It's been a while since I last posted a story on my blog! I have a good excuse though for my silence in cyberspace – my own “funky project”, a little boy Jason who was born at the end of May. Now he is almost 4 months old, and I decided to restart blogging with a small review of a Belgian kids' brand called Noukie's (www.noukies.com).
I discovered Noukie's 3 years ago, when my daughter, then a small baby, received a toy horse Pinto as a present. I thought it was an amazing toy – very colorful, cheerful and, importantly, amazingly soft. The softness of Noukie's toys and baby clothes is what makes them so special. Every time I pass by a Noukie's store in Brussels, it's full of people touching, touching, touching the soft toys and clothes.
In my view, one of the best things about Noukie's is that the company never stops producing its initial range of toy characters – so that, if a favorite toy is lost, it can be easily replaced by a duplicate which can be ordered online. Recently, the company has started producing DVDs and books with films and stories featuring its famous characters and apparently kids love them.
All the fluff and softness of the brand, however, doesn't come across when visiting the company's site. Although Noukie's was named the company of the year in 2007 in Belgium (a title awarded by the local branch of Ernst and Young), I think it will have to do some serious work on their web site in order to continue carrying this title, and becoming a true love mark. Right now, the user experience on www.noukies.com is nothing to write home about. Small text, seemingly random placement of tabs, and a bit annoying for my taste flash animations. In short, one of the many examples of a potentially funky brand which is not using the power of the World Wide Web to its advantage!