Case Study

A Consultation on the Future of the Toy Marketplace


An educational toy company well-known for its products for preschool and elementary school kids had recently been acquired by another larger company. The newly merged company was interested in expanding its offerings both in terms of play categories and target age groups.

To help the client initiate this expansion, C+R Research engineered a unique multi-modal process involving our YouthBeat® syndicated data, consultative desk research, and a customized activation workshop.


Jumpstarting the Product Development Pipeline

An educational toy company was interested in expanding its offerings into new play categories and age groups. To jumpstart the product development pipeline, the company wanted a crash course in the new target audience and the product territories it was interested in pursuing.

The client wanted answers to these questions:  

  • What are the benefits of the current products to parents and children? 
  • How can these benefits be extrapolated to, or re-imagined for, an older audience? 
  • What are important trends bubbling up in the toy space?  
  • How do these trends impact the future of the space and the needs of purchasers, gift-givers, and children?


Activating Creativity – A Day-Long Workshop

C+R Research constructed a day-long activation workshop to help the client team understand the marketplace landscape and formulate viable ideas for white space opportunities. Workshop attendees included teams from product development, marketing, research, and C+R.

The workshop took place at a unique offsite location – a children’s daycare center. To spark inspiration, attendees started the day by touring the brightly colored building and taking in the many murals and play spaces. 

An icebreaker kicked off the interactive portion of the workshop: “What’s the best gift you ever received as a child and why?” Next, C+R team members launched an analysis of the client’s three key areas of interest for the innovation cycle.

The workshop closed by engaging attendees in a series of creative brainstorming exercises. The teams diverged and converged ideas, and eventually built out the most promising concepts for further product development.

The result

Fun That Leads to Results

Along with an engaging workshop design, the C+R team provided:

academic knowledge of child development;

proprietary models for understanding the drivers of product appeal (for children and parents);

syndicated YouthBeat® data showing historical and modern trends on brands that are appealing to youth (and why);

an in-depth exploration of the public relations messaging, social media presence, YouTube features, and other culturally relevant markers for key products and brands; and

a review of news articles related to the development of STEM-related categories and the benefits and challenges of engaging with educators in the toy space.

By the end of the day, everyone had learned a ton, laughed a lot, and the client team had produced some “winning concepts” that were further developed and forwarded into the innovation pipeline.

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