Customer Spotlight: KidsPark Reimagines the Traditional Childcare Business Model and Succeeds
New to California and frustrated by the inflexible hours of childcare, KidsPark CEO Debbie Milner started working on a bright idea during the late 1980s. She wanted to transform the rigid pay structure and hours of traditional daycare into a new concept that could be both convenient for busy parents and exciting for kids! And thus, KidsPark was born. Today, the growing franchise has many locations spanning the US, and offers flexible, pay-per-hour childcare that focuses on imagination, movement, art and socialization for preschoolers to school-agers. Read more about this creative business model and why Debbie and her team rely on Modern Postcard for quality direct mail marketing and print promotions.
Give us an overview of how and when your business started.
The phrase, “necessity is the mother of invention,” is the perfect way to describe the conception of KidsPark. The business started in 1988 purely out of personal need because it was the type of childcare service I wanted. I had a 2-year-old daughter and was new to California without any local family members to help out. Although I could find full-time care, my life didn’t always fit their structured hours. I wanted fun, safe, enriching daycare without planning ahead of time. I wanted a win-win situation, where my daughter could feel it was a treat to go and I could feel good about the quality of care she would receive. So, it was up to me to bring this childcare concept to life!
What are the top 3 qualities that set KidsPark apart from other childcare services?
We are hourly, on-demand childcare for days, evenings and weekends. Without a reservation, parents use KidsPark on their schedule and pay only for the time used. It is modern childcare for the modern family.
In terms of marketing, tell us about your brand and how you developed the KidsPark look and feel?
At KidsPark, we play all day, every day. Our centers are bright and colorful, so we wanted our marketing collateral to reflect the spirit of our business. We first started using vibrant graphics in our collateral (many featuring animals) because we didn’t have photos of kids and didn’t want to use stock photography. We noticed these graphics helped our print and direct mail pieces stand out, so we continued to use them. Our lead designer, Joshua Novelle of MagicLamp Networks, eventually introduced real photography to make our brand more modern. We like how the photos and original graphics merge so playfully together, and help keep the brightness and fun of our KidsPark brand both relevant and easy to recognize.
In terms of our online presence and business operations, MagicLamp Networks manages our web design and development needs, so they understand all aspects of KidsPark and ensure our brand is integrated consistently from our website to Point-Of-Sale systems and more.
What type of print and direct mail marketing do you use to promote KidsPark and how have they contributed to your growth?
We believe in the strength of targeted word-of-mouth and community marketing. Having a great printed piece is a wonderful way to start that conversation. While we have a social media presence, many of our “fans” are not true prospects and do not convert to actual customers. People who touch our printed materials do convert over 80% of the time. For example, one of our recurring direct mail campaigns focuses on mailing birthday postcards with coupons to children. We find that kids love receiving mail! Recently, we created a printed booklet for our business that will be used as a mailed piece for new customers and marketing handout for onsite visitors. It’s great to have the versatility in our physical marketing pieces to best address the needs of our audience.
Why do you choose to work with Modern Postcard over other print and direct mail vendors?
Of course I would say it is the amazing quality, service and price points – but it is more than that. It is being treated as a valued customer. In this age of no touch points other than the enter key, it is fantastic to have personal contacts at Modern who treat each of our jobs as importantly as we do. As an hourly childcare center, each family is special to us. We know all about their children and warmly welcome them each visit. I feel Modern Postcard does the same and that is why I elect to work with them.
What is the most rewarding thing about a business that focuses on children and their development?
The most important thing to me is being of service to families. I know we make a difference in people’s everyday lives. Not one day goes by that we don’t hear, “I don’t know what we would have done without KidsPark today!”
Any advice you’d like to pass on to other business owners trying to grow and/or develop their franchise?
Make decisions based upon what is best for the customer first. Nothing will benefit the bottom line if customers are lost. For franchising, document, document, document. People are buying a proven system and they need the step-by-step know-how.
Modern is here to help your brand stand out with successful print promotions and direct mail campaigns.
By Modern Postcard
Call a Direct Marketing Specialist at 800.959.8365.