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Editions En Cavale: the children’s game publisher [Podcast]

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En Cavale is a start-up from the Lyon area that has developed an innovative concept of games for children. Unlike computer games, En Cavale’s ambition is to take our little ones off their screens and make them live adventures… by mail. When the pace of life in our society is accelerating, En Cavale games advocate the long term. It is, therefore, a “Low Tech” start-up whose results, in barely 3 years, show that you don’t necessarily have to be in IT to succeed. Good ideas, impeccable execution, and an iron will are the elements that Astrid Faure puts forward in this podcast to explain her success.

Summary


The marketing idea to be retained absolutely

It isn’t easy to talk about Éditions En Cavale without talking about differentiation. Indeed, this unique product with an innovative concept has made it possible to propose a solution to a niche market. A unique value proposition allows the company to be the only player in this niche market.


icône expérience entrepreneuriale et chiffres-clés

Chapter 1: En Cavale in 1 key figure

1 million euros. This is the turnover that En Cavale Editions has reached in only 3 years. This figure is all the more remarkable since publishing is not necessarily the most promising sector in the age of digitalization.

There are many reasons for this success (we discuss them in the podcast). However, it is essential to underline the differentiating character of the company. The En Cavale investigations, which place children in the shoes of an investigator, are indeed sent … by mail.

When the child is the story’s hero, it makes him dream, but he also retains what he learns much better

The principle may remind you of the “Books you are the hero,” a popular series in the 80s.


genèse de l'idée entrepreneuriale

Chapter 2: the genesis of the business idea

We knew there was a need, so we instinctively went for it

As Astrid explains, the genesis of the business idea took shape thanks to Nasa research, awareness, and firm conviction. 

The Nasa research realized in 2016 showed that 98% of 5-year-olds are creative geniuses and that once they reach adulthood, this percentage drops to 2%. So it was research that made sense to Astrid and her colleague Margaux and was enough to convince them to tackle children’s creativity.

They found that the over-connection of children to screens was a proven fact. Therefore, they wanted to find an alternative to screens through their game.

Finally, they had the immense conviction that games were a powerful vehicle for learning and discovery, so they developed their business idea.


validation de l'idée entrepreneuriale

Chapter 3: confirmation of the business idea

Astrid and her colleague Margaux used excellent market research techniques to confirm their business idea. We will mention here 2 particularly efficient processes:

We are particularly fond of this approach because it allows us to confront future customers’ needs directly. This very pragmatic approach will quickly reveal the weaknesses of your project and the points of improvement. 


démarrage de la startup

Chapter 4: getting started

Determined by the idea of writing investigations by mail, Astrid chose to test her product as a service. She thus started to animate illustrated and themed treasure hunts in real life, previously named “Histoire en cavale.”

Astrid was then selected by Ticket for Change, an association that changed the phase of her project. At this exact moment, she crossed paths with Margaux and Bruno, an event she describes as “professional love at first sight.” This meeting gave birth to Editions En Cavale.


phase de décollage de l'entreprise

Chapter 5: take off

Astrid realized the first sales in Christmas markets. She describes this experience as “precious” because it allowed her to collect feedback in real life, directly from families. It’s a really qualitative research process.

Thanks to this direct contact, Éditions En Cavale à l’heure gained awareness in the real world. At that time, traffic on the website was still low, so this awareness was very welcome. Astrid explains that real-world sales were essential for the beginning of her project

The Covid was a positive phase for Éditions En Cavale. The children had to be kept busy during the confinements. The mysterious and disconnected nature of the product was a determining factor in the choice.

Today, En Cavale favors reasoned growth. Astrid emphasizes the importance of prioritizing. For the moment, priority is given to the product. Particular attention is paid to the aesthetics and quality of the adventures.

En Cavale is positioned as a pure player in terms of digital strategy. Indeed, even if the company proposes games by mail for children, it is in line with the times since it is an e-commerce player. 

Astrid also relies on the importance of word of mouth, which is why she has decided to work with press agents.


le futur de la startup

Chapitre 6 : the future

Astrid has a lot of ideas, and the development of En Cavale may well hold some surprises!

The business objective is to become the reference in terms of investigation games, not only for children but also for adults.

Astrid plans to support growth through new product development, recruitment, and customer acquisition. Astrid is looking for investors to raise 1 million euros to realize these objectives. 

Towards the conquest of Europe? This is the option that En Cavale could consider, especially when we know that exports to Belgium and Switzerland represent 5% of its turnover to date. The business model is perfectly transposable, and there is no reason why children in other countries should react differently.


A podcast to help you develop your start-up

The “Entrepreneurship and Marketing” podcast traces the different stages in the life of a promising start-up. By identifying the critical elements of success at each phase of the start-up’s development, we help you find solutions for your company.

The podcast is divided into chapters of 4 to 6 minutes. Each chapter is dedicated to a specific theme or development phase. You can listen to the entire podcast or choose to listen to only a part of it by directly selecting the one that interests you the most. You can also find the video version of the interview on our YouTube channel.

Illustration images: shutterstock

Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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