Learning | What can we learn from Kidzania, which is the same as Lego?
Guangzhou SQV Amusement Equipment Co.,LTD
2019-06-10 15:47:06
shikewei    2019-06-10 16:00:01

In 1999, Kidzania, the world's first children's professional experience museum, was born in Mexico and quickly became famous as a banner for a new generation of children's business.

In 2006, Kidzania entered Tokyo, Japan to start its internationalization. The entertaining and entertaining, unique positioning and experience make this fun park a hit and become the object of collective tribute to the children's professional experience museum industry in China and the world. Today, Kidzania has landed in 19 countries, and the total number of parks under construction and under construction has reached 24, making it one of the fastest growing indoor children's parks in recent years.

Its first B to B+B to C business model connects corporate brands and parent-child consumers by collecting tickets, sponsored by well-known institutions (titles, brand implants, etc.) and overseas franchise fees. The global annual revenue exceeds 400 million. US dollars.

However, this South American company, which is good at teaching and learning, is unable to expand when it expands into a large and rich consumer market like the United States and China.

This paper attempts to decipher the past and present life and kinship in the commercial cycle of Kidzania. How to overcome the acclimatization, maintain self-renewal and consolidate the moat is the three mountains that Kidzania needs to deal with.

Learning | What can we learn from Kidzania, which is the same as Lego?

Kidzania founder Xavier Lopez is an authentic Mexican who studied at the Northwestern University for an EMBA and later worked for the famous financial company GE Capital.

When he returned to his home country from the United States, he found that the educational environment between Mexico and the United States was huge. In the United States, children have been well edified since childhood, and have become professional ambitions for professionals! However, most Mexican children follow the trend, and the most popular dream is to become a football player.

Therefore, when Javier created Kidzania, the initial heart was not to build a children's paradise, but a social school. However, from the perspective of children's psychology, only when it is interesting, it is possible for children to patronize many times and gain nutrients from a specific atmosphere.

Learning | What can we learn from Kidzania, which is the same as Lego?

▲ Kidzania founder Javier Lopez


Restore reality, entertaining and singularity 

Different from Disney, Universal Studios and other traditional theme parks with thrilling, exciting and dreamy experiences as the main selling point, Kidzania is positioned as “Edutainment”.

Everyone is afraid to play the game of "playing house" when they are young, and I look forward to being able to control life like an adult. The children also have their own future careers, and these can get a near-real experience in Kidzania.

By partnering with well-known companies, governments and related NGOs, Kidzania offers children a wealth of professional and social experience, from which they learn the basics and skills of relevant professions, and even get paid for their work. After learning how to manage money.

It is Kidzania's concept of entertainment and education that makes this indoor park popular with parents and children, which helps the Mexican brand to expand rapidly in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. It is the fastest growing global market with the Lego Discovery Center. Indoor children's playground.

Although the service content is very different, the overall philosophy of LEGO and Kidzania is the same, which is to make the learning process interesting.

JLC Hospitality Consulting, a US travel industry consulting firm, found that under the leadership of Kidzania and Lego, the concept of “communication and education” has been adopted by 57.9% of indoor children's parks worldwide.

Learning | What can we learn from Kidzania, which is the same as Lego?

Learning | What can we learn from Kidzania, which is the same as Lego?


The details make the irreplaceability of the play experience

Kidzania is a child-led world, a miniature version of the "mini" society. In order to realize the user experience of “small but complete,” the company has a lot of work on the following elements:

Infrastructure tailored

In order to create a career-oriented experience that is close to real life, Kidzania has invested a lot of money and energy in the infrastructure of each occupation. Almost all professional positions work with leading companies in the respective industries to provide facilities and skills guidance. For example, children can be trained at an Asian airline and become a pilot or flight attendant. They can also learn how to make delicious chocolates at Cadbury's factory, or as a car mechanic at Renault's car repair center. Change the tires. Of course, some difficult industries have also reduced the difficulty a little, so that children of all ages can get started as much as possible. In addition, in order to make it easier for children to get started, the size of the facility is adjusted to fit the child's size, which is about 3/4 of the actual size.

