of “Shark Tank” throws entrepreneurs into the blunt-tongued investors’ jaws. Their biting insights can put business owners under attack, especially when the fund-seekers come unprepared to deal objectively with tough questions about marketing hurdles, distribution dilemmas, sales projections and other back-to-basics business strategy. Since the kiddie biz is built by innovators, several children’s brand owners have faced the sharks with varying success. Recently, Mod Mom Furniture and Flip Outz both got deals. I especially liked the kid-invented Flip Outz as a good idea with a lightning-flash future to ignite sales in the tween and teen market. I recommend “Shark Tank.” Be entertained, learn something and imagine yourself in front of these hungry sharks that know how to make money by investing in more than just good ideas.

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