Dissertation
On

“Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in
the UK market”
By
Mukesh Kulal
C

Student ID: 281...
Acknowledgement:
It is a pleasure for me to thank those people who have contributed for this and
made it possible. First o...
Abstract
As robotics enters each and every possible field it is adding to the list of innovation and
making a mark of its ...
Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction

1

1.1 Research Objectives

2

2.0 Literature review

4

2.1 The concept of Play

4

...
3.1.2 Descriptive research

36

3.1.3 Casual Research

37

3.2 Research Approach:

38

3.3 Data Collection Methods:

39

3...
Table of Figures
2.1

Children using constructional blocks

5

2.2

Child Playing

7

2.3

Child placing blocks

10

2.4

...
Table of Tables

5.1

Cross tabulated table of yearly 58
household income against the
average cost of toys
purchased.

VI
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

1.0 Introduction:
Robots may have various forms and may perform different tasks, but
technically sp...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

attention of their target audience and therefore facilitate the learning process.
According to Smit...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

products. The sample for these depth interviews were selected using
convenience and snowball sampli...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

2.0 Literature review
The literature review will try to highlight why affordable robotic toys will ...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

social skills, perspective or role taking that accompany social knowledge,
problem solving and crea...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Plays influence on child development is considerable. It has been cited as
having a vital role in t...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Fig 2.2: Child Playing (Reading Borough Libraries, 2010)
2.3 Impact of Technology on Childs Play
Wh...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

more interesting and children will try to cross all hurdles which the technology
imposes to get to ...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

a child’s intelligence by improving child’s learning and simulating its brain.
Children like to pla...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Fig 2.3: Child placing blocks (Buzzle, 2010)
Constructional toys can improve child's understanding ...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

It seems plausible that any toy can be used to stimulate learning, provided that it
is challenging ...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Fig 2.5: Usage of Robotics in Android development – ASIMO Robot – which is
capable of climbing, get...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

et al (2008) children develop skills while playing with objects. Interaction and
playing with robot...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Michelle et al. (2008) found that by interacting with robots, children develop
skills for Counting ...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

The educational kits provided by RoboRobo are offered to a varied age group of
children. There are ...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

pictures and characters which are easy for students to understand. It offers a
puzzle which childre...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

If an advanced user wants to add some advanced functionality then he
can override the icon based fl...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

their experiences was included in these courses. They had various experience
from establishing educ...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

and supermarkets can’t cover. Credit crunch has led to the decline in sales for
highly priced toys ...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Weaknesses of market are seasonal demand affects the yearly sales. Demand
of toys is seasonal which...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

level of toy stocks and have several toy companies running their promotion
programs in their stores...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

development, it has a greater level of potential for growth, greater growth for
market volume and t...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

The United Kingdom toys and games market grew by 3.6per cent in 2009 to
3.6per
reach a value of £34...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

2.6.5 Market segmentation
The strategy for segmentation was determined based on the population of u...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

from what they have experienced in the past. Companies are also fighting each
other to offer the be...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

art by constantly providing products that are of top quality with good innovative
solutions built i...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

competition. So innovation is important in any business. It offers new avenues
for the company to s...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

and wants. It helps to determine whether the idea which is generated after
gathering feedbacks and ...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

et al (2004) emphasizes that the goal of Concept testing is to get customer
reactions to the idea g...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Test Marketing:
The product developed is tested in the market to check its acceptability. It is
off...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

In this phase the product will be launched into the market. The elements of
marketing mix place a v...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

“Adoption is an individual’s decision to become a regular user of a
product.”(Kotler, 2003).
Consum...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

2.9 Product life cycle

Sales
Volume

Introduction

Growth

Maturity Saturation

Decline

Time

Fig...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

introduction as other products. It will also decline when the product demand will
go low and produc...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

3.0 Research Methodology:
This chapter will cover all aspects of methodology that has been covered ...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

The figure above shows process of research which starts with identification of a
problem and goes t...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

perform in the market. This research will create profiles about consumers and
their behaviors. It w...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

3.2 Research Approach:
There are basically two approaches to a research i.e. qualitative and quanti...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

shopping toys. They have their experiences about shopping toys, toys
availability and their experie...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Depth Interviews were used to identify information about a respondent in more
detail. It was conduc...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

in a survey should be clearly identified and segmented. The population which is
selected for questi...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

closed questions are they are fast to create, fast to administer and easy to
analyse. The disadvant...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

surveys are there is little control in a telephonic survey. There is very little
chance of showing ...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

study. It is easier to get respondents with similar characteristics through this
method.
3.4 Ethics...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

who will be benefited from the availability of the affordable robotic toys. Since
children don’t ta...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

3.5 Reliability and Validity:
Reliability and validity maintained in any research highlights the tr...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

