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November 7, 2008

Where Will Shinky Dinks Brand Naming Go Next?

shrinkylogo.gifThe news that the Shrinky Dinks brand is for sale gives me an opportunity to write about how a good brand name acts as an asset in and of itself.

Shrinky Dinks was first a kitchen table invention that grew quickly. After running into distribution problems, the inventors decided to license the Shrinky Dinks name to Colorfoms and then to Milton Bradley. The name was then distributed to toy companies on a non-exclusive basis while the founder of the company, Betty Morris, sold the plastic toys.

Just like that Shrinky Dinks was back in business with one web site pulling in sales of over $20,000 a month. Total sales since the product's invention have topped $150 million, and Shrinky Dinks have become such a ubiquitous part of American life that they have gone up in the Space Shuttle.

They are also used on drink tags, Barbie products, and recently were the inspiration for new microfluidic devices for a professor at the University of California who remembered playing with them as a kid. They are even the subject of serious art competitions.
In fact, the name Shrinky Dinks is used pretty liberally in general. We seem to refer to any shrinking plastic product (you just need #6 plastic) as a "Shrinky Dink," but because it is so easy to package, it can be appended to almost any brand, especially when you consider that Smurf Shrinky Dinks seem to have been the company's biggest sellers.

This is quite simply a case of good brand name management that has made the name instantly recognizable and kid friendly.

I predict that it will be quickly picked up and find new life in years to come.

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Posted by William Lozito at November 7, 2008 8:45 AM
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