Introduction

I led research to help Wahl Clipper Corp. identify opportunities in the Chinese consumer-hair-cutting market.

 

Specifically, I was gaining insights on the popular eastern practice of home haircuts for babies.

 

These insights would be used to help Wahl address interests of end users, develop strategic advantages in this category, and build awareness of its brand in China.

Children's Clipper Design

Consumer Research

Shanghai, China

Findings and recommendations are withheld due to privacy, though I can provide insight on the process below.

Objectives

  1. Glean children's hair clipper preferences in China

  2. Learn purchasing behavior of children's hair clipper consumers

  3. Vet current product designs through local consumers

  4. Gain insights for development of a compelling children's clipper

Challenges

 

  • Approaching a market in which Wahl Consumer had little presence

  • No prior qualitative intelligence

  • Cultural barriers

  • Designing a product that could have multi-market appeal

  • Product development timelines

Outcome

 

  • The initial report was developed. Insights were visualized and communicated with the product team

  • First focus group provided actionable insights and influenced design modifications

  • Go-to-market strategy was influenced due to purchase behavior findings

  • Second focus group validated updated designs

  • Development steps proposed

  • Improved cultural understanding influenced following product decisions for the China market

I was responsible for the entirety of this project. 
Personal contributions included:
*Bold text indicates key technical requirements
Defining the project scope

Procuring Chinese research agency

Establishing contract, and scheduling

Competitive audit

Focus group design

Writing moderating questions

Requisitioning prototypes and assisting in prototype design

Acquiring & preparing competitive samples

On-site setup

Data recording

Video review

Data analysis

Authoring findings report

Data visualization of key findings

Establishing priorities for following R&D

Methodologies

Competitive Audit

Focus Groups

Cultural Probes

User Survey

Overview

A competitive audit was completed to determine which products participants would observe. A total of 20 respondents were interviewed. Two separate focus groups were held. Each focus group lasted two hours and hosted ten participants.

Focus Group 1) An exploratory focus group would help validate our competitive analysis. It would also enable us to gather behavioral and perceptual inferences. Finally, it would shed light on alignment with existing prototypes Wahl could develop for that market.  

 

Focus Group 2) The following focus group would be centered on our interpretation of the first focus group. It would reveal whether new designs based on the first focus group could be accepted in the market. It would also demonstrate the degree of design competence our prototype had against existing product. Lastly, it would offer insights on how to further improve Wahl's prototypes, thus promoting a better user experience.

A local moderator presented questions to each group about their experiences purchasing and using children's hair clippers.

  • Open discussion was encouraged. 

  • Participants were presented with several top-selling children's clippers in the market and with Wahl's prototypes. 

  • All branding was removed to reduce marketing influence. 

Observation of the groups was conducted from behind one-way glass. 

  • Notes were taken

  • Video recordings were made

  • Transcripts were written 

 

Following the focus groups:

  • Data analysis of participant feedback was conducted

  • Visual representations of findings were then created and presented

Framework of Research
 

TOOLS

- Excel

- PowerPoint

- 3D Printer

- Recording Equipment

TEAM

- Moderator, 

- International Marketing Coordinator (Me)

- Marketing Manager

- Industrial Designer

- International Graphic Designer

PERSONAL CONTRIBUTION

- Research Framework

- Competitive Analysis 

- Focus Group Design

- Data Recording, Analysis, & Visualization

© 2020 Adam Book, all rights reserved