Social Lens Research announces the launch of participant recruitment for The Impact of Mobile Technology on Hispanic Businesses Study.
The study is being conducted for Mobile Future, in partnership with the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) and Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media (LATISM) who will be critical to recruiting Hispanic Businesses. The study will focus on better understanding if and how Hispanic Business owners are using mobile to manage and grow their businesses.
Study objectives include:
which specific business activities are being conducted on mobile?
are Hispanic business owners invested in making their businesses mobile?
what is the economic impact of mobile on Hispanic business (e.g. new business, increased productivity)?
what is needed to help more Hispanic business owners take advantage of the mobile economy?
Please take the quick survey here.
As a small thank you, study participants will get first access to the study results!
Thanks for the help with the study!
Here is more background on the study partners:
Mobile Future (MobileFuture.org) is a coalition of cutting-edge technology and communications companies and a diverse group of non-profit organizations, working to support an environment which encourages investment and innovation in the dynamic wireless sector.
US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (#USHCC) The USHCC is the leading advocate and resource for Hispanic businesses in the global market. Representing over 3.2 million U.S. Hispanic businesses, contributing in excess of $468 billion to the American economy each year.
Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media (#LATISM) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Latino(a)s in the areas of education, health, technology & business through the use of tech innovation & social media.
Our new report, Hispanics Go to the Movies: Starring Mobile and Social, conducted via MocoSpace, a mobile game platform, with strategy guidance from Lopez Negrete Communications, Inc., offers statistics and insights about Hispanics’ movie-going attendance and purchase decisions. The study recruited 2,308 US Hispanics.
The findings highlight prime opportunities for engaging Hispanic movie-going consumers via mobile marketing efforts.
Top mobile marketing and mCommerce opportunities for reaching Hispanic moviegoers:
#1 – Holiday and Opening weekend promos and deal alerts: Offer promos, campaigns and deal alerts around holidays and weekends to encourage more Hispanics to choose your movie or theater. 73% reported going to a movie theater over a holiday and 58% on movie opening weekends. Timely mobile tactics are simple and easy ways to attract more Hispanics to a show time at your theater. 38% indicated an interest in more mobile promos and discount alerts.
#2 – Make it a more local/social/rewarding movie experience: Movie going by nature is a local experience. It’s not surprising that up to 75% use their mobile to find a movie listing and that 39% of Hispanics go directly to a local theater’s website to find a listing. A little more surprising however, is that 16% are physically going to a theater to see what movies are playing. Given the high rates of opening weekend or holiday attendance, there are opportunities to have more location-specific experiences and social events focused in top Hispanic DMAs, to drive buzz and sales for theaters or movie producers. There are many easy and cost-effective social tactics to reward and incentivize customers e.g. a badge for the person who gets the most friends to attend, free popcorn if customers purchase tickets as a group of four or more movie goers.
#3- Facilitate mobile movie ticket sales: A surprising 92% of Hispanics are buying their tickets in-person. 54% felt that buying tickets via mobile was too difficult. 22% felt a better mobile ticketing app was needed. Further exploration about the types of app and usability features that will encourage customers to buy tickets on their mobile is needed.
The Infographic below provides key findings of the study:
Hispanics are interested in using social media and mobile phones for movie discovery and ticket purchasing. Is the movie industry ready to employ tactics for better engagement?
Embed This Image On Your Site (copy code below):
Social Lens Research recently assisted Consumer Reports en Español and LATISM in a research study about the usage of multivitamins in the Latino community. The findings revealed that Latinos frequently use vitamins and supplements often at the suggestion of a health professional, but with little counseling on potential contraindications of the combination with prescription drugs. And while Latino parents believe in the health benefits of vitamins and supplements for themselves, they are less convinced about using them for their children. As a result, Latino children receive them only intermittently.
- Latinos are heavy users of multivitamins, with 66% taking them at least once a week. Most are taking vitamins for health reasons: 46% to stay healthy in general, 26% to balance diet and 20% to improve physical performance.
