The Wiggles Musical Group: Marketing Strategies

Introduction

The Wiggles is a children’s musical group formed in Sydney, Australia, that mainly deals in children entertainment. It was formed in 1991 by four members namely: Anthony Field, Philip Wilcher, Murray Cook, Jeff Fatt and Greg Page although later other members joined such as Sam Moran who replaced Greg Page who retired in 2005 due to an illness, Lyn Moran and others (Wright, 2008). The group has been doing very well over the years which made the weekly times to declare it the first earning organization in the entertainment industry in the whole country of Australia.

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This group has spread over and wide in the country of origin, that is, Australia and in other countries abroad such as the United States, the U.K, New Zealand, Taiwan and many more. This research work mainly looks at the ways and means by which Wiggles group penetrated the market and became the top in its line of business (Dickson, Singh, Cheung, Wyatt, & Nugent, 2008). This is mainly concerned with the business model that the company adopts. The business model mainly incorporates the strategies the business puts in place to ensure the achievement of the end goals and objectives.

It also looks at the strengths of this business that elevates it to such great levels. These are the factors that have made the wiggles achieve its niche market. This is where a business concentrates on a certain particular line of business instead of dealing with a whole range of business lines (Fraser, 2009). The paper has also looked at how the wiggles company is of importance to society. This is what is referred to as corporate social responsibility. Good management of the wiggles has also contributed to its high rising trend. According to Dowling et al (2009), he urges that the management of multinational firms needs strategies concerning the learning the business and also how to cater to the environment.

How the Wiggles Business Model Is Unusual

Use of diverse methods of promoting their products

The use CD’s and DVD’s in selling their products helped the Wiggles so much in reaching out to many prospective customers. This was also incorporated with live performances and television shows which helped so much in creating awareness of the existence of the wiggles products. There was also the use of the internet which made sure that the products were known even in regions outside Australia as a country. This different methods and ways of promoting the wiggles products helped in elevating their business to greater heights and reach out to the targeted markets.

Proximity to customers

The wiggles performed in places where there were children, mostly pre-school children. This helped ensure that the targeted audience is available. They also performed in amusement parks in Australia and the U.S.

Accommodating both the children and their parents

The wiggles performed songs that were entertaining both to children and their parents. This ensured that the parents would accompany their children to the performances instead of dropping them and picking them later after the show. Consequently, this would help increase the number of sales made during the show in terms of entrance fees and the sales of other wiggle products such as toys, CDs and DVDs mainly because parents are the ones financial capability to buy the products and pay for the entrance fees. The type of genre of music they use is also accommodating to both children and the parents, that is, rock music (Lee, 1998).

Making sales during performances

The wiggles usually carry their other products to their performances. This helps to increase sales in that many people will want to buy either a CD or a DVD after a hilarious performance to watch the same at home. While the performances were going on, other people were offering the products for sale to the audiences. The accompaniment of the parents with their children also helped increase the sales in such performances. This is because the children will always demand interesting products from their parents once they see them. Examples of these are toys.

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The extensiveness of their function as a business

The main function of the wiggles brand is to entertain people mainly young children. This function extends to all areas of a country or the world (Susan, 2011). All children will be interested in an entertaining performance. It is advantageous to the wiggles in increasing the market of their products through schools and social activities.

Niche Market

When Wiggle was looking for the niche market the focused more on the products and services which other sectors were not giving, hence the focused on potential customers whom the streamlined their market towards (Ward, 2011)

To the wiggles company, they have been able to identify a niche target market in that they were able to penetrate in the less famous children entertainment industry and succeed in it. This line of entertainment can be referred to as the niche market or the targeted portion of the market for the wiggles group. This is because they selected a segment of the larger entertainment industry and decided to concentrate on children entertainment (Markstrom, 2008).

The wiggles relied on certain experiences to identify a niche target market both in the home market and in host markets overseas. A niche market can be established by a business owner by making sure that the needs of the targeted customers as far as products and service are concerned are met compared to other providers in the market (Murphy, 2009).

Some of the experiences the wiggles used to identify the niche target market include:

Experience in teaching and singing

Two of the founding members’ Field and Fatt were members of the Australian pop band The Cockroaches before they joined wiggle. Cook was a member of several bands before meeting Field and Page at Macquarie Universities where they were studying to become pre-school teachers. These experiences helped them in entertaining the children. The former pre-school teachers had experiences on how to deal with children and their psychological changes. This combined with the ability of the other two singers helped the wiggles to come up with songs that are both entertaining and educative to children and their parents.

Use of educative songs

Most of the songs they recorded and performed in their concerts were educative. The wiggles incorporated very educative aspects in their performances to help the children to learn as they got entertained. These educative aspects helped to encourage even the parents to allow their children to attend these concerts and also buy them CDs and DVDs. These popularized the wiggles highly and consequently gained a larger market around the country and outside.

