It’s A Boy! Meet Logan, the Newest Addition to the American Girl Family
American Girl is next in a series of time-honored companies to add a dose of male influence to their brand. The 30-year-old toy company has introduced a fresh new face to their lineup of dolls: a brown-haired, grey-eyed, drummer Logan Everett.
“In response to thousands of impassioned requests from fans for more options, American Girl is introducing a new series of contemporary characters and stories designed to speak to even more girls’ interests, backgrounds, and experiences,” says the brand via a press statement. “The fresh approach gives voice to a diverse range of personalities and backgrounds and new ways for girls to connect with smart, compelling, and aspirational characters that they can relate to and love.”
While this definitely speaks to the increasing gender neutrality of the kids, baby and toys industry, it will be interesting to see how Logan will fare with his end user – Generation Z.
Gen Zers want the real thing…
While unquestionably iconic, it’s possible that American Girl’s long history doesn’t resonate with its consumers as much as they’d like. The truth is, Gen Zers don’t place as much value on brand loyalty as their predecessors, Millennials.
“The products themselves are more important to Generation Z than the brands that produce them, and these consumers will change brands easily in search of higher quality,” according to marketing agency Martin-Wilbourne Partners. Luckily for American Girl, they’ve built a reputation for a premium quality product – but is that enough?
Thanks to the influence of millennial parents, and by extension, their Gen Z offspring, brands have their feet to the fire when it comes to inclusivity. These consumers want products and content that mirrors their reality rather than seeming overly unrealistic or aspirational. For 67 percent of Gen Z consumers, that means putting “real people” first, no matter their race, size or gender, according to Deep Focus.
Introducing a boy doll – one with a believable story line that kids can relate to – may be American Girl’s way of bringing their brand back down to earth for Gen Z consumers.
…but they also want to engage online.
Can American Girl still hold out hope for the future, given that its consumer base is replacing toys for online experiences at a steadily faster pace? The toy maker has already planned for that – the 2017 American Girl characters will be brought to life through a variety of different content forms from books and live-action specials to online videos, web series, and apps.
If American Girl continues to keep a finger on the pulse of what their consumers are after – even those whose hands aren’t on the purse strings – this will put them back on track for generations to come.
Follow her at @D_isforDayana