4.0 Data Collection Methods:

Data for analysis was collected using web questionnaires and depth in...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

respondents were invited for depth interviews Out of 30 respondents 15 agreed
interviews.
0
for dep...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

and the market behaviour was observed by going through several newspaper
articles and magazine arti...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

5.0 Analysis and Findings
d Findings:

The completed surveys were collected and entered into the SP...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Fig 5.1: Gender Wise distribution of respondents.
The survey respondents who were surveyed was majo...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Toy Evaluation Criteria

18%

22%

Price Segment
Educational value

60%

Safety

Fig 5.2: Toy Evalu...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Key competitors for educational robotic toys
When a business enters a market, it usually contains c...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Lego Company Ltd. owns a market share of 62 per cent in the toys and games
market in year 2009. Leg...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Mattel UK Ltd
Mattel has been involved in sale and distribution of toys and related products.
Matte...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Appropriate price level for educational robotic toys
ppropriate
After recession has affected the ec...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

The figure below displays average cost of toys purchased. 42 per cent of
parents who answered the w...
Mukesh Kulal

Average
cost of
the toys
purchase
d

Total

Below
£25
£26 to
£50
£51 to
£75
£76 to
£100
£101 to
£125
More
th...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Promotion of Educational Robotic Toys
50
45
40
35
30
25

Promotion of Educational
Robotic Toys

20
...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Toy purchasing Place
4%
25%

25%

Internet
High Street Shops

3%

Catalogues

43%

Market
Other

Fi...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

6.0 Conclusion and Recommendations
6.1 Conclusion:

The previous chapter provided an analysis of th...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Social networking sites are a meeting point where people satisfy their
social needs to communicate ...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Appendix



63
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Appendix I : Micheal Gove Holding Lego StarWars set



The force is with you: Education Secretary M...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Appendix 2: Applications of robotics

Fig: Usage of Robotics in Entertainment – HRP-4C – which is c...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Fig: Usage of Robotics in Medical Care – ASIMO Robot – which is capable of carrying
patients around...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Fig: Usage of Robotics in Search  Rescue – Snake Robot – which is capable of
slithering to most of ...
Mukesh Kulal