Learning | What can we learn from Kidzania, which is the same as Lego?

Choose a variety, play a role in the real thing

Kidzania offers 60 to hundreds of careers for children aged 2-14. The variety of choices not only makes the children linger, but also allows them to return to Kidzania after the first experience, thus increasing the ticket revenue and user loyalty of the park. In addition, Kidzania offers exclusive professional clothing styling, in addition to the small size, the design of the material is exactly the same as the real life professional clothing. This can also help children quickly get involved in the role and experience the immersive professional role playing.

Learning | What can we learn from Kidzania, which is the same as Lego?

▲ Children experience glasses sales work in Kidzania, Japan

Store's general trading assets

Each child gets 50 Kidzo (Kidzania official currency) as starting capital when they enter the park. They can get paid through labor in different positions, or they can spend or deposit these income in the department store in Kidzania. Your own bank account. The Kidzania bank account is globally available, and children can withdraw deposits from their accounts at Kidzania in different regions of the world, or they can withdraw their purchases on their next visit.

Learning | What can we learn from Kidzania, which is the same as Lego?

▲ Children do deposit and withdrawal business at the bank in Kidzania.

Localized professional experience

In addition to the above details, Kidzania has also introduced differentiated professional play in combination with local cultural practices in recent overseas expansion. Even in the same profession, when you land in different areas, it will provide children with different content. For example, the chefs who experience in Japan experience sushi and other popular and well-known dishes in the local area. It is the grasp of these details that makes Kidzania Paradise popular in the overseas expansion in recent years.


The first B2B+B2C business model

Connect corporate brands and parent-child consumers

Relying on offline traffic, playing tickets + corporate brand implant + franchise management fee revenue combination boxing

Although the operation of Kidzania in each region is slightly different, according to Forbes, Kidzania ticket revenue accounts for about 50% of the global park turnover, and the remaining income is mainly from sponsors. As the pace of globalization continues to accelerate, ticket revenues have continued to solidify in recent years, providing a solid foundation for attracting brands to settle in.

Different from the general professional experience park, Kidzania's facilities and most professional experience content are sponsored by the well-known enterprises in the relevant industry and provide technical support, that is, the brand merchants obtain the specific naming rights of the venues, thus realizing the experiential marketing after “brand implantation”. Such as a brand cake house, a brand bank. This model not only brings the facilities in the park closer to the real scene, but also brings considerable income to Kidzania.

Learning | What can we learn from Kidzania, which is the same as Lego?

Learning | What can we learn from Kidzania, which is the same as Lego?

▲ Partial sponsor of Kidzania 

There are more than 950 global partners in the park, and each region will be different. When entering each overseas market, Kidzania actively seeks to cooperate with well-known local companies, which is also an attempt of their localization. In addition, they work with government agencies and non-profit organizations to provide a professional experience in the park.

The US online magazine The Morning News reported that Kidzania’s investment in Santa Fe’s first theme park was all from sponsors; more than 45% of Dubai Paradise’s annual revenue comes from sponsors, while Malaysia The brand sponsorship fee for Kuala Lumpur's Kidzania in 2015 was approximately $2.6 million.

Of course, Kidzania's branding has also caused social controversy and has been criticized for being too commercial. But the management of the park believes that the brand presence and their professional infrastructure and professional guidance are the advantages of Kidzania; in real life, advertising and branding are everywhere, and if they are deliberately removed, the children will not be able to perceive the truth. The life and work scenes, so that the play experience is downgraded to a small "family". According to the company's research results and user feedback from various social platforms: Children are full of expectations for “inauguration” in these companies. What they want is the same real experience as adults, rather than being specifically designed for children. "the company".

Lean site selection for performance and cost reduction

Based on the importance of the brand effect, in order to further expand the brand exposure and attract the right consumers, Kidzania's principle in the global site selection is to occupy the market with high disposable income and consumerism. .

According to the management of Kidzania, compared to outdoor large amusement parks, site selection can reduce the high cost of fixed assets for buying or leasing large-scale real estate. Secondly, large-scale shopping malls have high awareness in the minds of consumers, geographical location, transportation and other infrastructure facilities, which are conducive to controlling the total investment and daily marketing expenses during the startup phase. In addition, the location shopping malls are also convenient for parents to spend their free time, no need to consider creating separate entertainment services for their parents, many parents can go shopping around the rest, after the children have finished playing, then go to the park to pick up the children.

