BRIO was established at the end of the 19th century when a young Swedish entrepreneur took a consignment of baskets to Copenhagen, and sold enough to be able to start a company. Historically, BRIO was a trading company, which later in the 20th century succeeded in marketing a line of high quality toys and other products aimed at children and infants. The company built its brand on toy manufacturing. As the toy industry became dominated by production in low wage economies, BRIO suffered badly.
Since then, the ideation of childhood has changed. Children focus on computers, media, and music, rather than traditional toys. They mature faster. As toys have become increasingly tied to TV and movie characters, product cycles have shortened. Consumer price points put huge pressure on manufacturing. With up to two thirds of toys now made in China, McDonald’s has become the largest distributor of toys in the world, and Walmart is moving ahead of Toys “R” Us to become the largest retailer. The mass market has taken over.
BRIO needed to find its own voice and its own way of doing things in order to survive. Proventus knew that BRIO could not compete on price; its future was to differentiate itself by offering a more innovative and appealing product range. Brio had a strong platform to build on and an internationally recognized name that commands intense loyalty — not least from parents who see the company’s products as a way to reconnect with their own childhoods.