Date: 19. March 2020
Time to read: 5 min
The Slovenian company Hooray Studios creates books that put a smile on children's faces and bring tears of joy to parents' eyes. Hooray Heroes are very special books because each one is unique and tailored exactly to the customer's wishes. The main heroes of the books are the gift recipients themselves.
Currently, their books are successfully sold in Slovenia, Italy, Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain and especially in the USA as their most promising market.
It all started with a cool uncle
The co-founders of this successful company are Rado Daradan, General Director, and Mic Melanšek, Marketing & Creative Director. The two met as colleagues in a Slovenian companies. They soon became friends and spent time together even outside of work. "We knew that we wanted to do something different from what we did in our job at the time, and when we both became uncles, our nieces inspired us to develop the business idea of Hooray Heroes," Rado Daradan says, while Mic Melanšek adds, "We simply wanted to be cool uncles. And cool uncles are expected to give cool gifts. For this reason, the idea of giving them books in which they appear as the main characters seemed great to us. Not just as a gift, but also in terms of business."
In spite of this great idea, the beginnings of the company were not all easy sailing, since they lacked sufficient capital and also, as they themselves said, the business world did not take them seriously. Nevertheless, they felt so confident about their idea that they succeeded in attracting the first business partners to the project: printers, writers and illustrators.
Hooray Heroes was given the necessary impetus, the co-founders faced ups and downs, but today, after six years, they can be proud of Hooray Studios having generated €27 million last year through the sales of the Hooray Heroes book.
- The team of Hooray Heroes creates personalised children’s books, featuring gift recipients as the main characters. Photo: Hooray Studios archives
- In every country in which they are present, they have established their own brand that is perfectly tailored to the market. Thus, in the USA and Great Britain, they are known as Hooray Heroes, in Germany and Austria as Hurra Helden, in France as Hourra Héros, etc. Photo: Hooray Studios archives
Besides the Slovenian language, the Hooray Heroes books are also available in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish.
There are over a hundred versions of the book and, of course, each book is unique, tailored precisely to an individual customer through personalisation in the purchase process.
When even daddy is brought to tears
Currently, the most successful Slovenian version of the book is "When Julija Grows Up" – the Daddy Edition.
A special feature of the book is that it represents the various career paths of a toddler as the main character, and is narrated by the dad who is also portrayed in the book. The book has a very strong emotional note, too. "Usually, mums buy this book as a gift for their partner, and it is not uncommon for dads to be moved to tears while reading it," Melanšek says.
Hooray Heroes books are a hit even with celebrities.
American sister stars Khloe and Kim Kardashian have shown enthusiasm for the Hooray Heroes book on social networks, while British soccer player David Beckham was moved to tears by the daddy's edition in which his daughter Harper is one of the characters.
Melanšek believes that such promotion helps them gain visibility and credibility as it increases interest in engaging with influencers and makes it easier to enter into business partnerships because companies are even more trusting. He is convinced, however, that the book sales have increased due to excellent marketing and they attribute most of their sales success to it.
Rado Daradan believes that the secret to their success lies in listening to and engaging with customers throughout the purchase process from the first contact with their products to their return to buy additional books as satisfied customers.
"Customer care is the most staffed department in our company, precisely in order to be able to respond to every customer’s question, whether it be help with an order or simply comment on social networks. This way we know what they want and we can deliver at the highest possible level. We are not the only creator of personalised books, but we strive to become the first choice of customers," Daradan is convinced.
Their future aim is to enter new markets and new books are to be published as well. Right now, they are launching plush toys to complement certain books.
"These are all our business goals, even though the ones that made Mic and I start up this business are perhaps even more important to us: to enjoy work, be surrounded with positive and talented people, and to put smiles on children’s faces all over the world. This is what matters most," Rado Daradan says. "Besides the tears of joy. We like those as well," Mic Melanšek adds with a smile.