The above logic is in line with the location strategy of most of the world's paradise brands. The core data of JLC Hospitality Consulting related research is shown in the following figure:

Learning | What can we learn from Kidzania, which is the same as Lego?

Learning | What can we learn from Kidzania, which is the same as Lego?

Franchise to do light work for assets

In addition to the three Kidzania Direct Parks in Mexico, all the parks of the brand are launched in the form of exclusive franchise.

According to official information, Kidzania requires overseas partners to have a certain reputation in the local market. Service industries such as entertainment or media are preferred. In addition, partners must have strong financial strength and offline expansion capabilities, and prepare for at least 20 million US dollars. Start up and continue to open new parks in the local area; the franchise is not allowed to be transferred.

The head office provides franchisees with full support of brand intellectual property, design, themes, methodology and the construction of the franchise park.


Overseas expansion

Kidzania has expanded its territory in recent years and has made a name for itself in the world. According to the British BBC, the company's global revenue has increased from 300 million US dollars in 2013 to 400 million US dollars in 2016.

At present, Kidzania has 24 parks around the world, and the company's management believes that the number can be increased to 80.

Learning | What can we learn from Kidzania, which is the same as Lego?

Learning | What can we learn from Kidzania, which is the same as Lego?

 ▲ Global distribution of operating and upcoming parks

Japan's first battle victory

Kidzania's global gold rush began in 2006 with the first franchise to land in Tokyo, Japan.

The Japanese market has a considerable high-income group, and like other East Asian countries, it attaches great importance to children's education. Kidzania's concept of “communication and education” has a well-respected soil. In addition, Japan has always been the vane of Asian economy and culture. Foreign companies want to enter the Asian market and usually test water in Japan first.

When entering Japan, Kidzania chose to cooperate with the local leader KCJ Group. The founder of the group, Einosuke Sumitani, previously worked in the catering industry and successfully helped many American fast food chain brands to blossom and grow in Japan. Tony Roma, Wolfgang Puck's and Hard Rock Café in the United States were all introduced by him.

After visiting Kidzania in Mexico in 2004, Sumitani signed an agreement with the company to obtain the right to operate the Tokyo franchise. After the completion of Tokyo Kidzania, the daily response reached 2,500 person-times. In the first year, the total number of tourists was 800,000, which was higher than the original 500,000 person-times. Ticket prices for the Tokyo campus range from 3,650 yen (RMB 218) to 4,750 yen during the peak period, and parents' fees are about half that of children. Currently, Kidzania has two parks in Tokyo Park and Koshien Park in Japan.

The successful experience of Japan's Kidzania has enabled this professional experience park to take root in Asia. Currently, Kidzania has 12 franchise parks in operation in Asia.

Learning | What can we learn from Kidzania, which is the same as Lego?

Long absence in the United States

Although close to the United States, Kidzania, which started in Mexico, has not yet entered the world's most important market.

In 2002, Kidzania co-founder Luis Javier Laresgoiti sold his stake in Kidzania to Lopez and brought the idea of Kidzania and his experience in Mexico to the United States and Wannado City in Florida. However, Wannado unfortunately closed down in 2011. According to industry analysts, the over-pricing and incorrect location (the lack of potential consumers in the region) led to the ultimate failure of this Kidzania model follower.

The management of Kidzania admitted in an interview with the media that this predecessor made them cautious about entering the US market. Cammie Dunaway, the company's global market chief marketing officer, admits that the idea of training children to become a professional is hard to buy in the US because "the US consumer market is maturing, and the park must launch enough and deep, interesting activities to attract children and Parents," she said. Cammie revealed that Kidzania spent a lot of time and energy on site selection for the US New Paradise.

Kidzania official said that the company will set up a park in Dallas and Chicago in the United States in 2019. It will be operated by E2W, the leading female financial services organization in the United States, and developed and built by GGP INC. The two parks offer hundreds of career options for children in the United States, and are far ahead of other countries in terms of number of occupations.