- 57% have received a health professional’s recommendation to take multivitamins.
- 56% did not discuss with a doctor or pharmacist any potential issues in combining vitamins and supplements with prescription medications.
- Latino children’s use of vitamins lags behind the use by Latino adults. Only 56% are receiving multivitamins once a week or more frequently, versus 66% for adults.
- Compared to adults, children are less likely to receive vitamins. 16% of children never receive vitamins compared to 10% of adults.
The study points to the need for Latinos to discuss their multivitamin usage with medical professionals to prevent any potential contraindications with prescription medications. Parents also need to better understand their children’s multivitamins needs and be more consistent about giving them to their children.
The 500 study participants were recruited via social networks and Latina influencers. Study participants were 95% women, with 51% having children under 18 years old and 65% speaking mostly or only Spanish at home.
The following articles and personal experiences were shared by a number of latina bloggers:
- Must Read Multivitamin Usage Info – These Results Will Surprise You #LATISM by @digital_latina
- Latino Children Are Less Likely to Take Multivitamins than Adults by @LatinMami
- Vitamins in the Latino Community by @mzelma
- Resultados de la encuesta sobre los latinos y el uso de multivitaminas gracias a Consumer Reports y LATISM by @NotasdeMama
- Understanding Multivitamin Usage In The Latino Community #LATISM by @ToughCookieMom
- Latinos y las vitaminas: contestación a tus preguntas #Latism by @estilofamiliar
- #LATISM Poll Results: Latinos and Their Use of Multivitamins and Supplements by @smashbravoteam
A summary of the results of the study are presented in the infographic below:
Tell us what you think. Surprising? Not surprising? Why? Share your thoughts in the space below.
Embed This Image On Your Site (copy code below):
We are helping Cabot to better understand the needs of Hispanic consumers.
Cabot Cheese is asking for an invite into your cocina!
Please share your #QuesoinmyCocina story and fill the registration form on Facebook to win. Click here to start!
The first thousand participants will get a coupon for Free Cabot Cheese (free up to $3).
You will also be entered to win great prizes:
4 cheese samplers sets (with 8 bars of cheese)
1 year supply of award-winning Cabot Cheese!
+ 1 iPad mini for quick access to Cabot’s tasty online recipes to help you enjoy even more queso in your cocina!
The winner will be chosen at random!
Best of Luck!
More about Cabot:
Cabot Creamery Cooperative is owned by the 1200 dairy farm families of Agri-Mark, the Northeast’s premier dairy cooperative, with farms located throughout New England and upstate New York. Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919. Widely known as makers of “The World’s Best Cheddar.”
Latinos are early adopters of mobile phones and 28% more likely to own a mobile phone than non-Hispanic whites.
How do Latina moms monitor mobile security risks?
To find out, we recruited 270 Latina moms—150 had already purchased phones for their children and 120 are about to purchase a mobile phone for their child. We explored how Latino children use mobile phones and the ways their mothers monitor phone usage.
Findings of the “Latina Moms on Mobile Phone Security for their Children” report:
The age children are given their first mobile phone is getting younger.
The rapid adoption of smartphone technology and affordable family plans are leading to children being given access to mobile phones at earlier ages. For Latino children, the average age is 12. And in the next six months, 43% of moms surveyed are planning to get children younger than 12 years old their first phone. In some families, children as young as 5 years of age.
While mobile phones may help Latino Moms manage children more effectively they also add a new parenting challenge.
The two main reasons Latina moms have given for opting to get their children mobile phones are to: 1) track their children’s whereabouts and, 2) have the ability to communicate with them. The phones have become an important way for moms to manage their increasingly independent children. But conversely the phones have added a new and significant parenting challenge—ensuring that their children are using their phones safely and wisely. Moms are mostly concerned that their children may be wasting time, using their phone unwisely and accessing inappropriate content.
The top three mobile usage concerns:
- Increased access to inappropriate content on their phone
- Sexting on their phone
- Using phone at inappropriate times and places (e.g., school)
Moms want a better way to manage their children cellphone usage.
