Tag Archives: Toy Stores

Our Top 5 Blog Posts of 2018

Tuesdays With Coleman

Radio loves a good countdown.

WMCA-FM in New York was counting down the hottest singles all the way back in the 1950s.

Casey Kasem took the countdown format coast-to-coast with the debut of American Top 40 in July 1970 (on just seven stations!)

Countdowns have stood the test of time, from syndicated programming to the local “Most Requested,” Top 8 at 8 or Hot 9 at 9.

2018 marks the first full year of our Tuesdays With Coleman blog, providing tips and insights on branding, content and research strategy every Tuesday.

As we get ready to say farewell to 2018, it seems only fitting to highlight our five most-read blogs of the year in honor of the great radio countdowns of past and present.

With the assistance of Google Analytics, we’ve got the facts and figures and the list below (counted down, of course, from number five to number one.) Now, on with the countdown.


#5           Should I Play That Song on my Radio Station?  By Jon Coleman

In this blog, originally posted on September 25, 2018, Founder Jon Coleman explains that deciding which songs to play on your radio station isn’t always as clear as it seems. Jon describes how our Brand-Content MatrixSM and Acceptance-Fit Matrix can assist with your evaluation strategy, and reveals when it makes sense to take some extra risks.

Acceptance Fit Matrix


#4           Why Radio Stations Are Like Toy Stores  By Jay Nachlis

Associate Consultant Jay Nachlis wrote this blog on September 4, 2018, after FAO Schwarz announced the iconic toy brand would reopen in New York.

By revisiting his thoughts on why Toys R Us closed earlier in the year and examining new plans by FAO Schwarz, Jay discovers that the things that make toy stores appealing are strikingly similar to what makes radio stations appealing.

#3           The Branding Genius of Trader Joe’s  By Sam Milkman

While just about every Tuesdays With Coleman blog covers brand strategy, not all focus entirely on radio. This April 3, 2018 entry from Executive Vice President/Senior Consultant Sam Milkman highlights four reasons why Trader Joe’s has succeeded in the hugely competitive grocery space.

If you do work at a radio station, you’ll discover ways to carve out your own market position using lessons from Trader Joe’s.

#2           The 90s Music Research Conundrum  By John Boyne

Executive Vice President/Senior Consultant John Boyne reveals the reason why Adult Contemporary and Classic Hits radio stations are playing such small percentages of 90s music, despite the fact that much of the target demographic grew up listening to it.

#1           10 PPM Tips for Program Directors: 10 Years Later  By Jon Coleman

10 years after Arbitron rolled out the Portable People Meter to the Top 10 US markets, Jon revisits a dos and don’ts list he wrote for radio program directors in the early days of PPM.

This blog republishes the 10 tips, with brand new commentary from Jon looking back at the advice through a 2018 lens.

All of us at Coleman Insights wish you a wonderful holiday and Happy New Year! If you haven’t yet subscribed for Tuesdays With Coleman, click here and you won’t miss a single post in 2019.

“Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.” – Casey Kasem





Why Radio Stations Are Like Toy Stores

Tuesdays With Coleman

Back in March of this year, I wrote a blog post called Why Toys “R” Us is closing.

In it, I argued that while market forces and new competition played a role in its business decline, it was lack of brand depth that did in Toys “R” Us, a company that had complete domination of the image for “toy store.”

The last Toys “R” Us closed its doors on June 29.

I suggested in the post that Toys “R” Us had become a commodity. The store was simply a brick-and-mortar space for transactional exchanges.

The problem with that, aside from the fact that there was no real reason to buy toys there as opposed to Wal-Mart or Amazon, for example, was that Toys “R” Us forgot that the very experience of children and toys is a magical one. The retail toy buying experience, I said back in March, must be an experiential one.

It’s why those of us old enough to remember still sing the Toys “R” Us jingle.

It’s why we cried at the end of Toy Story 3.

It’s why Tom Hanks danced on the piano in FAO Schwarz in the movie Big, which was released 30 years ago this summer.

And speaking of FAO Schwarz

Did you ever visit the flagship Manhattan store when you were a kid? I thought it was the greatest place on Earth. There were giant toy soldiers, flashing lights, larger than life teddy bears and ABC blocks and toys to play with everywhere you looked.

There was staff everywhere with smiles on their faces to help you find that magical toy to make a kid’s day, and consequently the parent’s day.

And yes, there was the piano you could dance on.

Toys “R” Us bought FAO Schwarz in 2009.

They closed all its locations, ending with the shuttering of the flagship New York store, in July 2015. Budget cuts, they said.

That year, the global toy market generated 85 billion dollars of revenue.

This past week, the new owners of FAO Schwarz announced that the iconic brand will reopen at Rockefeller Center in New York this November. As part of the product launch, according to the new owners, the store plans to hire “product demonstrators, magicians…and men and women playing various costumed roles, including toy soldiers.”

FAO Schwarz is holding auditions for people to dance on the piano. And get paid for it.

“We’re looking for people who can deliver that sense of theater,” said the chief executive of ThreeSixty Brands, the store’s new owner.

Sounds experiential. Sounds magical. Sounds like what a toy store should be.

This morning, the New York Times revealed that some old-school retailers are experiencing their strongest sales growth in years. That is, the ones that have experientially adapted.

Here’s the takeaway for radio stations regarding the Toys “R” Us closing and FAO Schwarz re-opening:

Radio, like toys, is, at its core, best when it is experiential.

Radio, like toys, is a form of theater.

Radio, like toys, can be magical.

Radio, like toys, is meant to be fun and memorable.

When toys are treated like a commodity, the business that treats it that way will suffer.

Same goes for radio.