The first time I heard of Animal Bracelets, was when my 7 year old son came home wearing two of the little rubber band bracelets that had been given to him by a girl in his classroom.
The bracelets at that time were pretty simple, you could choose from Sea Creatures and Zoo Animals. Now the variety of animal bracelets that are available has increased tremendously, right along with the increase in popularity of these bracelets. The Silly Bandz marketing machine has had a little to do with this, but the sheer word of mouth viral networks have been largely responsible for the growth in this craze.
Will it ever stop? Who knows. I’m sure it will, but for now, it seems that its only growing. Having started mostly in schools in Birmingham, Alabama, the craze has become an international phenomenon.
What is it that makes these little rubber band bracelets so popular?
Perhaps the first thing to consider is the fact that there is such variety available, in color and in design. The other thing going for them is that they are very easy to produce, and new shapes can be designed and produced and marketed very quickly in response to market demand.
There is one thing that most people don’t know about them however, they aren’t really made of rubber, but rather, silicone. The silicone enhances the durability and comfort of wearing the animal bracelets and increases their appeal even further.
What makes them have staying power? Isn’t this just this year’s Beanie Baby craze?
Lots of skeptics and critics of toy trends have compared recent surge in interest of animal bracelets to the similar craze that occured when the Beanie Baby dolls were first introduced into the marketplace during the mid nineties. That craze took hold and eventually became an international marketing bonanza in a very short period of time.
Although the Silly Bandz brand emerged as the market leader very early on, competing brands have emerged very rapidly and have fragmented the market share for sales of the rubber band bracelets among several distributers and producers. For example, you can now get themed animal bracelets from sports to Christian symbols.
For those who earn their living in trend analysis, the current market saturation of animal bracelets, in all their various varieties, presents an anomaly of sorts. However, for parents of the children who crave collecting them, is means discounts and and variety with a wide spectrum of options available.