Emerging brands and businesses — the ones operating in the wild west where there are no rules, or where rules are about to be broken — are like a gravitational force that pulls me in. “Fearless Brands” is a series intended to highlight some of my favorites, and hopefully a forum to hear from and about other innovators.
To kick things off, let’s talk about GoldieBlox…
Founded in 2012 by Debbie Sterling, GoldieBlox is a toy company aiming to “disrupt the pink aisle” with products for young girls that ignite an interest in engineering, science and math. After building a prototype and pitching her idea to a bunch of naysayers, Debbie launched a Kickstarter campaign and raised nearly twice her funding goal from 240 backers. Since then, GoldieBlox has made it onto the shelves of major toy retailers, established the vision with disruptive videos that have racked up millions of views, and scored a 30-second commercial slot during the 2013 Super Bowl by winning a small business competition sponsored by Intuit. The latest video, GoldieBlox vs. the Big Sister Machine, released November 5th and has over 500k views already. Check it out…
No surprise, the golden girl has not come this far without challenges and criticism. It’s not possible to be disruptive without alienating some people, and it’s not possible to innovate without making mistakes.
I’m a big fan of the vision, intent, and bold message, but do wish GoldieBlox tried harder to “break the mold” by leading with a kick-ass character more visually relatable to the majority of girls who have black or brown hair. There are other kids in BloxTown — Valentina, Li and Ruby — but Goldie is the face of the brand. There’s still a lot of work to be done to inspire possibilities for the future generation, and gender bias is not the only issue that needs to be addressed.
Wish list aside, GoldieBlox is a young company, and I have no doubt they’ll continue to evolve and bring more color into the pink aisle.
Photo & Video Credit: GoldieBlox