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Client: Play From Scratch Toys (now YOXO)

Here's a shout-out to one of my first clients. They're off and running! 

SERVICES: The client hired me to conduct primary research for this start-up company, which will likely sell in both specialty retail and internet channels. My services included online survey design, discussion guide, focus group facilitation, and analysis of business implications and sales channel options.

The Challenge

A smart, savvy professional had an idea of launching a line of toys that encouraged creative, intelligent, "open" play. His idea would be a break from today's plastic toys that left little to the imagination. In preparation for the planned Fall 2012 launch, he needed to better understand his target audience, and how they selected toys for their kids. The stakes were high, given the weak economy, huge competitive noise in the toy space, and a relatively complex back story that would set his product line apart from the rest.

If you want creative, really smart, earth-friendly gifts for kids, I highly recommend this company.

The Solution I provided

I concepted, designed and facilitated focus groups to better understand the buying motivations and preferences of his target audience---moms with kids between 3 and 10. As part of this project, I:

  1. Designed the discussion guide to specifically answer the key questions that would impact sales, marketing and product development activities.
  2. Recruited people within the Twin Cities market that represented a cross-section of the target demographic.
  3. Wrote, deployed and analyzed the results of an online survey sent to participants prior to the focus groups. These surveys gathered, confidentially, information such as household income, spending habits and employment status of the participants.
  4. Facilitated the discussion to flesh out implicit and explicit needs and desires related to buying kids' toys. Asked open-ended questions that helped us better understand what features the target audience most (and least) valued when buying toys for their kids. We also got specific feedback from the group on current prototypes, branding and logos that directly and immediately had impact on design strategy.
  5. Wrote a full report summarizing what was learned, along with key implications on go-to-market strategy. I also presented these findings to the Board of Directors.

Client comment

“Lisa's analysis of our startup venture's potential market and sales channels was spot-on and the insights she derived from well-organized customer focus groups will help drive our business decisions for years to come. Lisa is a savvy player - extremely smart, driven and strategic. She presented the results of her work to our board in a way that was both complete and willing to acknowledge open questions. I strongly recommend Lisa for this research and strategic market analysis. She has made us a smarter company."

                 Jeff Freeland Nelson, President,

                 Play From Scratch

                 July 26, 2012

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