The first Kidzania Park in the Stonebriar Center Mall in the Frisco area of Dallas is expected to open in March 2019, covering 80,000 square feet (7,432 square meters). The location of the business district is one of the fastest growing areas in the school district, with children accounting for one-third of the local population. Gregory Knoop, chief development officer of Kidzania USA, believes that there are many forward-looking parents active here, and many Fortune 500 companies and local companies can provide sponsorship for the park.

Another US Kidzania Park is located in the Oakbrook Center in Chicago and will open in the summer of 2019. Kidzania USA also plans to expand the park to more than 20 other cities in the United States in the future.

Learning | What can we learn from Kidzania, which is the same as Lego?

China is not satisfied with the soil

Attacking the United States can be a good thing, and in China, the largest market in Asia, Kidzania is a miserable Waterloo.

Kidzania tried to enter the Chinese market in 2009 and plans to build 8-10 parks in China. At that time, Kidzania's exclusive franchise rights in mainland China and Hong Kong were obtained by Fun Home Management Consulting Co., Ltd., a joint venture between real estate developers David Salim and Salim Group, which initially hired many executives with high salaries.

The first Kidzania site is located in the old Ximen area of Huangpu, Shanghai. It plans to invest 100 million yuan, covering an area of 7,000 square meters, and cooperate with more than 50 corporate brands. It is a pity that the park that was originally scheduled to debut in September 2010 has finally hit the water.

The "First Financial Daily" reported that people familiar with the matter said that copying the overseas model and adopting a fee threshold higher than 10 times the price of competing products in the industry is the fuse of the park.

It is reported that Kidzania has set a brand sponsorship fee of not less than 4 million yuan, which is in line with overseas quality franchise parks such as Japan. At the time, the domestic mainstream children's park brand Cool Bella had a revenue of only 4 million yuan for all brands in the first-tier cities. It can be seen that Kidzania's marketing pricing standards, which are out of line with the Chinese market's brand payment ability, have made the buying companies extremely rare.

In addition, the company's renovation of the park and hardware equipment requires the use of costly international standards, relatively rigid operation to make the cooperative brand investment returns lower than expected. For example, the cost of an aircraft simulation construction project is about 1 million yuan, while Kidzania costs 1 million dollars.

According to the survey, the single profit model is the crux of the failure of interesting families in China, and the brands born in China are more grounded in the mode of revitalization. At present, the interest of domestic children's professional experience museum investors is high, but most of these parks lack creativity and the industry is slow to update. According to statistics, at least one hundred Kidzania cottage children's professional play parks have appeared in the Chinese market, but the rate of bankruptcy is as high as 60%.

According to professionals, the format has high requirements for capital, operations, organizational marketing and precision promotion capabilities. Once the ability is broken, it must go to a loss. In addition, the high-frequency time window of domestic market demand is not open, and children's occupational experience belongs to social education. The result of children's soft power improvement is not obvious enough and difficult to quantify is also the reason why consumers are unable to continue to invest.

Currently, Kidzania has not yet completed a paradise in Greater China. Founder and CEO Javier said in an interview with Japan Sankei Shimbun in 2016 that the company is still actively looking for partners and has not given up the Chinese market. In 2017, he revealed to New Yorker that he is considering working with investors in Guangzhou.

Learning | What can we learn from Kidzania, which is the same as Lego?


The old driver does not eat the old, aiming at the product line extension

The theme park research institute Themed Entertainment Association issued a report stating: After the theme park is completed, it is not allowed to sit on the mountain. They must continuously invest, upgrade and improve service models and content in order to obtain a wider source of income.

With the economic recovery of the global economy, especially in developed economies, the next few years may be a good time for Kidzania to expand rapidly. Especially in the two largest markets in China and the United States, Kidzania has just started.

CEO Havel has publicly stated that the company will adjust to a single income model. “Because of the first entity park, Kidzania can develop IP culture derivatives such as movies based on optimized operations,” he told The New Yorker. The management of Kidzania has repeatedly expressed to the media that it has begun to provide different new professional role-playing to consumers.

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