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International Product Launch Saved by Brand Name Testing & Translation

TOMY Case Study


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TOMY International


Disappointing International
Product Sales


Brand Testing and Localization


About TOMY International

A subsidiary of TOMY Company, TOMY International is a leading global designer, producer, and marketer of children's toys and nursery products based in the United States. Brands from TOMY include John Deere Toys, Thomas & Friends, Coca-Cola Toys, Lamaze, The First Years, Sonic, Disney and more.

The company focuses on delivering trust, safety, value, and “a little TOMY magic” with every product they sell. TOMY products are sold world-wide, so they understand the value in accurate and appropriate multi-lingual packaging, user manuals and advertisements.

As a long-time client of Rapport International, when TOMY needed help testing the rebranding of a product in Europe, the choice was obvious.


Unsuccessful International Product Launch

Companies going to the global market know the impact of culture and language on the perception of a product. TOMY successfully released a new line of plastic cups, bowls, and plates in the United States called “Take & Toss". Despite the domestic success, the European launch resulted in low sales and poor customer response.

The branding and messaging for the Take & Toss line confused European consumers and sales suffered. The European customers questioned if the products were to be recycled or reused, and the ambiguity sent buyers away.

TOMY turned to Rapport International for research, consultation, and brand name testing.


Rebranding Based On Name Testing

The marketing team at TOMY proposed to rebrand Take & Toss as Säva and Rapport International conducted brand name research in seven European languages to test messaging and cultural appropriateness. The questionnaire aimed to uncover any direct, indirect or hidden meanings in the new name, as well as questions regarding the feelings the new name inspired in the survey participants.


Successful Product Relaunch in European Market

The long-standing partnership between TOMY and Rapport International resulted in a seamless and efficient experience for both companies. TOMY received personalized attention and testing from experienced bilingual marketing translation experts. The reviewers provided feedback on pronunciation, emotional associations, alignment and message. With a positive response to the new name, TOMY relaunched the product.

Rapport International’s experts truly understood the voice and needs of TOMY International, which contributed to mutual trust and a strong partnership. Rapport International cares about the success of TOMY and its products and paid close attention to the process and results.

TOMY relaunched Säva in Europe under the new, tested brand name to much success. Sales increased, and brand awareness continues to grow as clear messaging and marketing changed the European response to the product.

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