The view from outside of Toys R Us Times Squar...

View from Toys"R"Us Flagship store, NYC Times Square (Wikipedia)


Even if you only read the preview, today’s ToysR”Us® feature (via emphasizes the critical importance of the “plant” i.e., timing in working with your customers. In this case, Toys“R”Us Inc. customers are potential investors and the advisors who represent them (B-to-B). Following a 2005 buyout, a new public offering launched in 2010, reports Ann Zimmerman (WSJ). She conjectures that the weak (i.e., slow”) response results from poor timing. Quite simply, Toys“R”Us didn’t plant in the right season (2010) to reach potential investors (2012). Was it too early or too late. As a Web 2.0 marketer, I leave that question to the financial analysts.

It’s no small irony that the Toys“R”Us NYC flagship store stands just a block or two from the NASDQ newsroom. The retail store is a multi-tower brand ad, walk-in catalog, and prospectus. Street-level customers are just part of the value game.

The customer ecology lesson: empowerment

It’s also a critical reminder that every business enterprise is an ecosystem (death to the “silo”). Consider it as horizontal with patches working together, or as levels of soil, nutrition, and seeds.

That’s why a failed or weak IPO on the business pages—in this case Toys“R”Us—reads like a failed “marketing” campaign (i.e., B-to-B). Investor relation costs (including IPOs) ultimately affect customer relationships—including customer and brand value.  Empowering investors, empowers the enterprise; customers in turn, are empowered with products, experience, and fully engaged to keep coming back for more.

What’s next, brand-wise?

It will be interesting to see when Toys “R” Us rebrands (B-to-C) to make up the difference. Keep an eye on the advertising trades to see what launches.

Read:  Toys ‘R’ Us IPO: Still Withering on the Vine (tiered-subscription). By Ann Zimmerman, Published Friday, August 26, 2011, 12:00am

What’s your experience of B-to-B “planting”?

How have these issues affected the value or your enterprise and/or its brand(s)? Please log in and comment via, WordPress, Twitter, or Facebook. Of course, you can also bookmark or share with a colleague.