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Wiggles mode of dressing

The wiggles had a unique way of dressing that is highly interesting to children. There was always a difference in the colour of their shirts and each wiggle colour has been maintained over the years. Greg Page was always in a yellow shirt, Murray Cook in a red shirt, Jeff Fatt in a purple shirt and Anthony Field in a blue shirt. They also wore black trousers as part of the uniform of performance (Langenberg, 2005). This mode of dressing could be easily identified by the target market that is the children. The children could easily identify who is who in the wiggles group and this helped them understand easily the content of the performances. These colours also acted as a way of identifying the wiggles brand.

Use of animal characters

The wiggles incorporated animal characters in their songs and performances. These included: Dorothy the Dinosaur, Henry the Octopus and Wags the Dog. These animal characters have been of high interest to the targeted market, that is, the children. Children will always take much interest in such stories and characters and therefore end loving this group very much (Sams, 2005). It has, therefore, become a very effective strategy in identifying the target niche market for the wiggles.

Use of different languages for different markets

The wiggles have been able to penetrate to other markets over the years. These markets include other countries such as the United States, Taiwan and many others. Some of these countries are non-English speaking countries and it, therefore, forces the wiggles group to do translations into the languages they can understand. This has helped the wiggles group in identifying its niche target market locally and in other foreign countries. For example, when they penetrated Taiwan, they had to get some people from that country, couch them for about a month on how the wiggles operate and then produce the intended work in the Taiwanese local language.

Good conduct by members

The wiggles group has always had a strict on the conduct of its members. This entails no tolerance of drug abuse, alcoholism, smoking and use of bad language by all employees of this organization. Because the wiggles are dealing with young children, such good conducts from the employees are of great importance. They have attracted much admiration from the parents as the members act as the role models for the children (Gardner, 2008). The parents have therefore had no objection for their children attending the wiggles’ concerts and buying their products. This has helped in promoting their image in the market and consequently helped they dominate in their line of business.

Use of Television programs

The wiggles have spread their wings to many television programs and series. The wiggles have also been able to broadcast at Australian Broadcasting Corporation in many instances.

Strength of Wiggles

When Greg the yellow wiggle left the band the other members were able to replace him without much ado because of the strength they had built upon their brand. This was brought about by the fact that Sam Moran who replaced him had served in wiggles for several years and had also stood in for page on many shows (Dinar, 2010). This had brought confidence upon him and the audience had also gotten used to Sam Moran before and the public was also aware that Page was ill and could not have continued performing but rather to concentrate on his health and also manage his illness (Steinberg, 2006)

Components of wiggle group

Their association with nursing mothers association

According to Munro (2005), the nursing mothers association and playgroups promoted wiggles and this made them credible by the virtue of their supporters. This, however, can sustain them in the foreign market in the sense that even in America wiggles has been sponsored by groups like Disney channel which has been showing their clip in their programs. And due to the services they offer to the children, many organizations abroad would also like to work with them (Sydney morning herald, 2003)

Franchised their concept

Wiggles group has been able to franchise their concept in many parts of the world all their CDs, DVDs and toys had been sold by other companies which have been licensed to sell its products. FAO Schwartz and Zany Brainy used to distribute their videos and this can be done whenever they go in the world by entering in to contract with other companies and letting those companies do some marketing strategies for them (Steinberg, 2006).

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Wiggle uniqueness

We find that the uniqueness is one of the components which would make them valid though one of them was not present we find that even after Greg the yellow wiggle left, they were able to replace him with Sam Moran who had served in wiggle for many years. As we can see wiggle is unique in its way because all those top and main characters have got their way of dressing which children and parents can identify them not only at home but even abroad. This is a very powerful component which can also be sustained in foreign markets because children who will be in the live performance will be receiving the entertainment and would be able to recognize those guys whether it’s in video or live performance. Their uniqueness can be sustained in a foreign market when they continue dressing and having their roles as they been used (Sachs, 2006).

Psychic distance

According to Brewer (2007), psychic distance is usually taken as differences which appears between firms’ environment and the country they are targeting. These differences may also be cultural. In wiggle, the selection of its market is difficult from the country itself as far as similarities are concerned.

Psychic distance also appears as the difference a firm will encounter in other foreign countries which are not in their country if this difference is bigger the firm will most likely select that country as the best country to venture in business. Thus psychic distance is a very big factor which deters the selection of market in firms in other countries (Vahlne, Eric, Wiedersheim, 1977). Those countries which appear to have big differences are not usually considered as the best place to start a business in. psychic distance will disturb communication between firms and markets in a particular country.

Managers of the firms will prefer to move to those countries which can identify information of excelling easily compared to those which are hard to identify the information. As noted by (Cohen, 2005), those companies which are small are supposed to consider the psychic distance from the onset when making advances to other countries for them to avoid loses and closure of their business.

Corporate Social Responsibility

This is a self-regulation aspect adopted by a company into its business model whereby the activities are motivated to comply with the law and norms of the country or international law and norms if it’s an international firm.

The goal of corporate social responsibility is to encourage its impact upon its consumers by making sure they are treated well and their rights observed. Also to the environment by making sure that the environment has been conserved and by making sure that there is a positive impact on society (Martenson, 1987).

