How TrainWorld Became The Best Online Model Train Store!
Founded in 1968 by Peter Bianco and his wife Aileen Bianco, TrainWorld and TrainLand have been in the train industry for 50 years. Today, the business remains family run as the second and third generation of Bianco's have taken on the challenge of revitalizing the company's traditional business model & working to rebrand the train industry as a modern day hobby. With Ken Sr., Anthony Sr., and Sister, Diane Napolitano at the helm, third generation sons, Ken Jr. and Anthony Jr. have been working hard to advance the company with today's technology.
When you think of model trains, most people view it as their grandparent's favorite hobby, or a seasonal tradition of putting on a train around a Christmas tree. While true, that's not where the interest in model trains ends. The Struggle, however, for the model train industry has been breaking through that stereotype. How do you rebrand an entire industry and how do you find and attract a younger consumer base?
The answer, according to TrainWorld and TrainLand has been social media. Through social media this family owned business has found a new way to attract and engage customers, by bringing together a global community of train enthusiasts. TrainWorld and TrainLand have been one of the first model train companies to integrate social media into their business model. Early on, they recruited a team of young social media enthusiasts and experts to help them build and grow their social media platforms, with the goal of developing & branding their own business, as well as introducing the hobby to a new generation, all while promoting the model train industry around the world.
Through TrainWorldTV, a show that lives on their YouTube channel and Facebook Live, they have created a voice for themselves and a platform for the industry experts and professionals, like Mike Wolf - the CEO of MTH Trains, to appear in front of and engage with their base. Never before has the industry interacted with consumers on this scale, and judging by the response and viewership growth, model train companies and enthusiasts around the world are loving it.
To date, TrainWorld has over 40 thousand followers on Facebook, over 12 Million views on YouTube and over 13 thousand followers on Instagram, with additional profiles on Pinterest, WordPress, Google Plus, Twitter, and most recently - Snapchat. On their larger platforms, their viewership & subscriber numbers are competitive with major distributors & large scale corporations such as Lionel and MTH Electric Trains.
"Even though trains are typically known as an older generational hobby, there are many young train enthusiasts out there that we are trying to attract by using different social media platforms," says Ken Bianco Jr., "For a mom and pop shop to compete we have to embrace change. In this digital era we have to find ways to grow business outside of the traditional retail model. Our goal is to use social media to find, attract, and engage new and existing customers in a way that reinvigorates the industry and helps propel us forward as a family business. Mom & Pop shops still have a role in today's business climate if they can learn to compete at a higher level with online retailers & reach a wider consumer base. You may be able to find trains online via Amazon or Ebay, but can those sites off you the expertise and customer care that we can with 50 years of niche experience behind us? Can those sites engage, excite, and bring together customers with social media posts and YouTube videos like those found on TrainWorldTV? The answer is no."
With that in mind, TrainWorld and TrainLand continue to push forward, rising to the challenge to keep their family business alive.
To All Our Friends,
Since its start in 1968, our family business has grown to become America's largest discount train store, encompassing two retail store locations, complete mail order facilities and 50,000 square feet of warehouse space. . .and the massive inventory to fill it.
Now, that's a far cry from a hobby that started in Pete's basement!
Our entire family - including our mother Aileen & father Peter Bianco (May they rest in peace) - has you to thank for this tremendous success.
With your continued loyalty and patronage we have created a train fantasy world for enthusiasts all over the world. It's been a wonderful trip. . .
Thanks for riding wtih us!