When Hasbro runs out of ideas
Silence filled the air at the latest meeting of the minds for Hasbro. It had been a lean year in terms of sales and profits, and the company had gathered the best of the best to come together and think of some ideas that would put the toy brand back on the map. But even the best of the best were running low on inspiration, feeling they had exhausted all of their ideas over the decades.
“Okay, I feel like we’re trying to do too many things at once here,” the CEO said. “Let’s just get back to basics and focus on one brand at a time. Forget Play-Doh, forget NERF, forget My Little Pony. Let’s get back to one of our most trusted, successful and reliable brands—The Transformers. Has anyone got any thoughts on how we can revitalise them?”
Again, the room fell silent. The CEO could tell there were some ideas floating in the air that people wanted to say, but were too nervous to express out loud. “Look, people, right now there are no bad suggestions. I will listen to anything you have got. We’re at desperation stakes here.”
Finally, there was a whisper from the back of the room. Everyone turned to look at Lionel, the newest recruit to the Hasbro ideas team. “Well,” he said nervously.
“Yes, go ahead, Lionel. Out with it. No bad ideas, just like I said.”
“Well, I had a new concept for The Transformers. What if they were all just basic household or workplace items? Like, you could have a group of Autobots who were all part of a cleaning team. You could call them the Cleanobots.”
Silence remained in the room. Against his better judgement, Lionel kept talking.
“Or you could have an office. Like a dentist’s surgery. A group made up of Dental Equipment, looking to take over the world. Dentcepticons you could call them.”
The CEO stopped for a moment, trying to comprehend what he had just heard. “Dental Equipment Transformers? This is your idea?”
“Yes, sir,” Lionel replied.
“Everyone, when I said there were no bad suggestions. I was wrong. This. This is a bad suggestion. Kids won’t want to play with dental equipment. Lionel, perhaps this is not the industry for you…”