The Reinvention of the Wiggles

Posted by Tony Bugg on October 23, 2015

It will be 25 years in 2016 since The Wiggles began their journey of becoming a uniquely Iconic Australian brand.

As we all know in the licensing business, it is a hard road to launch any brand onto the global stage. It is even more difficult to re launch an existing brand after it has experienced a shift in perception by the consumer.

In 2012, The Wiggles re-organized their lineup and introduced three new members including Emma, the first female Wiggle. This meant they needed to completely reposition themselves across all commercial platforms.  Paul Field has been the MD of the Wiggles from day one and it became his task to review all aspects of the business model and make many hard decisions to discontinue non-profitable operations. He re-organized the core business to guarantee the brand on going success and out sourced their online store.  Paul once again began to focus on the Wiggles live performing platform, TV and DVD.

One of the more defining aspects of The Wiggles is their connection with the wider community. They are uniquely Australian and they perform in almost every town around the county, big and small. The trust they have developed with families is powerful and their connection with pre school children is something that not many brands can compete with.

Some three years later, they continue to sell out concerts around Australia and have again established the new group in North America and Canada.  The Wiggles are all-powerful and even recognized by the US president as a trustworthy and engaging brand.

As part of the repositioning of the business, Emma, the yellow Wiggle, now has her own TV Show, consumer products range and a large following of your children and parents.

There are many global brands which, over time, lose their way in a competitive market. They sometimes become too focused on growth trajectories and as a result become too innovative. Continuously reinventing your brand does not always mean you have to move away from what made the brand successful in the first place.

Barbie is another good example of a 50-year-old brand, which is experiencing the challenges of remaining relevant with mothers and young female consumers. We have recently seen Mattel look to reset their management team and are now looking at new strategies to regain Barbie’s dominance in the category. Like the Wiggles, maybe they need to go back and look at what made the brand so successful in the first place. For The Wiggles it was their grass roots touring, for Barbie it was the style and quality of the doll, which attracted its audience.

It is a timely reminder to all of us who work on brands that a look at where your brand has come from versus where it is heading should be a vital part of all brand strategy planning.