Hey Duggee’s initial toy range was released when awareness and affinity for the brand was relatively low, resulting in low sales. However, a surge in popularity meant that the brand was poised to make a second attempt at engaging audiences with play focused products. BBC Worldwide approached KI to help them discern the size and scope of Hey Duggee’s product opportunities and devise a research driven toy strategy to help ensure success.
The majority of our investigations were formed around qualitative play and discussion sessions with children aged 2-6 and their parents. This helped us understand key play patterns and the types of products that would best fit with the Hey Duggee brand.
A week prior to research sessions, half of our participant children were sent a diverse selection of toys; including vehicles, softlines and figurines. Parents recorded and narrated over initial toy openings and following play sessions, to help provide insight and context around their child’s behaviours.
In-home qualitative sessions allowed us to deep-dive into consumers’ emotional connections to the TV show, it’s themes and characters, and provided a complete picture of where Hey Duggee sat in the lives of UK families. Understanding current attitudes and behaviours around the brand was key to making relevant product recommendations.
For some families, Hey Duggee toys were introduced for the first time during research sessions, which meant moderators could interact with children and parents during these initial play moments. Parent’s also provided regular play updates for up to two weeks following research, allowing us to understand the long term play value of Hey Duggee toys across distinct categories.
On a base level, the outputs provided by KI helped BBC Worldwide understand broader consumer engagement, opinions and desires when it comes to Hey Duggee. More specifically, we were able to bring together our findings from both discussions and observations to provide ideas for developmentally and brand relevant toys. Finally, recommendations were wrapped in a go-to-market licensing roll-out, retail and marcomms strategy that is being used today.