Katy Giffault has just completed her first year with Hasbro, the branded play company that creates and markets some of the world’s best loved brands. She leads the company’s global consumer insights team after spending six years directing the global branding program at United Technologies Corporation (UTC), a company whose products include the likes of Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines, Sikorsky helicopters, Hamilton Sundstrand aerospace systems and industrial products.
When asked about the transition, Katy responded, “I’ve gone from the Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter to the G.I. JOE action figure and from spacesuits to TRANSFORMERS. I guess you can say I’m good with toys big and small.”
One can also say that Katy is good with strategic vision, innovative solutions that drive results, and facilitating complex global programs. She’s passionate about developing a deep understanding of how to reach a target audience – and delivering. Her long experience on both the marketer and agency sides of the business has instilled tenaciousness about recognizing consumer needs, uncovering media insights and connecting key customers with the brand attributes that matter most to them.
Plus, she’s the mother of triplets—three girls, all age 11. “What could be a better internal focus group for Hasbro?”
In addition to her a strong work ethic, the triplets insure that she stays extremely organized (and have also taught her to function efficiently with little sleep). However, Hasbro’s family-friendly environment helps. The company was just named as one of “The 100 Best Companies to Work for” in the U.S. by FORTUNE magazine.
Katy Giffault is VERY enthusiastic about Hasbro’s extraordinary global potential. Games like MONOPOLY are sold in 111 countries and translated into 43 languages. The company is well established in North America and Europe, and is expanding South America and other key markets such as China, Russia and Korea. Hasbro’s transition from a leader in toys and games into a branded play company involved in motion picture entertainment, digital gaming, lifestyle licensing, publishing, and most recently, television is credited to the company's ability to innovate, re-imagine and re-invent its world-class portfolio of brands.
“Hasbro has what I believe are the deepest, most beloved and powerful brands in family entertainment, and I’ve joined the company just at the moment when new markets, new places and new methods of entertainment are critical. Look at SCRABBLE’s extraordinary evolution from a classic board game to an iPhone app, iPad essential and now SCRABBLE FLASH – the 2010 Game of the Year – where word play is re-invented through free standing electronic tiles.
She adds, “My role in Global Consumer Insights informs what we do and places the consumer at the center of all of our thinking. We refer to this as building ‘windows of wisdom.’ In any new market we approach, we aim to fully understand the local states of learning and play. We’ve built immersions where designers/marketers go to the kindergartens and homes of our target audience—not just in key cities, but rural areas. We consider cultural, developmental, emotional and economic issues, as well but also recognizing such basics as where children play—how do aspects as varied as climate to urban safety factor into indoor or outdoor games, for example.”
Among Hasbro’s many great brands are: TRANSFORMERS, LITTLEST PET SHOP, NERF, PLAYSKOOL, MY LITTLE PONY, G.I. JOE, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, MONOPOLY, BATTLESHIP, CANDY LAND, MR. POTATO HEAD, PLAY-DOH, RISK, TINKERTOY, TONKA, TRIVIAL PURSUIT, along with hundreds of others.