2818510

Fig: Usage of Robotics in Military – Bigdog – which is capable of carrying huge loads of
luggage in...
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
Dissertation | Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the uk market
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  1. 1. Dissertation On “Investigative acceptance of affordable robotic kits in the UK market” By Mukesh Kulal C Student ID: 2818510 A Dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Business Administration (MBA) Faculty of Business London South Bank University December 2010
  2. 2. Acknowledgement: It is a pleasure for me to thank those people who have contributed for this and made it possible. First of all I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my supervisor Mr. Laurence Fisher for sharing his vision, providing me the necessary direction from the start of the research to the final phase. He patiently listened to all my queries and would calmly solve it. I would like to thanks Mr. Colston Sanger for his guidance would help me get a clear picture of things beyond the horizon which I couldn’t be able to see. And the most sincere thanks to my course director Dr. Leslie Gadman for providing his inspired guidance which helped me to get a overview of things. I would like to thank my family, friends and library staff whose support has helped me to conceive this research C I
  3. 3. Abstract As robotics enters each and every possible field it is adding to the list of innovation and making a mark of its own. Robotics has recently expanded its collaboration with many other technologies. This has led to an increase in the number of possible applications for robotics. The knowledge base that has been created by the increase in technologies would be beneficial, if imparted to students through some medium. Educational robotic kits provide such opportunity for children to learn these technologies in their own way and speed. Parents were enquired about their opinions as it would help know what they feel about the product and what they expect from the product. Many marketing research reports, companies annual reports were analysed to gain marketing intelligence about the industry, to identify the competitors and their profiles, situations existing in the market. II
  4. 4. Table of Contents 1.0 Introduction 1 1.1 Research Objectives 2 2.0 Literature review 4 2.1 The concept of Play 4 2.2 Playing with toys 6 2.3 Impact of Technology on Childs Play 7 2.4 Development of child’s brain with the help of educational kit 8 2.5 Educational Robotic Kit 11 2.5.1 RoboRobo educational kit 14 2.5.2 Robokit 15 2.5.3 WorkBook 15 2.5.4 Self-learning 16 2.5.5 Rogic Program 16 2.5.6 Program Cards 17 2.6 Toys and games market in UK 18 2.6.1 Market Analysis 18 2.6.2 SWOT analysis of the market 18 2.6.3 Channels of distribution: 20 2.6.4 Market Value 21 2.6.5 Market segmentation 24 2.6.6 Market factors 24 2.7 The concept of new product development 25 2.7.1New Product development 25 2.7.2 New Product Types 27 2.7.3 Stages of new product development 27 2.8 Consumer adoption process (innovators, early adopters) 31 2.9 Product life cycle 33 3.0 Research Methodology 35 3.1 Research Purpose 36 36 3.1.1 Exploratory research III
  5. 5. 3.1.2 Descriptive research 36 3.1.3 Casual Research 37 3.2 Research Approach: 38 3.3 Data Collection Methods: 39 3.3.1 Depth Interviews 39 3.3.2 Surveys: 40 3.3.2.1 Internet Surveys 42 3.3.2.2 Telephone Surveys 42 43 3.3.3 Sampling 44 3.4 Ethics 44 3.4.1 Ethical research Issues 3.5 Reliability and Validity: 45 4.0 Data Collection Methods 46 5.0 Analysis and Findings 50 6.0 Conclusion and Recommendations 61 6.1 Conclusion: 61 6.3 Recommendations 61 63 Appendix Appendix 1 Appendix 2 Appendix 3 Bibliography IV
  6. 6. Table of Figures 2.1 Children using constructional blocks 5 2.2 Child Playing 7 2.3 Child placing blocks 10 2.4 Mechanical Robot 11 2.5 Usage of Robotics in Android development – ASIMO Robot 12 2.6 RoboRobo Robotic Kit 14 2.7 Kingdom toys and games market value: £ million, 2005-2009(e). 22 2.8 United Kingdom toys and games market segmentation: per cent share, by 23 value, 2009(e). 2.8(a) Adopter Categorization on the Basis of Relative Time of Adoption of 31 Innovation 2.9 Generalised Concept of product life cycle showing five sequential stages 33 3.1 Problem definition and the Research process 35 4.1 Survey Statistics 48 5.1 Gender Wise distribution of respondents. 51 5.2 Toy Evaluation Criteria 52 5.3 Importance of cost in parents purchasing decision 56 5.4 Average Cost of Toys Purchased 57 5.5 Promotion of Educational Robotic Toys 59 5.6 Most preferred Toy purchasing place. V
  7. 7. Table of Tables 5.1 Cross tabulated table of yearly 58 household income against the average cost of toys purchased. VI
  8. 8. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 1.0 Introduction: Robots may have various forms and may perform different tasks, but technically speaking, their structure and behavior are based much on the same principle. The structure of a robot is made up of complex components which employ various technologies. Robotic kits are a versatile learning kit which helps children learns these complex technologies in a simple way. This research will investigate how to market affordable educational robotic kits to the UK market. Robotic kits are a unique way of imparting education to students as they stimulate and boost interest of students. Majority of robotic kits are designed with extended functionalities and include mostly expensive software which are intended for researchers. They are not within the reach of students. This prevents the robotic kits from reaching most of the students. There is a scarcity in the availability of affordable, programmable and educational robotic kits in the UK market. C Robotic Kits are readymade Do-It-Yourself kits. These kits offer its users the opportunity to configure or build the robot as they wish it to be. These kits are developed by companies in the view that users will configure it on their own. These kits are easy to configure and they also develop various skills and increase knowledge level of users using that kits. While there are many robotic kits available in the market but very few are built to impart educational knowledge through it. Currently educational robotic kits are being used as a teaching tool and can be visible in many schools and colleges being used as an educational tool. Ruiz-del-Solar (2003) experienced the positive results of school children gaining an interest in science and technology because of the use of robots. It is discovered that robotics is a highly motivating activity for children. The major advantage of using robotics is they capture the 1
