Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Lessons from Baby - Forget the baby, sell to parents


Forget the baby, Sell to the parents (Forget the end user, sell to the buyer)

I'd like to claim credit for this one, but this is purely my wife's idea.

We've been blessed with a baby girl, and we wanted to get her a mobile. After much searching, my wife picked the Freddy the Firefly mobile. It seems obvious, but if you put yourself in the baby's perspective, lying on the crib looking up, then a 2-dimensional mobile makes perfect sense. Our daughter really loves looking at it, both when it's active and the wings move up and down, and when she wakes up in the morning and it's not moving.

However, looking at this mobile from the side view, it's somewhat lacklustre. If you were a parent, and you saw one on display in the store, you might ignore it. If you climbed under it and looked up, you'd agree with our daughter and think it's awesome!!!

Prior to writing this, I went to the Lamaze website to look for more information about Freddy and some of their other products, I was very surprised to see their new mobile, Shearamy Sheep Sleeptime Mobile, looks this:





I contacted them on 2015-04-26 via customer care, asking as follows:

 Hello,

My wife and I purchased a "Freddy The Firefly" mobile via eBay because it was not available in Canada. My baby daughter very much enjoys the mobile. I'm actually preparing a review of the mobile on my website, www.findingoptimal.com. The mobile is much better designed, than many because a flat 2-dimensional design works perfectly when viewed from below by a baby. This is a great example of user design, and paying attention to the end user's ergonomics.

Unfortunately, it looks like Freddy has been discontinued. When I click Freddy from your website here, it asks me to login
http://tomy.com/search/all/mobile

When I go to Amazon, it says that Freddy the Firefly has been discontinued.

Looking at your new mobile, Shearamy Sheep Sleeptime Mobile, it seems you have gone away from the 2-dimensional, baby view approach. Is this true?

Thank you,

David McKenna
www.findingoptimal.com


Here's the response:

Thank you for your inquiry David. The Freddie Firefly mobile was sold out in January 2014 and unfortunately we no longer have any units available anymore since it is a discontinued item.
Best regards
Consumer service
Karen


Conclusion:

The people at TOMY Toys are smart. It's their business to make the right toy, that will sell the best. I'm sure there's lots of research and careful effort spent on deciding what product to make. If they've chosen to change their mobile design, it's because it's right right thing to do, to sell more mobiles.

So next time you're making a design decision, consider whether it will be appreciated by the buyer or by the end user - especially, in the case of a baby, if your end user can't speak!!

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