Starting a venture into an unknown category
In the current ClosetMaid portfolio, there are a lot of general storage pieces that are used throughout the home. A lot of those pieces are used in children’s rooms or play areas. Recognizing this trend, we wanted to seize the opportunity to create an entire collection centered around children.
There are a lot of constraints and concerns around children products; of course, most of those concerns are safety. Kids have a completely different mindset compared to adults, meaning we have to account for everything a child may do when interacting with any of the designs we move forward with.
For our initial research, we searched over current storage solutions other people had, whether it is from a company or a DIY mother that made a creative solution for their needs. We grabbed whatever inspired us and spurred up any ideas for solutions. Being new to the category, we decided to research who did well in the category. Land of Nod was the biggest inspiration; they focus solely on juvenile products and sell at a premium. They had a lot of categories from mobile carts and chests to shelving and cribs.
We wanted to see what parents and their kids think of each piece and see how kids would interact. The team interviewed the parents and even the kids while they were playing and having fun with all of the prototypes.
PHASE 1 Final design:
Because of short timelines, the more interactive pieces needed more development and the team did not want the ready pieces to be held back. A plan for a phase 1 launch was initiated, which consisted of conservative general storage pieces and a phase 2 launch will consist of the more interactive and unique pieces after more development and testing.