  9. 9. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 attention of their target audience and therefore facilitate the learning process. According to Smith et al (2008) children develop skills while playing with objects. Interaction and playing with robotic toys helps children in gaining educational knowledge and also develops their skills. Barker (1994) considers interactivity in learning as an “a necessary and fundamental mechanism for knowledge acquisition and the development of both cognitive and physical skills”. 1.1 Research Objectives The study seeks to answer a question about whether affordable educational robotic kits would be acceptable to the UK market. These are a few objectives which try to answer the question. 1. Assess market potential for educational robotic toys 2. Determine the key benefit sought 3. Identify the key competitors 4. Determine an appropriate price level 5. Determine an appropriate promotion strategy Research methods required for this research will include a combination of both external research methods primary as well as secondary research. The initial step involved collecting secondary data from various existing sources like magazines, articles, books, statistical reports from government and other agencies, various documents and so on. This research has utilized resources available in various business libraries which have access to various market research and archives of business magazines. Secondary research was utilized to identify existing data about the market from research carried out by different agencies. The next step involved collecting primary data through various depth interviews which were carried out by use of personal interviews and various web based surveys of parents of children who constitute the consumer segment for these 2
  10. 10. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 products. The sample for these depth interviews were selected using convenience and snowball sampling of parents of children. Primary research was utilized to identify actual data about market that was not covered by secondary research. The outcomes from this research will help with availability of affordable educational robotic kits in the market. It will act as a guide for those researchers who are planning to bring affordable products into a developed market. This will benefit children as they will be able to afford robotic kits at home and develop their skills accordingly. The study limits are restricted while collecting data for research. During depth interviews, questionnaires were collected using the respondent’s convenience and this led to delays in the progress of research. Web based surveys would led to filtering of many possible candidates as most of them would leave forms incomplete and more questions in depth could not be possible as they were mostly unreachable. Also those who were technically sound could complete the web based surveys. 3
  11. 11. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 2.0 Literature review The literature review will try to highlight why affordable robotic toys will be beneficial for the students and how it will impact the UK market and what benefits will be achieved by marketing this product. The chapter will start with the theoretical framework to explain how the affordable robotic toys will be beneficial to the UK market. It will also try to bring into focus the positive effects that will be achieved by the children who are using them. Then it will show the product according to the perspectives of new product development, product life cycle and diffusion of innovation. Also it will show some aspects of UK market. 2.1 The concept of Play The Encarta World English Dictionary (1999) offers many explanations for play,, but the first two are those required for this study: to take part in enjoyable activity for the sake of amusement and to do something for fun, not in the earnest. Play is often referred to as an activity in which the life form which plays it achieves some sort of goal. Play which is often goal oriented leads to some sort of physical achievement or development. The physical development can be any sort of external development or some sort of mental development. Use of play to teach certain skills can be observed in both human beings as well as animals. During the play the players develop new skills which may benefit them afterwards. Play leads to cognitive development and development of various social skills. Play can consist of usage of some tools or techniques which may convert the play making it more interesting. ..the play experience is connected with the advancement of a wide variety of psychological constructs: symbolism, the development of language forms, the abstraction of intellectual prototypes, coping with anxiety and personal conflicts, exercising control over information levels, the acquisition of tool use and other 4
  12. 12. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 social skills, perspective or role taking that accompany social knowledge, problem solving and creative behavior(Sutton-Smith, 1979) cited by (Christie and Johnsen ,1983) Fig 2.1: Children using constructional blocks.(Citizensadvice, 2010) Play often leads to development of various problem solving skills which are beneficial for children. Children develop their skills which come handy when they come across situations. Bruner (1972) explained the role of play in creative problem solving which helps in searching for solutions in new situations. If learning is included in play then children would pick up their lessons easily if they find that play interesting. It also teaches them many things like how to interact in a team, how to survive in situations and improves their communication skills. Christie Johnson (1983) highlighted that play does not only act as a source of pleasure but also acts an important medium of imparting and practicing new behaviors for children. (Buchanan and Cooney, 2000). Hughes (1990) is trying to express that play which is considered a root of all learning also impacts our capacity to survive and learn. 5
  13. 13. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Plays influence on child development is considerable. It has been cited as having a vital role in the evolution of a wide range of basic indispensable skills including motor skills, communication, problem solving, creativity, logical thinking, aesthetic and emotional development, social and socialized development (Hughes, 1990). 2.2 Playing with toys “When a student learns something in school, the most important thing is not the content, but the method of learning, which can be applied again in the future” (Michelle et al., 2008) As play itself develops the child’s mental skills, the inclusion of a toy in a child’s play leads to new skills and the faster learning of skills which would have taken more time for a child to learn. The inclusion of a toy in the play also makes the play more interesting. Toys are also a good way of keeping children involved in some activities. Toys are a good medium of imparting values to children. 綸َ “Personal development in children could come from interaction with various external objects and forms.” (Goldstein, 1994) Toys make play more interesting for the children. Toys have to be interesting otherwise the kids it is being targeted at won’t be attracted towards it. Children prefer to play than take education, so it is important that the play which child plays contributes to the child's learning. (Goldstein, 1994) . 6