Latina moms are trying to meet this new parenting challenge by setting clear rules and monitoring usage. Today, 80% of Latina moms reportedly monitor their child’s mobile usage manually.
50% of the Latina moms who have already purchased phones are looking for a more effective way to monitor their child’s mobile phone usage. The number goes up to 69% among moms about to purchase a mobile for their child.
Security features are becoming increasingly important purchase criteria for Latina Moms.
The security features offered by carriers are becoming an increasingly important part of the purchasing decision for Latina moms. 65% of Latina moms with children with mobile phones would pick a carrier with better security at similar pricing for their next purchase. The number goes up to 78% among moms yet to purchase a mobile for their child.
Latina moms view enhanced security functionality as important to helping to manage their children’s usage of mobile phones. Top security wish list for Latina moms:
- GPS child locating
- Location boundaries such as school or home with exit/entrance notification
- Time and location phone restrictions
- Distracted driver blocking (locks when traveling over 10 mph, unlocking when halted)
- Lost/stolen phone locating with locking to protect private information
Expect to see Latina moms’ monitoring needs go up as children acquire mobile phones with more advanced features, and at earlier ages.
Here is an infographic with highlights from the study:
The infographic is available in Spanish here.
We worked with 20 Top Latina Bloggers, recruiting survey participants via their blogs and social media networks. All respondents were U.S. based Latina women with children who have mobile phones or who plan to get their child a mobile in the next six months.
The study, sponsored by Sprint, features Sprint Guardian which offers bundled, value-priced services to keep your family safe and secure on their mobile phones. Social Lens Research conducted this study in partnership with iNSPIRE! For media requests, please contact Dora Valdez at email@example.com. If you have questions about the research, please contact Julie Diaz-Asper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do you think technology is impacting the average Latino family?
Embed This Image On Your Site (copy code below):
Social Lens Research and MocoSpace recently teamed up to understand how Latinos—America’s fastest-growing, highly mobile and social consumers—are hitting the road!
To better understand how Latinos plan, manage and share trip experiences, we surveyed 1,106 Latino adults using MocoSpace, a mobile gaming platform with over 7 million unique monthly visitors and an estimated 2.5 million U.S. Hispanic unique monthly visitors. Respondents were 100% U.S. Hispanics, almost equally split by gender, with 60% under 34 years old, and 57% parents.
The study found that during every stage of planning for a road trip, Latinos are using mobile phones and seeking more relevant location-based deals, rewards programs and mobile accessible travel content to assist with their trip planning. The study indicates that among Latinos who are leading the way on mobile adoption, the willingness to use mobile phones for trip planning has outpaced what functionality and content companies offer. Travel planning is likely just one example of the more advanced mobile functionality required to meet the highly mobile Latino consumer’s needs.
The Top Opportunities:
Think Latinos are hard to reach? Think again, Latinos are hardly difficult to reach! Marketers need to understand the most effective strategies for engagement.
Below are 6 critical ways to reach Latinos via mobile and social marketing efforts:
1: Mobile Travel Content: Create mobile-friendly travel content that helps Latinos discover your location as a destination. 75% want a better way to find new places to visit on their mobile phones
2: Location-Based Deals: Offer location-based deals via text messages and mobile ads. 69% want text ads and 59% want mobile ads with local deals
3: Mobile-Ready Booking and Planning Capabilities: Make it easier to book and plan trips on-the-go. 61% want an easier way to book hotel rooms. 55% want a better trip planning app.
4: Create Customer Rewards Programs That Are Available and Accessible On-the-Go: Provide a reward program that is easy to access and use on a mobile phone. 57% want rewards and ways to earn points with their favorite brands.
5: Encourage social sharing about your business with rewards, contest and campaigns. 52% share trip plans, 56% share experiences and 72% share pictures after their trips.
6: Family-Friendly Messaging: Consider making your message family-friendly and welcoming to larger travel groups. 42% travel with kids. 33% are traveling with parents.
