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Leverage BOOM Designs’ Discovery Journey to Prepare the Perfect Sales Pitch

Most people view the sales pitch as a problem for sales and marketing professionals to solve. We have a different take. In our experience, a product sales pitch starts with a solid design process that documents the journey towards discovering breakthrough products.

In the Research stage of our product development process, the Discovery Journey is a series of activities we do to uncover insights that lead to a better product design. However, that same process also unlocks the most powerful selling points that will later go into the product sales pitch.

In this blog post, we’re going to share how you can use our Discovery Journey process to craft a compelling pitch for your product. As an example, we will disclose valuable details on how we used this same process while designing the Poppies Teether Toy.

Step 1: Ethnographic Research

Ethnographic research is the study of people and their cultures. The key to gathering useful ethnographic research is observing and interacting with people in their natural environments.

When we were researching to develop the Poppies Teether Toy products, we watched infants use different types of teethers to figure out what qualities they liked and disliked.

Examples of observational areas from Ethnographic Research:

  • Places infants use teethers
  • Locations in which parents store teethers
  • Infants interactions with teethers
  • Sanitation and ease of cleaning teethers
  • Parental concerns with teethers (e.g. mold growth)

During this step you should use video research, image capturing, and interviews to collect as much raw data as possible. The more information you gather in this phase, the stronger your pitch will be, and the more powerful your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) will present to a potential customer or investor. Don’t worry about organizing this data yet – that will come later.

Step 2: Capturing Observations

Capturing observations is a process of recording your observations from the ethnographic research. You are taking the raw data from the ethnographic research and creating a list of specific observations.

To do this, you should compile all of the notes, images, and videos you gathered and list observations that start with “I saw” and “I heard.” Below are a few examples from our Poppies research:

  • I heard the babies cry when they used teethers with a material that was too hard.
  • I saw the babies drop some teethers that were difficult for them to hold.
  • I heard the mom say she had to throw her teether away because mold was building up on the inside of the teether which she noticed one day cleaning the toy in the sink.
  • I saw the babies enjoy banging the teethers on hard surfaces to hear the sounds.

Once you have your lists ready and your images printed, you will start to categorize your observations.

Step 3: Identifying Themes

Organizing your research begins with Identifying Themes. In this step, you only focus on classifying the observations and images – don’t worry about deciding whether the observations in these themes are useful or not at this point. You are only worried about bucketing these observations into useful themes that will help identify product opportunities. Some of the observations may fit into several themes, in which case, make sure to include them in both themes and not just one.

You are only worried about bucketing these observations into useful themes that will help identify product opportunities.

This works best if you use large whiteboards in a large room that let you visualize spread out everything. You can also use a solution like Trello or Pinterest any other project management software you enjoy that will help with multi-disciplined collaboration and team-work.

For the Poppies teether, we used general themes such as:

  • Chewing on the Teether
  • Playing with the Teether like a toy
  • Making sounds with the Teether
  • Physical development
  • Health issues of teethers (BPA free – Mold free)
  • Teether material causes pain
  • Cleaning the Teether

These themes represent some of the buckets we evaluated before designing and developing our teething product.

Step 4: Evaluate Themes

By now, your research should start to come together to form the categories you will focus on and move forward with the product development process (and include in your sales pitch). In this step, you and your cross-functional team will evaluate your themes to confirm the top categories are key opportunities to design around (and pitch).

This is where we proved the process up to this point resulted in several opportunities to create a teething product unlike anything on the market. We realized we could create a teether that not only helped children with teething but also served as a learning tool, a fun toy, and a great experience for the child and the parent.

Step 5: Insight Development

In this step, you are going to write out the insights you discovered when evaluating your themes. Insights should include key consumer needs as a problem worth solving. In the evaluation stage of your journey, you should have narrowed down your buckets into 5 to 10 key insights which will be used for the sales pitch and your concept development.

For the Poppies teether, we used ‘fun’ and ‘creative’ theme titles (90’s Song Inspiration) such as:

  • Nothing Compares to Teething – Kids seem to always chew on everything because their mouths hurt when teeth come in, so the teether needs to massage gums while fluctuating pressure on the gum line.
  • How Do I Play – Infants do not just chew on their teether, but they play with it like a toy.)
  • (Everything I Do) I Do It for Sounds – Babies like to bang the teethers on the table to hear an audible response – cause and effect.
  • Development! – There It Is – Infants are continuously learning and investigating during their early months that teethers become part of their physical development.

From there, we tested the focused 5 to 10 insights using Quantitative Research techniques to confirm we were addressing the most important categories that mean the most to the end user and the purchasing decision maker.

Step 6: Brainstorm

With all of your data collected and your top consumer addressed insights selected, it’s time to brainstorm potential solutions around the most valuable insights. This is where you and your cross-functional team will contribute ideas that will solve existing problems for consumers and improve upon the current solutions.

For example, we noticed that infants liked different teething textures, so we added a variety of textures in our design. We also found that the kids loved the sound of pulling a suction-cupped toy off of surfaces, so we added small suction cups that are inviting to a child’s finger and allow them to play with their teether on many smooth surfaces while adding a comforting pressure sensitive sensation to the gums.

This Discovery Journey covers everything you need to prepare for a powerful pitch because it helps you create a story for your product and allows you to explain its purpose(s). In the case of the Poppies teething product, our Discovery Journey enabled us to identify our Unique Selling Proposition (USP), and it even helped us communicate the story with our legal team to create some IP for our product.

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