  14. 14. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Fig 2.2: Child Playing (Reading Borough Libraries, 2010) 2.3 Impact of Technology on Childs Play What kinds of innovation are liable to produce radical change in how children learn (Papert et al., 1991) There has been a lot of confusion upon which technology invention will be successful in bringing a revolutionary change in the way children learn. Scientists have been striving in proving that their technology is best in imparting the learning. There are a lot of inventions that taken place and a lot of inventions are happening which are making the life of child more technological as well as making him smarter in the electronic age. When technology is infused in Childs play then the child tends to learn quickly. Children enjoy interacting with technological toys which they feel is imparting them some knowledge. Sklar et al (2003) emphasized that students learn valuable things when they learn it combined with technology. When they interact with the technologies they understand what is running the technology. It’s easier when they themselves interact with the technology as they become aware of the various challenges that technology introduces to them. These challenges make the learning even 7
  15. 15. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 more interesting and children will try to cross all hurdles which the technology imposes to get to the final goal of learning. “Students educated .come out having an idea of the ubiquitous technology not as a black box or a magic, rather as a world they can control because they understand it.” (Michelle et al., 2008) It is better if students are allowed to learn by themselves, in that way they tend to lean things which need to be imparted faster. When left alone with the technology they will try to find their own ways to solve the puzzle that is embedded within the technology whereas when the technology is taught assisted by someone they only learn it the way the person teaching it wants to teach it to them. ...Telling children how scientists do science does not necessarily lead to far- reaching change in how children do science....... (Papert et al., 1991) Scientists at the University of Hertfordshire's school of computer science are trying to develop a robot that will teach autistic children play skills. They believe 綸َ that robots can complete the gap between stable environment of a simple toy and an infinite world of human interaction and learning. (Industrial Robot: An International Journal, 2008) 2.4 Development of child’s brain with the help of educational kit Children might come to want to learn it because they would use it in building these models (Papert et al., 1991) Each child has got a unique identity. Every child has got its different requirements so these educational kits have to be at par with being able to satisfy each and every kid’s requirement. It is not easy for a toy to be able to fit into every child’s play routine. Child makes up the decision whether something is a toy or something which it can learn. Educational toys are intended to increase 8
  16. 16. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 a child’s intelligence by improving child’s learning and simulating its brain. Children like to play with educational toys because they like the puzzles and challenges that are brought forward by these educational toys. The level of technical skills, constructional skills and other skills within the child are being tested while solving the educational kits puzzle. “Whether something is a toy or an instructional object is a decision that rests with the child “(Vandenberg, 1987) cited by (Goldstein, J., 1994) Research data indicate that young children spend at least half of their playing time daily with educational art objects (Giddings Halverson, 1981; SuttonSmith, 1986) cited by (Goldstein, J. ,1994). (Goldstein, J., 1994) had described that people earlier considered toys as commodity products than having any educational value where evangelists had to prove that they possessed some educational value. “Children learned by doing activities with a concrete object and teachers learned with them” (Michelle et al., 2008) Educational toys were targeted at children not only to improve children’s learning but also to improve their intelligence.( Goldstein ,1994) One goal of schooling today undoubtedly is to prepare children for a future in a more and more technologically advanced society. (Goldstein, 1994) 9
  17. 17. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Fig 2.3: Child placing blocks (Buzzle, 2010) Constructional toys can improve child's understanding about scientific, mathematical and spatial concepts more than other toys. (Goldstein, 1994) Constructional kits are provided with a set of basic units, which can be improved and enhanced by the enhancement kits which makes the kits more versatile and don’t limit the user to a limited knowledge level. These constructional kits are interesting for the precision with which they fit. The precision and scale of one model is being carried onto the next model. They work as a total system within which a child tries to perceive his world which he builds with his own hands. The units from one kit will usually not fit with units from another kit. Children use this kit to construct, break and again reconstruct the kit and try to solve the puzzle embedded in it. While solving these puzzle children try to gain as much creative ideas from the kits as much as possible. 10
  18. 18. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 It seems plausible that any toy can be used to stimulate learning, provided that it is challenging to explore and that the child feels there is something worthwhile to learn from it. (Goldstein, 1994) Bruner (1972) pointed out the design features of object play make it a very suitable way of developing tool-using skills. Object play, while enjoyable in itself and intrinsically motivated, provides repeated practice in a range of relevant skills. 2.5 Educational Robotic Kit 綸َ Fig 2.4: Mechanical Robot (Typepad, 2010) A robot is an electro-mechanical device which can perform complex tasks either according to direct human control, partial control or autonomously. Robots are typically used to do tasks which are in-efficient for humans. Applications of robotics include floor cleaners, lawn mowers, waste cleaners, unexplored areas explorers, surgeons, miners, search and rescue operators, and bomb disposers. 11