Here is the Latinos on the Road: A Social and Mobile Ride Infographic with key findings from the study:
Take the next steps to mobile readiness and learn more about the study. Contact us at email@example.com.
Reference: Key Latino Stats
Population Growth: According to Neilsen, Latinos are the fastest growing population in the U.S. with a total of 52 million, accounting for 50% of population growth between 2000 and 2011. On the average, Latinos are ten years younger than the general market.
Mobile Adoption: The Pew Research Center reports Latinos are more likely to own cellphones and smartphones at higher rates than the general market: Cellphones: 86% versus 84%; Smartphones: 49% versus 46%
Social Media Usage: Pew also reports that Latinos are more “social”, 68% of Latino internet users use social networks versus 58% for general markets.
Travel: Nearly 60% Hispanics ages 18 to 29 years of age have taken a trip within the U.S in the last year or a trip abroad within the last 3 years. Hispanic millennials are also more than twice as likely to travel by car than plane, 57% traveling by car and 25% by plane.
Embed This Image On Your Site (copy code below):
The Mobile Life of Moms study is based on a scan of available research data and a digital ethnography study conducted with 25 participants recruited via
GigCoin. We focused on early adopter moms (ex. social influencers, bloggers who are smartphone power users).
The study used the participating bloggers online footprint, a short survey and a Pinterest collage exercise to better understand how and why moms are using mobile phones. Here are some of the key findings:
Moms are highly mobile, early adopters of smartphone features and heavy users of apps
A scan of secondary research on moms and mobile phones shows that moms are highly mobile, early adopters of smartphone features and heavy users of apps:
- 61% of moms own a smartphone*
- Moms are more active users of Texting 86%, Social Media 53%, Mobile Banking 30% and Mobile Shopping 23% than the general population**
- Moms have an average of 13 apps loaded on their phones.***
75% said they would feel “anxious”, “lost” and “cut-off” without their phones.
Without their phones moms would be unable to keep track of their kids, stay connected with husbands, check-in with friends, get where they need to go and access the info they need. Phones serve as alarm clocks, fitness diaries, coupon clippers, calendar and “me time”. Most of all their phone make moms feel safe and in charge of life.
http://pinterest.com/CookiesandClogs, @CookiesandClogs “I was once without my phone for two hours – I didn’t know what time it was, forgot the date, couldn’t check e-mail, didn’t know if my husband texted me, couldn’t use it to track my daughter, etc. I would miss not being connected with my family.”
65% felt that mobile phones are a “necessary” and a “must have” parenting tool
Moms are using their smartphones as a command center to stay connected, informed and in control of their family’s day. Moms with kids at home are using the mobile phones to distract, entertain and for parenting information. But the stakes are higher when the kids aren’t home, phones become a critical tool for emergencies, to track their child’s movements and parent remotely.
http://pinterest.com/nomadicpixie @pixiedeals “It’s a huge role, especially as the kids get older. The little ones, its not as big a deal – I use the phone to entertain then when we are out, but not much beyond that. For older kids that you need to communicate with its absolutely essential.”http://pinterest.com/SocialSavvyMom @SocialSavvyMom ”We would be like chickens with our heads cut off! Most of my parenting resources are used via my phone as well as household management and grocery shopping.”
80% felt opportunities existed to make phones even more family friendly
Moms felt that mobile phones could use the following features and apps to better serve the needs of families. Note some of these features are available but even highly connected and power users aren’t fully aware of them which points to a big opportunity to better communicate their availability.
Child proof and build-in safety on the phone:http://pinterest.com/smashbravo @smashbravoteam “My phone does not have tracking for my girls phones. That would be something that would bring more peace of mind, if I had it.”
http://pinterest.com/momwithadotcom @momwithadotcom ”It would be nice for my phone to be indestructible.”
Facilitate inter-family connectivity and bonding:http://pinterest.com/TheMommaYoung @mommayoung “It needs more syncing abilities; apps we as a family can use and share.”
