Marketing Case Study
In 2003 a woman named Jennifer Telfer started a company after seeing her sons use their stuffed animals for pillows one to many times. The company we know 13 years later as the successful and wide spread “Pillow Pets” has grown from selling only six different original creatures to now selling over 36 jungle animals alone, not to mention the several different characters involved in their lines with Disney, Nickelodeon, Pixar, the military and several sports associations.
Over the years Pillow Pets has developed variations that are scented, can glow or even light up. They also sell different types of stuffed creatures such as their giant pillow pets that they call “Jumboz”, their “Body Pillars” which are essentially giant caterpillar-like stuffed animal body pillows, and a vast array of accessories including backpacks, blankets, sweatshirts, and even bicycle helmets. Most of their merchandise is sold through their website https://mypillowpets.com/ except for the actual pillow pets which are still sold in several locations.
During my presentation I was asked how I think a company like Pillow Pets can compete with a company such as TY which sells similar items but is far more established. I think this is a great question and in my opinion, during the 16 or so years that Pillow Pets has been around, they have done a great job at competing with companies like TY, and have done very well establishing themselves in today’s market. When they first started out they only had six variations of the same type of design. Instead of keeping it at that they chose to create several more characters and then to partner with corporations like Disney which I think is a genius move with any business. If that wasn’t enough they then chose to continue to develop new types of products so that they always had something new; which I think not only makes them very capable of competing with TY, but also gives them a leg up on the company. This might even be one of the reasons for TY’s recent redesign over the past seven years with the introduction and take-over of the “beanie-boo” and other pop culture products that can be found on their website http://world.ty.com/, which bears a strong resemblance to the Pillow Pets website; coincidence?