Gaining Product Development Insights by Engaging Adolescents

Updated: Jan 3

Written by: Larry Goodfellow


Activewear that’s Active

Last week I was shopping with my 12 year old relative who is a smart, active, sixth grader who enjoys spending her time dancing. Her mother is also very active, and enjoys yoga and like any yogi knows, Lululemon is the go-to store for yoga active wear. Lululemon went on to open a store where children under the ages of 14 could get their own active wear, called Ivivva. The store offers such activities as parent-child yoga classes on Saturdays at the store. We went into the store, and I was thoroughly impressed. What I found out after leaving the store shocked me even more. As we left, she told me that she had sent in suggestions for design. Like anyone involved in market research communities my interest was immediately peaked, since product development is a major strength of market research online communities.


Your Great Ideas Are in Your Customers Heads

As we walked down the street, I asked her to tell me about her idea for the new product. It had first started when she had bought a pair of shorts she really liked; she wanted to get more pairs but there were only a few designs and colours in the style that she liked. She went on to the store website and clicked on “Product Info” and from the drop down menu there is a form which asks for your first name only, then you can click on one of the following: product design, in-store experience, online experience, and or “other.” From there she clicked on product design and suggested that they make more of her favourite shorts in a wider array of colours and designs. She was pleased to find out that they took her advice because shortly thereafter they had done just that.


The second time she suggested a product design was a long sleeve shirt she liked. The long sleeve shirt that she bought went past her wrist and had a little slit to put her thumb through. She thought the design was really unique and cool. The more she thought about it, she came up with an idea of how it could be even better. She concluded that having a padded grip for the palm would be a great addition. She wrote in but still hasn’t seen the idea come to fruition.


She was curious why I was asking her so many questions about this. I explained how at work we sell software to help customers like her connect to businesses like Ivivva. I explained that software like ours allows for what she did, and more. I told her that if you really like a store like Ivivva and if they have our software you can become a community member. As an example, community members can receive 4 questions a month to ask how the product or services could be made better, or what they thought of an advertisement campaign. I asked her if she would sign up for something like that with Ivivva, and she said that she would. I also told her how our software allows for suggestions but can also reward or thank customers like her when ideas are used. She said she wished she would have received a thank-you for the ideas shared or some acknowledgement that they heard her idea. I explained that with market research online community software, individuals who take the time each month or each week to fill out the survey can be rewarded with points that can be used in stores or online. She thought that was awesome.


Young People Want to Be A Part of The Companies They Like


There were several things that I realized through our conversation.


1. The first was that young people assume that a company should have some way to communicate with their brand and give suggestions. This 12 year old has never heard of an MROC but assumed that the basic structure should exist in the brand she liked.

2. Secondly, loyal customers want reasons to be even more loyal. A response or thank-you for the idea would have increased this young girl’s opinion of the company.

3. Thirdly, loyal customers such as her would love to be asked questions by the brand they love.


If you would like to know more about how an online community can help you, feel free to contact us.


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