  19. 19. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Fig 2.5: Usage of Robotics in Android development – ASIMO Robot – which is capable of climbing, getting down staircases, talking, understanding human gestures. (Gizmowatch, 2010) Robots are very complex systems, because they integrate many different concepts and functions. The most trivial one is the complexity of their mechanical structure which involves various distinct components. This, allied to movement and interaction with the surrounding environment and objects, creates a spatial and time complexity too. Robots are the physical units whereas Ҝ robotics deals with the art and science of technology which is associated with the design, construction, concepts and application of robots. Robotics requires a working knowledge of different fields like electronics, mechanical, and software. Educational robotic kits are readymade Do-It-yourself kits. These kits offer the users the opportunity to configure the robot or build the robot as they wish it to be. These kits are developed by companies in the view that users will configure in whichever functionality they want to build into it. Currently robotic kits are being used as teaching tools and can be found in schools and colleges. Ruiz-del-Solar (2003) experienced the positive results of school children gaining an interest in science and technology because of the use of robots. It is discovered that robotics is a highly motivating activity for children. The major advantage of using robotics is they capture the attention of their target audience and therefore facilitate the learning process. According to Smith 12
  20. 20. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 et al (2008) children develop skills while playing with objects. Interaction and playing with robotic toys helps children in gaining educational knowledge and also develops their skills. Barker (1994) considers interactivity in learning as a necessary and fundamental mechanism for knowledge acquisition and the development of both cognitive and physical skills. Majority of robots are designed with extended functionalities and include mostly expensive software which is intended for researchers. They are not within the reach of students. These high costs of robots prevent academics from involving robotics and other related technologies into their curriculum. Students at different levels of education have different levels of requirements from robotic kits. Robotic kits available in the market come preconfigured with set of routines or procedures that can be followed. These robotic kits don’t allow the users to build their custom functionality at the core level. When these robotic kits reach hands of students, more robotic applications can be easily developed. This will involve more creative minds in the domain of development and will lead to many inexpensive robotic applications that may help robotic industry to bring out other ๐ҥ affordable solutions. This will also reduce the barriers for further future robotic introductions. As more and more enhancements will continue to be done in the area of robotics, it will help robotic companies to achieve more and more economies of scale and in turn will make robotics cheaper for students. The introduction of affordable robotic kits will in turn benefit the education system and even hobbyists who will in turn exploit the advantages presented by its availability. This will help cater the education system which will result in robotic being utilized on a large scale. According to Druin et al (2000) if key innovations in robotic like simple sensors and “rule based” programming is implemented it will lower the cost of robotics and, perhaps more importantly, makes robotics far more accessible to the many programmers of the world – from professionals to grade-school hackers, any of whom can get their hands on a low cost robotics kit. 13
  21. 21. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Michelle et al. (2008) found that by interacting with robots, children develop skills for Counting and logical thinking, Solving topological problems, Accessing problem solving education and Getting used to an inquiry based learning(and teaching) technique Educational Robotic kit is an innovative concept and will benefit children if it is implemented. Currently parents are worried about their children’s getting any beneficial values through the usage of games and other electronic medium. The research wanted to see a practical view point of how actual product would be perceived in the market. So the research considered RoboRobo’s educational robotic kits as a frame of reference for the product to be launched. 2.5.1 RoboRobo educational kit The process of constructing real robots helps students to understand concepts about complex dynamic systems....This is done through a construction process. (Miglino et al, 1998) 嫠٦ Fig 2.6: RoboRobo Robotic Kit (Tradekorea, 2010) 14
  22. 22. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 The educational kits provided by RoboRobo are offered to a varied age group of children. There are different kits for different age groups of children. There are three levels of kits that are available from RoboRobo. Each kit is an upgrade to another Each kit is targeted to specific age group which has unique requirements, talents and personalities. It includes all the components, spares, circuits and manual which are necessary for constructing the kit. In each kit segment there are different levels for different children with varied levels of expertise. If a kid is a beginner, he can choose the kit level 1 which is the basic kit for providing the necessary knowledge required for a beginner. Other kits available in the market come as a complete package without a clue for the beginner how to begin. If the kid becomes interested then he can proceed to become the intermediate by purchasing an upgrade to the level 1 kit i.e. the level2 kit. The RoboRobo educational robotic kit has been described below: 2.5.2 Robokit ‫ע‬ʽ The robot kit was developed to nourish children’s talent in science and to develop their thoughts into being creative. Using it users would be able to grasp good knowledge of machine structures and would be able to construct various types of models. It has safe modules which are easy to assemble or disassemble at any time and it will nurture the brain of students to grasp more constructional knowledge. They would understand how the internal components within the object function and move. Students will improve their spatial perception capability from the constructional activities. 2.5.3 WorkBook Workbook increases the learning efficiency of students. It is a step based program designed and organized for the students to check and recall the different check points that are being laid out to refer. It is organised in various 15
  23. 23. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 pictures and characters which are easy for students to understand. It offers a puzzle which children have to complete so they find it challenging The workbook has been attached as an Appendix 2 2.5.4 Self-learning Users can prepare their own schedule and checkpoints in their own workbook. They can design tasks according to their own speeds of learning. Students who pick up learning slowly like dyslexia students can prepare their own schedule and achieve the achievements according to their learning pace. They don’t need to be compatible with the speed of the workbook supplied. By this method they can improve their skills of learning and can learn more. 2.5.5 Rogic Program The application that has been developed for programming the robotic modules has a simple and easy programming through graphical user elements. This Ҝ allows users to easily program the robot without any hiccups. The programming on the application is based on the flowchart concept. It is a simple icon based program which even nurtures the theoretical and mathematical basic ability of the student. The user has to just place icons in a flow to complete the flow of the program. Even an end user who has no knowledge of programming can use the application with great use and will end up developing a program that an advanced programmer would have developed. The application allows children to develop programs from simple to complex functionality. It offers a wide and diverse array of functions and libraries that allows user to offer versatile functionality. The user can develop programs with varied levels of complexities. 16
