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SmartTag is a conceptual hardware designed to be very similar a sticky note which can be embedded with sensors and circuits that help the student to learn school Physics while playing with their daily toys.

On 6 days Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp at MIT Sloan School, Boston, MA,  where 60 other handpicked participant from all over the world participated, me with my team of 6 designed a product “SmartTag” for school going students. The main objective of the product was to make the children understand basics of physics practically during their school days.

On a research conducted Students do not have enough Interactive Tools to learn science due to the outdated methodology which is boring and lacks experiential -sensorial activities.

 

 

Location

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Boston, MA

Problem

38% of MidSchool to Highschool student who starts with a STEM major do not graduate.

64% students were not ready for next level of science education, example, high school or university.

Students aren’t able to translate science or any of those technical terms in real life. Drawing Point A to B on a board doesn’t help students understand acceleration or velocity, not even the distance between distance or displacement.

Solution

Educational toys to enhance their understanding of how forces and motion in basic science work.

End-User

  • Students at their early learning stages.
  • Middle school and high school. The group from 8 to 12 yrs.
  • The economic buyers are their parents and teachers.
  • US and UK market. (Developed countries).

Market Analysis

The market for educational toys can be divided into two distinct segments:

Individual consumers: This group is parents or grandparents who are purchasing the toy for a specific child.
Wholesale purchasers: This segment is schools, daycare centers, etc., commercial businesses that are buying the product for their clients to use.

Market Strategy: Sell directly to the consumer instead of using the traditional layered distribution system that uses wholesalers to sell to retailers. While this creates more work for SMART TAG terms of generating sales, it provides better margins. Additionally, this process will be more costly for the first few years, however, once relationships are developed with individual consumers as well as the wholesale purchasers, the marketing cost per sale will dramatically decrease as the original customers become familiar with Smart Tags’ outstanding product line.

Market Segmentation

Individuals: This segment is people buying a single product for their child or someone that they know. The demographics of this segment is a household income of >$50,000, have high aspirations for their children in terms of education and development and want to get started as soon as possible. Generally, they have at least an undergraduate degree with 41% of the segment having a graduate degree.

Businesses: This group is buying the toys for children who are the business’ clients. These organizations typically are either daycare based or school-based such as nursery school or preschool. The number of children that they care for generally ranges from seven to 25.

 Target Audience Market (T.A.M) Segment Strategy

  • Focus on individual consumers and wholesale customers for several good reasons:
  • Better margins. Although sales volume will be less relative to using wholesale distributors, margins will be higher.
  • Closer contact with customers. By selling direct to consumers, a stronger relationship will be developed. This is advantageous because it provides a more accurate feedback loop which is instrumental in product development.
  • More efficient. Fewer layers involved in distribution.

Industry Analysis

The toy industry is characterized by many different toy manufacturers. Within the larger toy industry, there is a niche of educational toy manufacturers. This niche is fairly new (within the last five years) as the convergence of toys and educational tools becomes more legitimized. For years there was no awareness that a toy could have educational value, it was assumed that a toy was a mindless way of occupying a child’s time and attention, giving the parent a break. Only recently has there been studies published that clearly show the ability to design a toy that captivates a child’s attention while teaching them constructive skills.

Competition and Buying Patterns

The small niche educational toy industry is comprised of two market leaders and several smaller, primarily regional manufacturers. The two main competitors are:

  • LeapFrog Enterprises: An Emeryville, CA company. They currently have one main product line that teaches phonics.
  • Knowledge Universe: This company was founded by financier Michael Milken and Oracle President Lawrence J. Ellison. Knowledge Universe has a total of seven different products.