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Consumer conventions can be a boon to companies looking to target specific demographic audiences and prime prospects.  For example, a toy manufacturer attending a toy-based convention will naturally attract consumers with children in the age range their toys target as parents approach the booth to see what the brand has to offer. But how can a brand best leverage this initial interest to begin a conversation with the consumer and request feedback on its toys?

A manufacturer of educational toys was attending a popular consumer toy convention and wanted to use the opportunity to test two toy prototypes. They approached C+R for help in converting visitors to their exhibit into research participants.

C+R conducted qualitative intercept interviews with a Play Lab component, which allowed kids to interact with the client’s prototypes and provide feedback of what they liked and disliked as they played. Via the Play Labs, the client received feedback on the delighters of the toys from both kids’ and parents’ point-of-views, as well as feedback to improve upon the prototypes.
 

Problem

A toy manufacturer was exhibiting at a consumer events convention in a major US city and wanted to use the opportunity to obtain feedback from kids and parents on two of its toy prototypes, one for kids aged two through four years old, and another for kids aged five through ten years old. They approached C+R for help in conducting qualitative Play Labs with kids (and their parents) to better understand the appeal and potential refinement opportunities of these toys.

Specifically, the client wanted to know if kids thought the toys were fun (identifying delighters and drawbacks) and, for the second toy, which of two versions they liked the most. For each toy, they also wanted to know what parents identified as the overall appeal, taking into account the design, the packaging, the price, etc.

Result

The client received valuable feedback on both of its toy prototypes and was able to witness how children played with the toys in real time. 

For the first prototype, they learned the sweet spot in regard to the age range the toy was most appropriate for, as well as an average price parents felt the toy was worth paying for.

For the second prototype, they received feedback on which option kids most enjoyed playing with and why, as well as suggestions to improve the product's name. 

Solution

C+R joined our client at the consumer toy convention to conduct convention floor intercepts/Play Labs with parents and kids. The intercepts were conducted over two days, and each lasted around 20 minutes. Two different toys/prototypes were tested, one for children aged two through four years old and one for children aged five through ten years old. 

We conducted the intercepts at our client's exhibit. First, parents completed a short survey to ensure they qualified; the surveys also helped to ensure we were recruiting a mix of age, gender, ethnicity, and household income. Next, they and their child were taken to an on-site room where the child was allowed to interact with the toys. Children aged two through four years old were given the first toy to play with, while those aged seven through ten years old tested the second toy. Those aged five or six years old were allowed to choose which toy they wanted to test.

During the intercepts, the moderator first observed the child interacting with the toy to identify delighters and barriers. The child was then asked for feedback on the toy. Finally, the moderator interviewed the parent to discover their thoughts and feedback on the toy's design, packaging, and price. 

To complete as many intercepts as possible in the two days, two C+R moderators participated, and the client made multiple prototypes available for children to interact with. In total, we completed 41 intercepts: 24 tested the prototype for children aged four years old and under and 31 tested the prototype for those aged five through ten years old. Some parents had multiple children, which allowed us to test more toys with fewer intercepts.
 

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