  24. 24. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 If an advanced user wants to add some advanced functionality then he can override the icon based flowchart and start programming using C language, so that user would have the ability to control the functionality with precise. It offers more advanced level of programming to users with the functionality for the programmers to be comfortable using C language using which they can import advanced functionalities and can expand the possibilities which were limited through the graphical user interface. 2.5.6 Program Cards: For little children who have no knowledge about programming or how to use programming languages there is an option to use scanner with a computer. There are various types of program cards available. Just the child needs to scan the program cards through the scanner. Combining all cards can give rise to make several practical applications. 2.5.8 About RoboRobo company RoboRobo is a robotic kit manufacturing company based in Seoul, Korea. The Ҝ whole purpose of the company was to provide educational robotics that could easily impart robotics knowledge to children. RoboRobo Inc has been striving to nourish students with scientific ability through the use of AI robot knowledge. They have adopted the robotic education model and have systemized the educational curriculum and tutoring course which has been designed for the education system. It has proven its capabilities by incorporating engineering design textbook in the Seoul National University curriculum. RoboRobo has carefully understood the requirements for imparting scientific education and incorporated those by designing elementary educational courses. They wanted to cultivate creativity among students by developing courses that increased the creativity among students. The knowledge that they gained from 17
  25. 25. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 their experiences was included in these courses. They had various experience from establishing educational courses and providing education in their domestic colleges. The robot-science education systems developed by RoboRobo involves curriculum which imparts students with the knowledge to handle sensors, electronics and various electronic technologies. The students would be equipped with knowledge to provide intelligence to robots using computer programs. It will lay a foundation for the development of future technologies and will improve the creativity of the students. 2.6 Toys and games market in UK 2.6.1 Market Analysis: “The UK toys and games market has been growing at a sluggish rate since 2005. The UK toys and games market has total revenue of $5,391.8 million in Ҝ 2009. The performance of the market is expected to accelerate, which is expected to drive the market to a value of$6,555.5 million by the end of 2014.” (Datamonitor, 2009) 2.6.2 SWOT analysis of the market: Opportunities of Market are merchandising of characters, televisions connections and tie ups with film production units are most of the new products under development and ones which are running the industry. (Keynote, 2010) Increase in birth rate has led to rise in the number of children and which in turn creates more demand for toys in the toy market. The birth rate has constantly seen a growth since 2003 (Keynote, 2010) Opening of wide and diverse distribution channels like Internet and supermarket has helped in the market growth of toys. The reach of internet is wide and reaches areas which stores 18
  26. 26. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 and supermarkets can’t cover. Credit crunch has led to the decline in sales for highly priced toys but has given an increase to the sales of affordable and low priced toys. (Keynote, 2010) Threats of the market are children are getting matured early are reducing the effective range for toys and games. Toys and games are defined for specific age groups and they become useless when the child crosses the age group. (Keynote, 2010) Other forms of entertainment like TV games, mobile phones and computers are eating into Toys market. These products which have been lucrative and tempting for children to have have led to their higher sales and they are eating up into the market of traditional toys. Market is always bound by strong regulatory and legislative rules. Exposure of various dangerous chemicals to children which were being sourced from unregulated sourced countries has lead to the industry being bound by many tighter regulations and is being monitored by government agencies very strictly. The market is heavily crowded with different brands which offer too much competition. Strengths Of market are the industry is a recession proof industry which has Ҝ shown constant growth even in bad economic conditions of the market. Children will always play and they require toys for playing and parents will try to keep their children equipped with the latest toys in the market. Toys are always required for a child’s development. They always play an important role in any child’s childhood. They are a necessary component which fosters child’s development. They have a higher household penetration rate than other items all across UK. The industry is always driven by innovation. New inventions drive the sales of the industry. New product development (NPD) is an ongoing feature of the industry. There is an increase in demand for educational toys which impart learning through play. Educational toys which can complement schooling are required for development of child. 19
