Carl Pfeiffer – “Edu-tainment” at Kidzania
When arriving on this trip I didn’t think that I would be looking at any of the business visits as anything but from an educational and business perspective. However, when we arrived at Kidzania, it took me by surprise and instantly became a starry-eyed 10 year old boy the moment we were transported to the world of Kidzania.
The first thing we did was learn the business of this franchise, and thought the strategy they use to educate and entertain kids, while keeping the adults happy, and earn profit from each of the sponsors for the different job areas. It is pure genius. It was really hard for me to sit through the presentation because my mind was going back to when I was kid wishing that there were places like this to go and learn what I wanted to be. Thinking back I could have made some important life or job decisions sooner experiencing what it is like in the “real world” in a place like Kidzania.
Once the initial shock subsided I was able to see what an new and interactive “edu-tainment” opportunity this is as we walked through and saw kids faces learning and playing in this little world. Living in Disney’s backyard I can honestly say this blows any of the Disney parks out of the water, strictly from interaction element and learning piece. When we were there the children seemed so engaged and passionate about the jobs they were in and I know that is hard for children to stay that focused and passionate about something. The model is absolutely brilliant, everything from the job offerings for the children, to the accommodations for the adults, to the security features that doesn’t allow a child to leave without the parental guardian they came in with. The kids not only learn job skills, but they have to learn how to manage money and a bank account while they earn little paychecks in every job. The money they earn they can actually budget and spend it in real stores that sell merchandise and snacks.
Looking at it from a business perspective I was shocked to hear why there wasn’t one in the US already, and that is because the company wanted to build a strong global brand equity first before trying to enter the US market, but they have just broke ground on a location in Chicago expected to be finished by 2015. Another thing I thought was a brilliant business move is that fact that 25 million is the cost to build and create the shell for the business, and then they generate income from their sponsors like Coca-Cola that have to pay about $625,000 for a 5 year contract with a monthly retainer to showcase their product in Kidzania, and is a win win for the business and the sponsors. Kidzania generates revenue from the sponsors and also has a unique real world company that the kids can act like they are working for, and the sponsor is getting valuable advertising time to test new products and use as research facility with a captive target audience.