Performances to the children with special needs

Wiggles have specifically invited children with a special need at their concert where they would meet and have fun with their families, those children with a special need have been enhanced so much to appreciate life the way they are. Wiggles have performed to those children in the hospital as well during Christmas.

Involvement in charity work

The involvement in charity has helped them earn acceptance in the society which in turn helps them reach the target market mainly because many people will always want to identify with companies that help the less privileged in the society (Disney, 2002).

Wiggle have also been able to create employment abroad when they went to Taiwan and recruited some people who were to perform in by the wiggles members in Taiwan. These people were trained for about a month in Australia and they went back to demonstrate what they learned in their country (Zou, David, and Wayne, 1997). The wiggles group has also employed very many people both locally and abroad in the organization to work as supporting staff or among the performing staff. This has been a great contributor to society and the country at large. It helps reduce unemployment and at the same time promote economic development.

Free song downloads

Wiggles have offered downloads of ringtones and songs on their websites. This is a way of giving back to the society globally because all those who have access to the internet can download even video which can be used as a form of entertainment at their homes for their children and adults too (Wright, 2008).

Road safety brochures

Wiggles in conjunction with Volkswagen Company promoted road safety were available at wiggle concerts (Gardener, 2008). This assisted the public to observe road safety and consequently marketed the Volkswagen.

Wiggles’ Intangible Resources

According to Cohen (2005), he defines intangible resources as the resources which you cannot touch such as the trademark copyrights among others. Wiggles group itself is an intangible asset because the world wiggle has a lot of influence towards the entertainment sector.

The uniqueness of the characters

The wiggles’ characters have demonstrated a very big uniqueness to their performance. We find that all those characters have been identified by the mode of dressing, that is, Greg would always be a yellow shirt while performing, Murray in a red shirt Jeff in a purple shirt and Anthony n a blue shirt (Cavusgil, and Shaoming, 1994). This gives them a unique identification which young children would notice even desire to be like them.

This kind of identification assists them to move to other areas in the world because they also appear through the internet many children and parents abroad may have had their experiences through those media have when they go to overseas they will be accepted more easily because they have prior knowledge about those unique people (Sachs, 2006).

Wiggles ability to write music every year

Not every firm would be able to write a new song every year because some may lack creativity and also the resources but wiggles group has been able to write a new song every year. According to (Dinah, 2010), this has helped them to move into new markets overseas because of their prediction. The audience has been kept on toes by their music every year and fully anticipated to see that talented entertain doing their performance on the stage (Wright, 2007). This fact has made them be embraced oversees because they are seen as entertaining with the undiminishing level of entertainment. As they sell those new songs locally and overseas, they increase their popularity and also their finances which assist them to move their business abroad.

Standardization Versus Customization

According to Ozsomer, Muzzafer, and Cavusgil, 1991), Standardization is the development of the product and how it is being used so that those who are consuming the product at the end have confidence in the product and also the supplier who is producing the product. The products are accredited and assessed for conformity with the set standards (Murphy & Yates, 2008). Many firms and company would not go to the extreme of both standardization and customization but they usually prefer to be in between the two

Standardization is also the expectation the end-use of the product expected in consuming the product (Laugenberg, 2005). The goal of this product standardization is to make sure that there is the repeatability of the product as far as quality is concerned. Customization, on the other hand, increases integration if the dealers are going to use the product. This means that a product can be customized according to the users so that it can have a maximum benefit towards the consumer. Wiggle has customized its product to fit the diverse society through first understanding the nature of that particular group (Whitelock, and Pimblett, 1997)

When the wiggle standardization is considered we find that the wiggle product standardization has influenced the wiggle popularity and how its service provision has been embraced by the society because when it comes to performance they have standardized performance that is by being unique in their mode of dressing and this is all that is expected in their performance. This is evident when wiggle first went to Taiwan, it educated some few people who were to go back and execute wiggle entertainment activities. ( Dinan, 2010).

Wiggle has been able to lend itself to worldwide standardization because all over the world the wiggle is centralized and its performances are similar to the main characters dressing in the same way always. The use of CDs and DVDs has been standardized all over the world in real-life performance. This has assisted the wiggle product to have worldwide appeal.

Summary

As we have seen from the above research we have found that any successful business can be started from its infancy by the focus the founders put into the model of their business. According to Dowling and colleagues (2009), it’s evident that uniqueness in business can be a very powerful tool as far as the success of a business is concerned. If an idea is brought up in the market and has never been used there before, the consumers are liable to have a trial in it (Cavusgil, and Shaoming, 1994). Consumers will more likely embrace change if they develop trust and consistency from the service provider.

Just like wiggle using entertainment both focusing to parents and children attracted many families both locally and abroad because unlike many entertainment firms where parents are not considered wiggle has put in mind the presence of parents and their children. This usually makes the parents embrace the ideas rather than just dropping their children and picking them later (Shoham, 1996). Hence the parents feel that their children can participate in the games and plays because of motivation and confidence they get from their products. The wiggles group’s idea should be embraced wherever a business venture is to be considered.

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