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Interview with Lisa Guili, General Manager at Educational Insights

Lisa Guili, General Manager at Educational Insights

Talks About Acknowledging Inventors

Educational Insights includes the game or toy inventor’s name, photo and bio on their packaging. They do the most comprehensive job of featuring inventors of anyone we’ve seen. We decided to find out how this decision came about, and what kind of effects it’s had for the company. We’ve checked in with the General Manager, Lisa Guili.

Lisa, Educational Insights puts the inventor’s name, photo and bios on their packaging. Was that your idea? How did it come about?

It sure was! It came from my journalism days (learning that everyone has a story) and was prompted by my meeting Tim Walsh at NYTF 2009. He had a great story, and I said: "We need to share this!"

What was it about Tim’s story that was so compelling to you?

He immediately shared his passion for toys and games and that he had done much research on the stories behind many of the most iconic toys and games of our time. And, I thought it was interesting that Tim had turned his passion into a career.

Did the German publishers, who have been acknowledging inventors for a long time, influence you?

Quite honestly, I didn’t even know that was going on until two of my colleagues provided me examples shortly after we had decided to move forward with a bio for Tim Walsh. In my mind, I likened the bios to author bios on books, which probably influenced me to proceed with them.

What were you hoping to achieve by adding the inventor bios?

Authenticity. In thinking about Tim, it immediately struck me that he’s someone’s neighbor. And, who better to buy a product from than someone you know? The inventor bios provide a way for us to connect those who enjoy the game or toy we make with the person behind the creation of that item. Also, every product and inventor behind that product has a story, and sharing this story is a fun way to give consumers a peek into our world. And, who knows? Maybe a child or adult is influenced by one of these bios and pitches their own game or toy invention someday!

What effect has the acknowledgment of inventors had on Educational Insights?

It’s aided our ability to attract inventors to pitch us their ideas and has strengthened our connection to those inventors who we work with on projects. We use the bios and the stories in all parts of our marketing, which adds to the genuine nature and authenticity of our brand.

How has it affected the culture at Educational Insights?

In our catalog opening spread this year, we say: “Real People; Real Play; Real Fun.” Inventor bios, to me, are a reflection of our culture. Our team members are genuinely proud of what they personally create and of what inventors provide Educational Insights the opportunity to produce for children. We enjoy getting to know our inventor partners and sharing their stories with others.

Any interesting story related to these inventor bios that you’d like to share?

From time-to-time, we have consumers e-mail us to share how much their child loves a game or has been influenced by a game/toy and wants us to share that with the inventor. Those e-mails are always quite special, and they remind us that we really are making a connection with many of our neighbors out there and a difference in kids’ lives!

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