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Fisher-Price's Marketing Research

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Designers at Fisher-Price, the nation’s top marketer of infant and preschool toys, seek to develop toys they think kids will like, but the problem is: How can they be certain kids will like the toys? As part of their marketing research, Fisher-Price gets children to play at its state-licensed nursery school in East Aurora, New York. From behind one-way mirrors, Fisher-Price designers and marketing researchers watch the children use, and abuse, the toys to develop better products.

The original model of a classic Fisher-Price toy, the Chatter Telephone™, was simply a wooden phone with a dial that rang a bell. Observers noted, however, that the children kept grabbing the receiver like a handle to pull the phone along behind them, so a designer added wheels, a noisemaker, and eyes that bobbed up and down.

Fisher-Price’s toy testing shows how to define the problem and its two key elements: setting the research objectives and identifying possible marketing actions suggested by the research.

Companies can learn from this example and understand the important of Market Research to help achieve marketing objectives. Typical marketing objectives are increasing sales and profits, discovering what consumers are aware of and want, and finding out why a product isn’t selling well. For Fisher-Price, the immediate research objective was to decide whether to market the old or new telephone design.

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YouSigma. (2008). "Fisher-Price's Marketing Research." From http://www.yousigma.com.

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