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intO work: Our latest EVOLVE projects

Our EVOLVE research iterates concepts, tests prototypes and validates propositions, to deliver clarity throughout the creative development journey. It’s valuable to both strategic and creative decision-makers within brand and agency teams – most frequently when their projects need to be developed across a wider range of global regions than they can easily access. 

As intO’s Business Director, Jonny Jiang, explains in his recent article, How we EVOLVE: When the answer is feedback, our EVOLVE service overcomes the key challenges that relate to resourcing, orchestrating and planning complex international research. And, by blending established academic methods with experimental techniques, EVOLVE research progresses the work of our clients (be it a product, service, strategy or communication) through any or all of the following development stages:

  • Creative ideation – What does our target audience need? 
  • Concept co-creation – What could we build for them? 
  • Concept to prototype – How could we make this a compelling and future-proof solution? 
  • Prototype to go-to-market strategy – Where and when should we deliver this first? 
  • Go-to-market strategy to launch – What should we say about it and how? 

The following examples of recent projects showcase how we’ve helped some of the brands and businesses we work with to make decisions and move forward with confidence.

 

 

From nothing to an idea

 

How should the LEGO brand values translate into kids’ apparel?

15 families

2 countries

(Germany, UK

 

 

 

 

LEGO is loved around the globe by children, parents and generations either side. Our client wished to explore how the LEGO brand values could translate to clothing and pre-empt the long-term needs of both kids and parents. 

Our research with families in Germany and the UK was organised into two phases and was designed to excite stakeholders throughout the project. The first phase generated conceptual proposals for the clothing and apparel brand characteristics. Here, we used anthropological methods such as ethnography, observation and narrative analysis, as well as creative methods designed to stimulate responsive co-creation with children. The second phase contextualised insights by using sociological methods, such as discourse analysis and actor-network mapping, to uncover wider sociocultural norms and influences, and validate the conceptual proposals generated by phase one.  

intO proposed and validated the brand features for the LEGO Wear concept to progress to the prototype phase. Subsequently, we developed a tool to support design implementation, the go-to-market retail strategy and marketing narratives for the launch. Our insights revealed potential opportunities and inventive clothing ideas that continue to evolve into real products.

Read more about our work with LEGO HERE

 

From idea to concept

 

How can Dorel Juvenile (Maxi-Cosi) develop future-proof strollers & car seats for the urban mobility context

12 families

5 experts

2 countries

(Germany, UK) 

 

 

 

Dorel Juvenile is a global leader in the production of high-quality juvenile products, including the Maxi-Cosi brand. Urban mobility behaviours are changing quickly; new technologies, government regulations, socio-economic factors and environmental concerns all present challenges and opportunities for Dorel. To create innovation roadmaps for products that have long development periods, Dorel must overlay the needs, priorities and mindsets of parents on-the-move with insight into how they are likely to change. Could different design features better serve altered user needs in the future? What opportunities to design new products does the future of mobility present? 

Our mobile ethnography and in-depth participant interviews sought to understand interactions, motivations and concerns with modes of family transport beyond strollers and car seats. These insights, together with input from experts, were developed into a ‘New Mobility Context Report’, which formed the basis of our ideation workshops with stakeholders. We designed the workshop sessions and moderated them remotely, before synthesising the outputs into concepts, validating these concepts with qualitative testing, and building them into a robust innovation roadmap that plotted the path to prototype stage. Our ongoing work with Dorel allows the business to unlock more award-winning, impactful product innovations that have optimal relevance over time.

Read more about our work with Dorel Juvenile HERE

 

From concept to prototype

 

How will Pearson evaluate new service design concepts in hard-to-recruit regions?

16 English language learners

2 countries

(Japan, Brazil) 

 

 

 

 

Pearson Education is a British-owned publishing, assessment and media company that’s focused on learning. It operates in over 70 countries around the world. intO was appointed to assist the global UX team on the English language learning platform. As a service that must meet the needs and expectations of customers from many different cultures, it was important to test design features in regions that can be notoriously difficult to recruit participants in – particularly when very specific screening criteria exists. 

With our local researchers in Japan and Brazil, intO provided on-the-ground participant screening and high-quality recruitment, as well as handling the logistics of sourcing, booking and managing local UX research facilities. We designed and moderated detailed interviews with participants and live-streamed the insights provided, with simultaneous translation, to Pearson’s stakeholder teams around the world. 

With intO’s support, Pearson was able to carry out UX research in locations that were key to the company’s strategy, but would have been too complicated to include without regional assistance. The insights delivered enabled prototype features to be adapted and developed through to launch.

Read more about our work with Pearson HERE.

 

From prototype to go-to-market

 

How can our entertainment client judge which cartoon storylines will best resonate with children across different cultures?

52 children

1 country

(USA) 

 

 

 

This confidential, multi-region project was commissioned by the international content production and distribution subsidiary of one of the world’s largest toy manufacturers. The goal of the brief was to understand how levels of engagement with different cartoon storylines might differ across cultures. intO orchestrated the study in the USA. 

We recruited families from New York City, Brooklyn, New Jersey, Queens and Long Island, and observed sibling or friendship pairs watching a pilot cartoon with their families in their home environment. Age-appropriate interview techniques were developed and implemented – alongside ethnography – to reveal the children’s perceptions and emotional responses. Each session included an in-depth discussion with parents about the contemporary cartoon environment and their own perception of televised, streamed or downloaded cartoons. During the fieldwork, three focus-group sessions were also organised to gauge the levels of interest in cartoons amongst older children aged between five and seven. 

intO’s research findings contributed to an in-depth analysis of how levels of engagement with different cartoon storylines vary across cultures, ultimately enabling more confident development decisions.

 

Prototype to go-to-market

 

We’ve worked with countless clients on the final development phase before launch. Rather than focus on any one of them here, it’s worth noting that this is generally the phase that doesn’t generate a research brief in isolation. Few businesses or stakeholder teams are looking for research to validate their ideas, decisions or directions at this late stage in the journey. Our work with clients here is usually predated by research, workshops and/or roadmaps as part of a particular project, and is focused on facilitation to keep stakeholders aligned. More importantly, if EVOLVE research has been part of the process before this point, stakeholders are already likely to be working in synergy with each other and the agreed plan in the lead up to launch.

 

We hope this article has helped to introduce the ways in which our research can EVOLVE the work of our clients. To learn more about considerations for each stage of the EVOLVE research process, please read the following article, written by our Business Director, Jonny Jiang, How we EVOLVE: When the answer is feedback.

If you’d like to talk about how intO’s EVOLVE research could support your brand, business or department, please email Jonny Jiang at [email protected]

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