Crayola: It’s about growing frequency of self expression

Crayola may have re-invented itself from a business model standpoint, but from a philosophical, they have very much stuck to their core: it’s about enabling creative experiences.

crayolalogoCrayons are something most of us are familiar with –whether the simple 8-pack or the 64-pack with sharpener– at one time or another, we have found ourselves drawing, coloring and maybe even doodling on a paper table cloth at a restaurant while waiting for our entrees to arrive. Yes, there are many fine memories associated with Crayola crayons.

A recent story in Marketing Daily, focused on Crayola’s move into digital.

Speaking about the evolution of the brand at the 2010 ANA Creativity Conference in New York, Sharon Hartley, EVP, marketing and sales for North America at Crayola, said the company had to broaden how it defined itself in order to survive and grow.

“We had incredibly flat business before 2005, basically thinking of ourselves as a ‘stick’ and paper business,” she said, “But how many ways can you reinvent the crayon?” She said the senior team was prescient enough to think about the company as a maker of “creative experience,” not just a stationery or art supplier.

The company is experimenting with social media. They are also experimenting with virtual branded experiences like “Lights, Camera, Color,” a digital art and photo platform, and “Story Studio” — which lets kids put their image in a virtual world and build stories around it.


Crayola Story Studio

Hartley explained that even developing apps for tablets like iPad. “Makes lots of sense — and that’s the path we are pursuing.”

The moves are definitely great from a brand awareness standpoint. However, something seems to get lost with the move to digital.

I suppose that the ideal scenario would be to create by hand and then find a way to zoom it to either a printer or email or your Facebook page.

I know that I’ve done the simple step of sketch, take a picture with my Pre and email. Refining that process would be very cool.

Sketch of an idea...

Sketch of an idea...


Artist official rendition...

“If it’s not colorful, it’s not Crayola; if it’s not self expression, it’s not Crayola. We are about growing frequency of self-expression.”

— Sharon Hartley, EVP, marketing and sales for North America at Crayola


Note:  You can find some interesting Crayola facts here.


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