Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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Kids currency

March 10th, 2004 · 2 Comments

U.K. based SwapitShop is a startup that wants to monetize the economic influence of kids. It plans to do so by creating a universal currency for children. Kids can also obtain Swapits by auctioning off toys, CDs, Pokmon cards. SwapitShop is aggrandizing the idea by profiting from its direct reach with the kids. Theyve created a division to survey and test-market third-party products to SwapitShop kids, obtaining valuable market data from a group that is traditionally difficult to reach. SwapitShop charges anywhere from several hundred to tens of thousands of pounds for these services.

Inserting a Spider-Man figure in every box of Frosted Flakes costs millions, he explains, and of course many children may not like Spider-Man, or action figures at all. His solution: give kids Swapits, a virtual currency redeemable for merchandise on the SwapitShop Web site. Swapits are distributed as coded numbers printed on coupons or product packages. Printing 100 Swapits on the inside flap of a cereal box costs next to nothing, says Attwood, and kids can get things they actually want.

SwapitShop profits from these transactions by selling its currency to, say, a cereal company, typically for a few tenths of a penny per Swapit. SwapitShop then spends about one-third of its take on new merchandise, ensuring a broad range of gettable goodies and preventing Swapit currency devaluation. The remaining two-thirds is gross profitnot a bad ratio at all!

Some interesting ideas to explore in the context of the rural market in India.

Tags: Deeshaa (Rural Development)

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