Offer moms lock down capabilities:http://pinterest.com/stacymolter @stacymolter “I would love to be able to open an app and lock the screen so my children could watch movies or listen to music without being able to press buttons.”
Better connect families with schools and teachers:http://pinterest.com/colleenstout @MommieDaze ”I wish the school had an app. It would make it a lot easier to look up information like school calenders and events.” http://pinterest.com/goodncrazy @CarissaRogers ”Could they create a homework monitor system of some sort that would help while in the car or during the run-around car pooling etc? Ideally that homework ‘app’ would also communicate with their teacher! I hate all the ‘sign this’ release and initial my homework and reading chart..Can I click a button. YES she read for 30 minutes!!!”
Provide enough battery for mom and the kids:http://pinterest.com/happymothering @HappyMothering ”I think my biggest challenge on my phone is battery life. If I download a game for my girls and they want to play it, the battery gets run down quickly and it kind of defeats the purpose.”
Hands-free, voice recognition:http://pinterest.com/marixsa @Marixsa “In addition to voice recognition, it would be great if the phone could talk back to me reading an email or giving step by step directions while I AM busy using my two hands and doing all the things a mom do (we sometimes feel we need more than two hands).”
Pin Stories: The Mobile Life of Moms
Moms are using their mobile phones to live more rewarding, connected, and efficient lives, according to our study. We asked the Mobile Life of Mom study participants to share on Pinterest how mobile phones impact their life as a mom. To see the full collection of pins, visit the Mobile Life of Moms Pinterest Board. Here are some of our favorite pin stories:
Marketing to Mobile Moms – Top Takeaways
It’s clear that adding mobile marketing to reach moms makes sense. Here are our top tips for focusing your mobile marketing efforts:
Focus on increasing utility and your customer experience on mobile:
Moms are turning to their mobile to save time and better manage everyday activities. Mobile apps which help moms on the go use your product efficiently offer an opportunity to build more loyalty and improve your user experience. Make it easy to buy, report an issue or do other transactions offered on your website.
Help moms get inspired:
Moms use mobile for inspiration, from recipes to things to buy to exercise. Campaigns that help moms take action to do something new and rewarding are good areas to explore.
Facilitate inter-family bonding:
Help families better connect via apps and campaigns. From games letting you challenge your kids, to new ways to share pics with grandma there is a huge opportunity to promote family bonding via mobile.
Recognize and reward moms:
Delight moms with a just in time offer when she needs it most in the retail location. Offer exclusive items, perks and deals that make it worthwhile to download your app.To learn more about the study and a more -in-depth debrief with the research team please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Sources: * Edison Research: http://www.edisonresearch.com/home/archives/2012/05/moms-and-media-2012-the-connected-mom.php ** Emarketer: http://www.emarketer.com/(S(ymlsvy45dtwl1nvcjvh4w355))/Article.aspx?R=1009417 *** Baby Center: http://www.babycenter.com/100_press-release-mobile-mom_10349212.bc
Social media has trained us to be brief and visual. Text heavy powerpoints seem so 1980s
compared to a 140 character tweet. We get so much more love with our image versus text only posts. Instagram, Pinterest and smartphone cameras have made it easy to create, share and curate images.
- Phones have gotten smarter: 1 in 2 mobile phone users have smartphones (Nielsen)
- People are getting social on their phones: 40.8 billion minutes spent on mobile social media apps in 2012, 76% YOY growth (Marketing Profs)
- Sharing pictures has become common : 56% of internet users share images they created or curated (Pew Internet)
- Instagram is a huge depository of images: Instagram has 1 billion+ images and is adding an average of 5 million+ Photos Per Day (Instagram)
- Pinterest is driving huge traffic : Pinterest made the top 50 web properties list with 25 million visitors which makes them the 4th most visited social media site (ComScore)
- Brands are investing in Instagram and Pinterest: 63% of the top 100 brands are on Pinterest, 54% on Instagram. (Simply Measured )
A more visual social media space is putting pressure on brands to produce unique, relevant and engaging visuals. Not easy! Here are a few examples of visual strategies that work.
