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Postby VD23 » April 17th, 2009, 11:24 am


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Nice, I like the flecked mesh idea too! Oh, and totally get that you don't have access to the materials you wanted for the initial prototype...was just throwing it out there.

Postby cpvt1987 » April 17th, 2009, 12:30 pm

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Thanks guys!

R- I think i'm going to round the edges of the teeth a bit haha...should help a little...

Postby cpvt1987 » April 17th, 2009, 8:31 pm

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Some illustrator work:

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Postby cpvt1987 » April 19th, 2009, 2:42 am

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Starting to look at the bigger picture in terms of marketing strategy and opportunity with the design. With this falling into the kid's market, there are tons of opportunties that branch off of this one design - just off the top of my head, the big companies I was thinking of were Nickelodean and Disney, among others. Along these lines, I know Crocs has customizable accessories that pop into the kid's shoes and what not...so I think it's definitely viable.

With that said, here's a little something I did to start exploring this realm :D

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Postby jada » April 19th, 2009, 11:59 am


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I don't really see the link between toddler and ninja turtles and apart from perhaps sticking to "child-friendly" (i.e. strong, cheerful) colours I think you should target the parents (what do they perceive as being fit for the child) more than the child.

Think about who initiates and influences the buy, who decides, and who actually does the purchase in the end. Apart from being one of the users of the product (and you've covered both the child's and the parent's needs here...?), the child is perhaps not a very active part in this purchase, except that it might be more drawn to certain colours and thus influence the buyer, if the child is present when the shoe is being bought.

Anyway, as far as the child goes, I don't think Ninja turtles is the right way to go.

Interesting project to follow, by the way. Thanks for sharing.

Postby cpvt1987 » April 19th, 2009, 12:13 pm

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Great feedback, and good points. From my research that I've done with the parents, the Ninja Turtles theme idea was simply something that kept popping up as an example from them (among others like Dora, Sesame Street, etc...). I am definitely keeping in mind those purchasing decisions and factors that you brought up. For me, the Ninja Turtles idea is not a "set" direction at all...more of just a fun exploration of how the design can begin to lend itself to this market opportunity with new design cues with the textures, materials, colors etc...and plus the Ninja Turtles were one of the more iconic themes to work into the design at this point.

Postby cpvt1987 » April 19th, 2009, 2:54 pm

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Forgot to mention....another thing that has come up through talking and researching with parents deals with that purchasing decision that was brought up. It's definitely a tricky balance to find between targeting the parent versus the child...in terms of shelf appeal and benefits from the parents' point of view, versus what the kid's wants and desires are.

A majority of the parents I've been talkinig with say they go ahead and buy the shoes that they see as the most beneficial for their kid...however, at the end of the day, they spend a grueling 10 mintues struggling to get these shoes on the kid, only for the kid to take them off instantly once their parent turns away. Ultimately, these shoes end up under the couch, sitting by the door, etc...just wasted time and money.

So, like I said, I think it's going to come down to finding that right balance between parent and child needs and desires. That's where I think the marketing opportunities can come into play, allowing a stronger emotional connection with the kid...actually making them want to wear the shoes...but also providing usability and other beneficial features for the parent through the actual design of the footwear.

Postby l2eal_Deal » April 19th, 2009, 4:46 pm


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I really like how this has been coming along. You've defiantly taken a big step trying to make for a friendlier design. I really like the Ninja Turtles Theme and how it fits with the design but are they still on TV? I think you should try for characters that the kids know. Maybe some of the superheros? Kids would defiantly have fun imaging/playing with their shoes. Nice work, I'm defiantly looking forward to this projects progression.

Postby jada » April 19th, 2009, 5:35 pm


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Fair points you've got cpvt1987. The shoe should perhaps convince the parents that the child will take interest in them and that they at the same time will be good for the child, but the child should also actually find them interesting.

Hm. What age group defines a toddler? I might have underestimated their mental abilities.

Initially I thought that Nijna turtules (that I still consider to be for older children), Disney and other brand names would be of no interest for this age group. Rethinking this I think that they might not recognize these brands as "the brands", but that they still are familiar to them and therefore have appeal.

Postby cpvt1987 » April 19th, 2009, 6:44 pm

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Thanks for the feedback once again...

l2eal_Deal - glad you like the project! I was actually surprised when I heard more than one parent mention the ninja turtles haha...I thought they were long gone too. They are still on tv, but definitely not the same ninja turtles i grew up on. But yea, I'm looking into other characters, like some of the more iconic super heroes and stuff along those lines.

jada - technically, a toddler is 12-36 months...so 1-3 years of age. It definitely depends on the kid, but I know from my experience with my niece and nephew and from the parents I've talked to, the kids begin to recognize and connect with things at an early age. Like you said, the may not recognize the "the brand," but nonetheless, there is definitely a connection there, and it builds over time.

Postby shoenista » April 20th, 2009, 6:22 pm

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jada wrote:I don't really see the link between toddler and ninja turtles and apart from perhaps sticking to "child-friendly" (i.e. strong, cheerful) colours I think you should target the parents (what do they perceive as being fit for the child) more than the child.

