Suzy's Zoo, created by Suzy Spafford, consists of three different character sets: Duckport, Little Suzy's Zoo, and Wags and Whiskers. These characters appear on classroom supplies, fabric, plush animals, disposable diapers, wallpaper, infant and toddler apparel, and other items. The companies main business relied on producing and selling greeting cards. However, because the market for greeting cards is mature and highly competitive, Suzy’s Zoo reorganized to provide regular greeting cards (Suzy’s Zoo Greeting Cards) and licensing agreements (Suzy’s Zoo Studio). Licensing proved to be a gigantic success, and total sales went from ~$6 million in 1992 to $100 million in 2005.
Licensing representation by Earthworks and its first success with Sony Plaza in Japan spread the characters of Suzy’s Zoo and create a broad base of awareness.
Additionally, the production of children’s books and animations can fill out the product line to boost recognition and following.
However, a rapidly developing environment and the introduction of high-tech greeting cards have not affected Suzy’s focus. The company is not highly involved in the making of new age digital cards.
At the same time, the companies main creative force, Suzy Spafford, is nearing retirement.
Resources that support Suzy’s Zoo’s competitive advantage are believed to be:· Unique characters (Intellectual/Human)
The characters created by Suzy are the companies most important resource. There will be demand as long as the characters remain as popular and appealing as they are.
· Licensing agreement with Earthworks Brand Management (Organizational)
This agreement provides a significant advantage to the company, essentially outsourcing responsibilities of managing licensing agreements and adding a powerful network of opportunities. The licensing contract with Sony Plaza is...