A year with BRIO

December 1, 2007

BRIO's brand director Claes von Hauswolff talks to us about a 2006 filled with both challenges and highlights and looks forward to a new BRIO year 2007.

It has been an intense year for BRIO. What were the most challenging moments?

– The most challenging, in my view, has been to change the production and the mind-set of our organization to be able to create a whole new range of family products. We have evolved from being a production-driven company to a consumer-driven one and, at the same time, created innovative new products. We know where we are heading but time is a major factor and we still have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time.

And the most memorable highlights?

– Being able to stun the business by presenting a whole new style at the Toy Fair in Nürnberg and moving the organization into an award-winning modern new headquarters were two memorable highlights this year. But the most memorable highlight for me personally was watching the kids play with EMO and the other characters at our interactive Network launch event at NK in Stockholm in September. The kids just loved it! We held similar events in London, Paris and Berlin.

Talking about BRIO Network – how has it been received?

– BRIO Network has only been in the shops for a few months but has already won a Best Toy of the Year Award in the UK, been placed on numerous international “desired” lists on the internet and been published in everything from business magazines to interior design and toy magazines. The challenge for us has been communicating the Network concept to parents. The kids usually get the idea right away or come up with their own ideas on how to play with it but the parents need more explaining.

Can traditional wooden toys really be updated to appeal to today’s internet kids?

– Absolutely! Our play ranges are mainly made for children aged 0-5 years and modern parents are looking for toys with contemporary design and great pedagogic value. In our play tests we have seen that products like the Network really appeal to young kids up to 6-7 years old.

A new BRIO year is coming up. What are you looking forward to the most? Can we expect more innovative toys and products? Can you give us a little preview?

– During next year, we will show a more complete new range of innovative BRIO products within toys, prams, furniture, accessories etc. This will enable us to have greater store impact and brand visibility and present BRIO as the lifestyle choice it is. I can also reveal that we will present a new generation of the Network concept. The Network story will continue…Look out for viruses…!