Think about who initiates and influences the buy, who decides, and who actually does the purchase in the end. Apart from being one of the users of the product (and you've covered both the child's and the parent's needs here...?), the child is perhaps not a very active part in this purchase, except that it might be more drawn to certain colours and thus influence the buyer, if the child is present when the shoe is being bought.

Anyway, as far as the child goes, I don't think Ninja turtles is the right way to go.
.


In the UK it's pretty much impossible to sell any childs apparel /footwear product in the mass market unless it's character licensed. So I'd say for me at least, it would be a must. I design a lot of kids footwear myself and ALL the product I do for the UK is character licensed.

By the way: I think you are doing an excellent job. It was a kids footwear project that I did that got me into the footwear trade!

Postby rkuchinsky » April 20th, 2009, 6:49 pm

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Chris,

I don't have kids so am looking at this "in theory" only.

From my perspective, going down the licensed character route cheapens the concept.

I see what you've done so far, and there is some great aesthetic and functional design ideas in the project. While I realize it's not exactly what you are doing, but slapping a cartoon character on it to me screams "Sell-out, cheap". It also might appear that way as a portfolio piece, something to consider. These days liscened characters are put on everything with very little regards to brand/fit, I don't really see it as a design "plus". see the topic "What is it with Nike, anyway" for more on that....

...IRL, you'll have plenty of time to do those high volume, commercially driven products - why not do something different for a school project?

I do know there are a lot of licensed character footwear out there in the mass market (wal mart and all), but I see your design as a more sophisticated product, one for more discerning parents, esp. if you do go any "green" route in materials/construction.

I'd encourage you to perhaps re-think the idea... perhaps look more into high end toys like Brio, etc. I see your design as more appropriate to this market. something akiin perhaps to SoftStar http://www.softstarshoes.com/ and some of those other "premium" kids products... Not cheap, but a good solution.

I know a lot of parents, esp. of my own and a bit older generation who do everything possible to avoid branded items for kids. They value quality, design, and function (what seem to be your key drivers) over the traditional kids' object values of cheap, disposable and flashy/branded/marketing-tie-in.

another angle if you still want to veer into this area, might be to develop your own characters. You already have the eyes/teeth, why not create some of your own characters.

this is some good inspiration -

http://boards.core77.com/viewtopic.php?t=17692

R
The Directive Collective
http://www.directivecollective.com

Postby shoenista » April 20th, 2009, 7:26 pm

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I hear what you are saying, but the way he's done that, I don't think he has cheapened it at all. He hasn't slapped a Mickey Mouse weld on the front of it, anyway. :lol:

It depends which route he wants to take.

I think the work, done, so far, is a different animal (heh!) from brands such as the one you linked to, or brands such as See Kai Run or Robeez, I wouldn't see it as selling to the same customer. It's much sportier and more modern.

I agree that he should consider developing his own characters instead. That would definately add value.

There are some dreadful licensed products out there after all - has anyone seen the Lego stuff? Awful.

Postby cpvt1987 » April 20th, 2009, 7:52 pm

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Definitely a lot to consider here, which is good. The whole character license thing was something that came up for this project because it was a finalist for a regional business concept design competition here, and there was a lot of emphasis put on that end of marketing strategy and opportunity. However, as you guys have pointed out, my goal was to not just simply slap on character logos and such...but look more at the subtle design cues such as texture changes, color schemes, character development, etc.

In terms of me actually developing my own character line...it's something that has crossed my mind, but at this point it's more of a time issue more than anything, especially with the deadline drawing near. If I were to go down that route, I would definitely want to do it right and spend a good amount of time on it with the whole branding and image.

Another option that I've been thinking about is maybe creating a product line that is inspired by animals and nature in general...not branded items like Ninja Turtles or Sesame Street. So, for example, one shoe could be simply turtle inspired, another could be a frog, a lion, a fish, a dinosaur, etc. Each unique source of inspiration can provide those design cues like textures, materials, and colors like I mentioned earlier, to bring the design to that next level. Also, you can begin to create "themes" within the footwear where maybe a summertime launch could be the sea creatures and stuff like that. It also begins to hit on a slight "learning experience" through the footwear for the child too, by introducing them to these different animals over time. Just a thought.

Overall, I really think all these options add to the depth of the project. In the final presentation, I think it'll be good to show these different routes and say yea, this product can be character licensed, or it could be theme-based, and even developed into it's own character line, and so on...I think it shows a good variety of options for one product.

I'll be updating with more progress soon too...

Postby cpvt1987 » April 21st, 2009, 6:49 pm

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Some closure detail that I'm working on:

Looking at utilizing velcro on the pull tab and toe area to simply cinch the excess cord down when the shoe is on the kid's foot.. keeping the slack out of the way. However, as the diagram shows, the simple detail of reversing the male/female velcro areas on the left/right shoes allows the shoes to stick together when not in use (similar to gloves clipping together)...hitting on the loss prevention idea.

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