Project Description

Brands 4 Learning have been working for Geomag AG, a significant European toy company, to carve out their entry into the educational market.

Over a three-year period, Brands 4 Learning took the basics of their construction toy range and restructured their hardware assortment and, working with practising teachers, developed a small but progressive range of educational STEM kits. These have now been launched successfully into the market.

Situation

Geomag AG has a highly recognisable brand within the toy market and was seeking to broaden its customer base through accessing the educational market. Recognising the needs of the consumers in education are markedly different to the toy retail business, they approached Brands 4 Learning to assist them in this project.

Several issues needed to be addressed prior to market entry:

  • The product hardware, the magnetic rods and spheres, needed to be appropriately configured to meet the needs of classroom teachers.
  • The sets had to be stored in durable storage containers to aid classroom management.
  • The teacher’s guide and pupil content needed to be written and delivered in a manner that is easily accessible for teachers and pupils
  • The sets must deliver according to the National Curriculum
  • Pupil assessment was a prerequisite
Geomag Construction Set and Instruction Cards

Approach

In order to fulfil the brief, Brands 4 Learning determined to work closely with teachers to develop and refine the vision for this new STEM project. They decided that there should be a limited number of sets in the range to explore shape and special concepts and then progress into the area of mechanics.

A critical issue was to ensure that the pupils were highly engaged and motivated throughout the activities. This was achieved through the development of pupil work cards that clearly identified the learning goals of each task and offered extension possibilities for more advanced pupils. Once this had been developed and tested, the teacher support material, based upon the pupil work cards, was produced to make it simple for the teachers to deploy the resources effectively.

Defining the hardware for the kits was an iterative process derived from the in-school evaluations and once defined, a practical storage solution was developed in association with Gratnells, a well-known supplier of teacher storage solutions in the UK. (The development process is covered in greater detail in an associated case study here)

Geomag strategy case study

Results

The sets have been successfully launched into the education market early in 2016 and achievements are as follows:

  • Distribution achieved in 7 countries within 6 months
  • Initial indications demonstrate that teachers find the kits easy to deploy in the classroom
  • The new kits have been shortlisted for a prestigious ERA award in March 2016
  • Reports from the market indicate that this toy company has been recognised as making an important and highly credible step into education

It is currently early days with respect to sales, but regular and increasing orders are being received and with appropriate marketing support, continued growth is predicted.

In addition to the successful entry into the educational market, toy retailers have been impressed at this new strategy and believe that having a coherent presence in the classroom can only be positive for the brands and their collective business.

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