Fisher-Price has been making toys since before most of us were born. The company started out building wooden toys in the 1930s and has come a long way since then. With every improvement in technology, Fisher-Price has been there to deliver quality educational toys to reflect the times. The fact that apps are the newest and hottest form of entertainment has not slipped past the toy giant. In fact Fisher-Price is embracing apps and setting an example for children’s app developers everywhere.
A good portion of Fisher-Price apps are free: not a lite version, but truly free with unfettered features. Young parents rarely have discretionary income to purchase apps for small children and some don't see the value in educational apps. By allowing users to download these apps for free, Fisher-Price is providing a valuable service to both children and parents. However, Fisher-Price gets a lot out of the deal as well.
Letting parents download apps free accomplishes a few marketing goals. Number one is to inspire brand loyalty, not just now, but for generations. Parents will be more willing to buy Fisher-Price Products when they have the funds, and the kids who grow up with Fisher-Price apps will be more likely to purchase them for their own children. The second way these apps inspire brand loyalty is through word of mouth. Parents most likely know other parents and will be willing to share their experience about the apps, or maybe even write a blog about them.
By creating apps that complement its toys, Fisher-Price is enhancing the overall playing experience. Apps like BIGFOOT the Monster and Imaginext Eagle Talon Castle allow kids to bring some of their favorite toys with them everywhere. This may be another marketing ploy, but kids will love the ability to “add-on” to their favorite toys.
As mentioned before, these apps come with actual substance. Instead of baiting you to pay to access anything of substance, these apps have multiple free functions that are fun, bright, and colorful. Kids don’t even realize they are learning as they play with apps like Fisher-Price’s Laugh and Learn line of applications. Fisher-Price is not just giving away the farm either. Apps containing a large amount of substance cost a modest price, such as its See 'n Say app, a replica of a toy we all grew up with.
Fisher-Price may not be the only company with these ideas, but it is certainly one of the best to realize them. It is not just children’s app developers but really all developers that could learn from the Fisher-Price model of giving more to create a relationship between the company and its clients. Coming from a parent who has used many Fisher-Price apps for his own child, they are worth way more than their price tags and have made my impression of the company genuinely positive.