Behind the Scenes:
Post pictures to offer a glimpse of the real people behind your company and operations. Pampers adds a human touch by congratulating its employees who have new babies.
Create a Visual Identity:
Invest in graphics that match your brand personality for your social accounts. Intel stands out for it’s geeky but clever images, especially on Facebook.
Hold a contest to get users to contribute images tied to your brand and up engagement. Ben & Jerry’s is offering Instagram fans that share their #CaptureEuphoria moments for a chance to be featured in local ads.
Use special events, hot topics and holidays to create visuals that are topical. Extra points if you can use images of your product creatively like Diet Coke.
Create infographics using your in house data, survey results and/or secondary sources to tell a compelling story on a topic related to your brand. Amstel took infographics to another level by using Facebook data to allow users to customize an infographic about themselves. Here is my very own Complicated Facebook tale:
Dig up old pictures to share some history and add personality on your social accounts. American Express regularly digs up vintage photos that add fun to their accounts.
GoldieBlox is a cool engineering toy using story telling and problem solving to engage girls who may ignore more traditional building toys. The founder Debbie Sterling is a Stanford trained engineer who’s using Kickstarter both to fund the toy’s production and as a social community for design ideas and feedback.
The project hit its $150,000 goal in just 5 days, has thousands of fans and is now moving into funding two more toy versions.
The video that the GoldieBlox team used to launch the Kickstarter campaign:
I was struck by how GoldieBlox used research insights both to build the product and their project case on KickStarter.
Below is a summary of an interview conducted with Debbie Sterling and Sydney Malawer from the GoldieBlox team who were kind to share their story of research, design and social networking with me.
Girls, stem and playing: a scan of secondary research
There were countless research insights that played a role in the product design of GoldieBlox, but here are some highlights:
1. Girls have strong verbal skills: This insight sparked the idea to utilize storytelling as a way to engage girls. All construction toys teach how to build with an instruction manual, but I for one have always hated those! So, I came up with the idea to write a children’s story about a kid inventor named Goldie and have the girls build along with her. At our target age range of K-3, it really leverages girls’ verbal skills. It’s great for early readers and uses girls’ confidence in reading to get them interested in building.
2. Girls have an innate sense of nurturing and like to help people: This inspired the story lines of GoldieBlox. We introduced quirky cute animal friends who Goldie needs to help. Rather than just building a cool machine, Goldie’s machines have purpose. This gives the “why” behind the building, which was incredibly important in getting girls to engage.
3. Girls have collaborative (rather than competitive) play patterns: While boys like to compete and destruct, girls prefer play scenarios where everybody wins. In Goldie’s first story, “GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine,” she needs to figure out how to build a belt drive to spin all of her animal friends. It was fascinating to see how much girls got into the building when the scenario involved helping “everybody win.” We also decided on a flip book presentation-style format for the book so that multiple girls could enjoy it at once. We found girls liked playing GoldieBlox together and collaborating.
The top sources for the research were Why So Few study by AAUW , NCWIT study, and a meeting with Harvard Neuroscientist Joyce Benenson, who specializes in children’s play patterns, particularly around competition. Much of the insight on play patterns came from her and her work.
Playtime: testing the prototype with kids
I recruited the efforts of two design researchers trained at Cornell to help put together the research protocol for gathering data from user testing. We tested the prototype on over 100 kids (girls and boys, ages 4-12) by visiting the homes of over 40 families and 3 schools. We created our own quantitative and qualitative design research rubrics to take notes during the tests and evaluate the interaction. We also videotaped every test for further analysis.
Our biggest and most important finding was that the concept was solid: the book + toy combination worked really well in engaging girls to read the story and build along with Goldie. This was a big win.
