aNb Media News, July 11, 2013

Oriential Trading Acquires MindWare

Oriental Trading Company, Inc., a direct retailer of value-priced items, announced at the end of June that it has acquired MindWare Holdings, Inc., a manufacturer, wholesaler, and direct retailer of toys. Oriental Trading Company is a Berkshire Hathaway company.

“MindWare’s extensive selection of proprietary, award-winning educational toys, games, and books is the perfect addition to our product assortment,” said Sam Taylor, CEO of Oriental Trading Company. “MindWare’s offering includes over 1,000 educational products and will support our efforts to respond to the needs of educators and parents as we continue our mission to make the world more fun.”

Over half of MindWare’s revenue is generated from exclusive, proprietary toys, games, and books the company has created, according to the companies.

Most Desirable Brands Ranked Here

Global brand consultancy CLEAR released its third annual Brand Desire report, unveiling the most desirable brands around the world based on nine proprietary metrics measuring consumers’ rational, emotional, and behavioral responses to brands. For the second straight year, Amazon was unveiled at the top of the list followed by Reese’s, Disney, Chobani, and Ben & Jerry’s rounding out the top five.

“It has been an explosive year for brands,” said Mike Weber, managing director, Clear USA, in a statement. “It’s incredible how relative newcomers such as Etsy, Chobani, and Pinterest are in the top 15. Mature brands should take notice. Creating desire can accelerate growth and enable new brands to more readily challenge established players.”

Rank 2013 Brand Category Brand Desire Increase (%)
1 Amazon Retail +18
2 Reese’s Snacking New
3 Disney Media +27
4 Chobani Food & Drink New
5 Ben & Jerry’s Snacking +20
6 Rolex Luxury +32
7 M&M’s Snacking +11
8 Coca-Cola Food & Drink +56
9 Johnson & Johnson Personal Care +58
10 Quaker Food & Drink +18

Additional findings include:
• IKEA (No. 38) was the brand with the highest increase in desirability from 2012 to 2013 up 90 percent.

• Retailers that haven’t grown with their consumers, have seen desirability drop. Retailers such as Zara (No. 198, down 27 percent) and Trader Joe’s (No. 14, down 5 percent) both saw their desirability fall from 2012.

• Apple dropped to No. 50 in 2013 from No. 8 in 2012.

• Etsy is the No. 15 most desirable brand in the U.S. The total value of goods sold on Etsy is up 60 percent year-over-year, totaling an estimated $100 million in April 2013, and capturing 1.49 billion page views.

• Bank of America (No. 244), Wells Fargo (No. 239), HSBC (No. 288), Citi (No. 277) are all in the bottom 20 of Brand Desire. These brands are not seen as considerate, cooperative, or approachable. (This is not exactly shocking news!)

• Coca-Cola (No. 8) saw a dramatic increase (up 56 percent from last year). It can be attributed to the company’s commitment to injecting “happiness” into all touch points—cans, fountain machines, advertising, and sponsorships.

Methods of the Study:
Brand Desire considers nine individual metrics measuring consumers’ rational, emotional, and behavioral responses to a brand. The Brand Desire Index is based on average performance scores across these measures for each market over the past three years. In 2013, the study focused on three core markets: the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia. In the U.S., 4,600 consumers were interviewed about 245 brands they were familiar with. Over the past three years, Clear has interviewed approximately 60,000 people in seven countries about more than 900 brands to identify and understand what makes a brand desirable.