In this role I developed new brands and products for an international startup foundry. I headed projects developing small appliances, pet products and home goods. I managed new product development through the stages of market identification, user research, product design, brand identity design and brand launch. I traveled to Shenzhen, China regularly to source and inspect vendors, learn manufacturing processes and collaborate with our China-based team.
I took over each product after a market identification process was completed by our in house market research team. My project process usually proceeded as follows:
After a project was shared with the assigned designer, we would then complete deep-dive research into what features consumers were asking for, but didn't yet exist in the market. This involved reading through Amazon reviews, creating detailed product comparison specs and ordering and reviewing products ourselves. By getting our hands on existing products . we were able to learn a lot about their manufacturing methods, which then allowed us to short circuit the design process. A lot of time was spent 'getting smart' about a product genre, be it through reading mommy blogs or by visiting animal shelters.
The design team and marketing team would then create a series of goals for a project together, including milestones such as landed cost and feature sets. An initial design would be created using the research, and often required further research into material properties, part costs and manufacturing processes. Through the course of design iteration, I worked with our Chinese team to develop a series of functional prototypes. This process also included vendor identification and vetting if we were not manufacturing the product ourselves.
After the product design was finalized, the project entered the brand management phase. This role included overseeing outsourced logo design and in-house brand identity development, supervising brand shoots and website content creation, design of product infographics, and direct communication with customers about each product after launch.
Below find the product lines I managed!
Ten thousand dog beds
No two dogs are the same, so their accessories shouldn’t be either. Ten Thousand Dog Beds gives your dog a bed that fits their sleeping needs, personality and flair. We combined innovative features and specialty prints, with a goal to create over 10,000 distinct bedding possibilities for your pooch. It's our mission to make the perfect bed for every dog – every size, every breed, every personality.
This was my favorite brand launch! Not only did I get to work with adorable (and fluffy!) customers for market research, but I drove the product direction to allow for customers to have customizability in their product. This required a balance between the number of options for customers and efficiency of manufacturing in our factory. I also excercised my acting skills in our product feature videos!
Crafted from only the highest-quality materials, and assembled in the USA, our cat climbing tower will give your cat the perfect place for luxurious lazing, rambunctious rollicking, and everything between. We offer three different sizes, and a variety of features, so that you can pick the best cat tree for your feline friends and space. We think that play time should be fun time. We leave the boring fabrics at home and bring you a variety of zany, whimsical fabrics to paw-sonalize your cat tree condo to wow both your human and feline friends.
Launching this brand was an exciting challenge! I oversaw our first round of small-batch assembly on site in our warehouse, and learned a lot about setting up a manufacturing process. Building a team for assembly (and pitching in myself) was a very unique experience, and is a great example of how hands-on my role in every stage of product development was at 511.
You work hard. You deserve more than a fleeting moment to unwind. But all too often, you spend more time adjusting your pillow than relishing some much-needed relaxation. We’re here to change that. Our pillows are overstuffed, giving you unprecedented support and comfort, no matter your body type. All of our pillows have removable, machine-washable covers, so you can swap them to coordinate with your decor and mood.
Developing pillows for infants and their families required rigorous research into safety standards, and setting up manufacturing to ensure that we met them. We proudly made our pillows with no harmful fire retardant chemicals, and made all of our pillows safe and comfy for the whole family!