Halfway between a piece of art/design object and a collectable toy, TheUglyDuck, the brainchild of TUD Toy creative startup, is more than meets the eye, at least from a marketing perspective, as we discovered with the launch of the TUD x Chupa Chups limited edition. And since brand innovation is our cup of tea at Brand Jam’s, we took some time to talk to Dmitrii Aleksenko, COO of TUD Toys, about the project.

Dmitrii, want you please tell us more about the strategy behind The Ugly Duck?
When we talk about the philosophy behind our project, we note that TUD is true selfmade. It is not afraid of difficulties, it does not stop in front of problems, there is no reason for it to give up its goal, there are only ways to achieve it. This philosophy helps us to select partners for collaborations. The same principles guide us when we form our future goals.
Our brand is gaining awareness in all markets. It doesn’t matter if it’s Asia, North America or Europe. In every part of the world we find our fans. Our challenge is to communicate our unwavering belief in success to all of our supporters and admirers everywhere in the world.
As we grow, our project grows and the number of our partners who play a crucial role for us grows. We share success with everyone who touches our brand. There are many bright events and achievements ahead of us.

Who is your customer persona?
The Ugly Ducklings is a community of people who are ready to change their lives and the world around them for the better. The image of TUD represents the stories of people who are born as ugly ducklings without capital or power, but with a huge potential to change the world.
The Ugly Duck is a revelation of our inner selves, resonating deeply within our community. We are individuals who are self-made, who have fought for our dreams, constantly striving to be better and never ceasing to dream. TUD unveils our best sides—it’s a symbol of strength and growth, a representation of the path that led us to achieve our aspirations. It inspires us to set new goals and fulfill them. This modern art piece serves as a daily reminder of the obstacles we’ve overcome and a perpetual inspiration to continue chasing our dreams.
Our client has the following qualities: Vivid character with open mind and heart. Active consumer of contemporary art and luxury goods. He/She feels the value of contemporary art at the tip of his fingers.
Entrepreneurial lifestyle and cosmopolitan spirit.

You often refer to “co-creation” in your communication, and we see that most of your launches are in collaboration with licensed intellectual properties. Can you tell us more about your collaboration strategy?
A sense of oneness with those who are invited into our collaborations is extremely important to us. The same vibe in the attitude towards the product and the work. Strictly speaking I would distinguish three main types of our partners: Art collaborations with artists or art related objects. Collaborations with brands that are in line with our philosophy, such as Chupa Chups or Pantone. Legends – collaborations with legends, famous people who have written their name in history.

Can you disclose some of your future launches?
This summer for us will be – the summer of artists, we will present several projects with world famous artists, so stay tuned!