Another top finding was how much kids enjoy interacting with the iPad and how a digital Goldie experience could really enhance the physical toy experience by providing narration (for kids who aren’t at the reading level yet), animation (to further clarify the building instructions) and encouragement (to prevent kids from giving up too quickly when the building gets challenging).
There are hundreds of little things we learned that impacted the final design. Here is an interesting one: In the book, Goldie builds a belt drive spinning machine in the shape of a star. We were testing on a standard hardware store pegboard and found a lot of girls getting frustrated that they couldn’t make the star symmetrical because of the hole placement on the board. We switched to a pegboard with off-set holes and put a picture of the star on the board to address this and the building experience dramatically improved.
The biggest change we made had to do more with the book narrative than with the toy. The original book had Goldie fail the first time on purpose, to show that it’s ok to fail, as long as you don’t give up. We found that almost everyone, from parents to children would get stuck at that point, trying their hardest to make it work without turning the page. We decided it was best to remove the outright failure, and instead include Goldie’s problem-solving process differently in the narrative.
One big surprise was what the kids built with GoldieBlox after the story was done. Instead of putting it away and playing with something else, they began playing make-believe with the characters and building their own inventions. We found kids building slingshots, cemeteries, classrooms, etc. They’d play act with the characters as they would with any other popular “pet shop” toy on the market, but they’d add in the construction pieces into the play. It was incredibly rewarding to watch that happen.
Another big surprise was how much boys also liked playing with GoldieBlox. Although the design had been carefully chosen to appeal to girls, almost all of the boys we tested on really got into it too.
The competition: competitive toys and the design process
Competitive products played a huge role in the design process. For starters, I bought competitors’ construction toys and observed children playing with them to get an understanding of how they could be improved. I’ve spent months observing how they market to kids and parents on the toy shelf as well as online and in the app space. The brand I’ve been following most closely is Lego Friends, who launched a big line of girl construction toys in January 2012. The biggest struggle for me in the design process has been figuring out how traditionally “girly” I’d need to make the toy in order to appeal to girls. Being able to follow the success (and criticism) of Lego Friends has helped me fine-tune my product design.
Getting from good idea to a market ready product: the overall role of research
The insights we collected from the research is probably the main reason we are here today. It expedited our process from concept to market faster than anything else. We were able to see exactly what worked and what didn’t work immediately from testing the prototype, which allowed us to redesign the aspects that didn’t work and leverage the aspects that did. The greatest learning that we found was that when in doubt, test! Prototyping and testing is the quickest way to be able to take your idea to market with confidence. Also, make sure to videotape all the tests. We were able to raise some seed funding and it was mainly due to the power of these videos conveying the emotional connection between the kids and the product concept.
Kickstarter as a research tool: social media and product design
The whole reason to go through Kickstarter was to get real-time customer feedback so that we bring the best toy possible to market. It is definitely shaping not only the finalization of this product, but also the design and development of the next few products. It’s giving us insight from everything from color scheme to engineering principles taught to complexity of the contraptions. As we go forward, social media monitoring will be critical to not only the product development, but also the development of this movement towards getting girls to explore engineering from a young age.
The future: the ongoing role of research
We will continue to prototype test future books and machines in the GoldieBlox series. But if we had the budget and resources beyond this, we’d love to measure our social impact. We want to test how much playing with GoldieBlox influences girls’ development of spatial skills and confidence in their math and science skills.
We also would like to invest in the storytelling aspect of GoldieBlox by video interviewing women in STEM fields to understand how they got to where they are and break down the stereotype that engineers are all nerdy white males who sit behind a computer all day! We’d love to re-tell these stories in a compelling way to continue making engineering more accessible to all generations.
My top takeaways from GoldieBlox’s use of research:
- Scan secondary research first: Start with a look at what research is already done and build off that.
- Leverage academic resources: Find research and subject matter experts to inform your product design at Universities.
- Use social media to inform your product strategy: Use social media to get real time and iterative feedback from a more diverse and large group of people.
- Add a research budget to your start-up costs: Build better and more credible products by investing the time and money into research.