Carte Blanche’s Danielle Oprey on the success of the nursery and preschool brand.
Me to You’s Tatty Teddy is one of the most recognisable brands on today’s retail shelves, and it’s not hard to understand why the grey bear with the blue nose is such a hit. It’s trusted, versatile, gender neutral and not forgetting that it has cuteness by the bucket load.
The arrival of Tiny Tatty Teddy in 2011 meant that Carte Blanche Greetings could further expand these attributes into the nursery and preschool space. CBG’s artist took Tatty Teddy’s key features and created a brand new look that lent itself to the product and the core consumer in the space.
Success quickly followed and CBG currently has 12 UK partners and two brand partnerships (with Simple on baby care and Cheeky Chompers), as well as a longstanding DTR with Marks & Spencers.
“Apparel and toiletries are the biggest performing categories,” Danielle Oprey, European licensing manager at CBG, explains. “I think we were all in shock when we realised that we had sold over 700,000 units of baby apparel last year and over three million Simple baby care products.”
That partner count is continuing to grow – Casa Chicos has just been signed up as a nursery textiles partner because, as Danielle explains “our customers and retailers wanted coordinating product following the success of the apparel ranges”. In addition, breathable cot liners have been launched through Breathable Baby.
“We stay true to ourselves and only create product that is right for us and our consumers and retailers,” Danielle continues. “Our brand is seen as trusted and family friendly which is really important in such a big market. We are also seen as an evergreen brand with unisex appeal, which makes us really versatile when buyers are building ranges.”
The portfolio for Tiny Tatty Teddy is constantly growing as CBG reviews market trends and identifies where the brand could work. Danielle says that CBG is looking at baby safe toys and accessories such as play mats: “these would work fantastically using assets from our new style guide. We would also like to replicate more of the UK’s success stories internationally on the key categories and hope to realise some of this in 2018.”
Social media has also been very important, both in terms of building the brand and engaging with the audience. “We have a loyal fanbase of over 140,000 followers on Facebook alone, so the digital channels are key for us,” Danielle says. “Twitter and Facebook allow us to showcase new ranges, but also offer a platform for our consumers to engage with us. I’m always impressed to see how many people we reach when we run competitions and activations.”
Looking forward, and orders have been confirmed with a new retail partner, which will be launching in September – “we see them as a key destination for our consumer so watch this space” hints Danielle.
Longer term, Danielle is clear on her aspirations for Tiny Tatty Teddy: “I would love to see us reach the 21 years of trading the brand as Me to You has done. I see Tiny Tatty Teddy as being a heritage brand in the future.”
A bountiful partnership
Danielle confirms that Tiny Tatty Teddy will be working with Bounty for next year.
Carte Blanche Group will be putting Tiny Tatty Teddy product in Bounty packs available in Tesco, which has a reach of around 41,000. The exact date of the campaign is to be confirmed, however it is likely to take place in spring next year.
In addition, the brand also has a continued partnership with Bliss, the UK’s leading neonatal charity. Tiny Tatty Teddy plush is available to buy on the Bliss website, with all proceeds going back to the charity.