  27. 27. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Weaknesses of market are seasonal demand affects the yearly sales. Demand of toys is seasonal which always rises to the end of the year during specific season. The toy industry observes a spike in sales in end of year. (Mintel, 2008) Rising costs of raw materials has led to the increase in development costs. It is hitting hard on small players. (Mintel,2008) Increased competition is driving the prices down. Big players in the industry are sourcing materials from far off locations in cheaper price and thus are achieving economies of scale which in turn helps them in offering cut throat prices. (Mintel, 2008) Second hand market of toys and games may dilute the sales of first hand products. The sales and distribution of second hand toys and games is supported by big players like eBay (Keynote, 2010) Kids tastes are highly unpredictable (Mintel, 2008) The main market of toys and games is of traditional toys and games which include some electronic aspects also. The market has been categorized into: Action toys which constitute boy action figures; Activity toys which constitute building and constructional toys and some craft sets; dolls; 2.6.3 Channels of distribution: Ҝ There are a lot of options for consumers to purchase toys. There are various channels available for them to purchase their products. Each channel has its own advantages and disadvantages. The channels of distribution have been High Street Shops: High Street Shops are shops which are located in primary business streets. It is a large commercial street which would have shops located on either side. The shops are big well known brands outlets which offer variety of options with a huge choice unlike supermarkets which offer limited options for shopping. E.g. Hamleys, The Disney Store. They have huge stores with various amusements to attract crowds. These stores draw huge amount of crowds. They stock a huge 20
  28. 28. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 level of toy stocks and have several toy companies running their promotion programs in their stores. Internet: Internet is well known among regular shoppers. Internet shopping sites like Amazon, eBay have changed the way shopping was done and have increased consumer confidence in internet shopping sites. Internet offers convenience for shoppers and has a wide spread reach over to the most remote locations. So shopping over internet is becoming the most preferred choice as it offers the wide variety of options with different retailers. Market: Market consists of small shops which are located mostly near the consumers and offer them the convenience. Their stocking capability is less than the high street shops for that specific category. Catalogues: 縷- These are some companies which offer the customers the catalogues and these catalogues will display list of products for customers to select from. Customers go through these catalogues and will order the toys they wish to order. There are many catalogue companies which sell toys in their catalogues. For e.g. Argos. Other Suppliers: Others include other suppliers who import these toys and directly sell them to potential clients. 2.6.4 Market Value A Markets potential is determined by the level of growth it offers. The market potential is the market volume. When the market is in its early stages of 21
  29. 29. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 development, it has a greater level of potential for growth, greater growth for market volume and the return on investment is always increasing. investment The United Kingdom toys and games market is valued at value of £3459.3 million in 2009. Every year the market has been growing at a snail’s pace but never has shown a negative growth. The growth always has been positive. Market Volume 3459.3 3500 3338.9 3400 3219.9 3300 3200 3100 3108 £ million 2997.1 3000 2900 2800 2700 ‫ע‬ʽ 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009(e) Fig 2.7: United Kingdom toys and games market value: £ million, 2005 : 2005-2009(e). (Datamonitor, 2010) The change in the market volume from 2005 to 2009 has been around 13 13per cent which a good growth is considering the bad market condition during that period. The market has shown growth despite economies going down. Every year from 2005 to 2009 the growth value has not changed much; it is showing the same consistent growth. It has been a fairly consistent market with very less nt effects of recession affecting it. The toy industry is considered a recession proof industry as it always has a positive growth. (Datamonitor, 2010) 22
  30. 30. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 The United Kingdom toys and games market grew by 3.6per cent in 2009 to 3.6per reach a value of £3459.3 million. (Datamonitor, 2010) lue The toys and games market is divided into these categories: Infant/ Preschool, Ride-ons, Dolls, Games and Puzzles, Activity Toys, Plush and Others. ons, Educational Robotic Toys have been included in the others catego category. This category has the second largest market share after Infant/Preschool. (Datamonitor, 2010) % Share Other Infant/ PreSchool Plush Infant/ Pre-School Pre Ride-ons Ride Activity Toys Dolls Games and Puzzles Ride-ons Games and Puzzles Activity Toys Dolls Plush ‫ע‬ʽ Other : Fig 2.8: United Kingdom toys and games market segmentation: per cent share, by value, 2009(e). (Datamonitor, 2010) Datamonitor, When market has been analysed and its drivers identified i.e. their purchasing decision will be identified. 23
  31. 31. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 2.6.5 Market segmentation The strategy for segmentation was determined based on the population of users who are going to use the product. Since the users who would be using this product would be children who are the consumers of the product. Hogan (2000) has highlighted that young children shouldn’t be targeted because they have immature cognitive abilities, limited shopping experience and experience. The consumers i.e. children’s buying decision is based on the decision of their parents decisions so the purchasers are the parents of the children. The most important players are parents in this segment who are the key decision makers in this organization with their specific interests about imparting educational values to students. 2.6.6 Market factors: Effects of Recession on market: ٚ Despite the economies recovering from the effects of recession, the trails which are left behind by the economic crisis has left a fear in many individuals mind. The economic plethora has not left any companies or any individuals unpunished. Everybody has been affected by what happened during that period. Many individuals were left bankrupt while others feared to spend. This has led to many changes in habits of individuals and organisations. People have changed their living habits as well as shopping habits and companies have funneled their expenditures. This has given fuel for the development of more value and affordable brands. Companies have started rethinking their marketing strategies and are redefining themselves. Even consumers have started rethinking about cutting down their spending. They are moving from big branded products to affordable products which cater to their needs and even save them pennies. Consumers have started preparing for saving after gaining experience 24
  32. 32. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 from what they have experienced in the past. Companies are also fighting each other to offer the best possible solution at the best affordable price. Companies have become more customer focused and are diverting their attention towards creating more value oriented products. The recession has also left behind some negative impacts like high level of unemployment, high GDP rate, and lower growth rate of economies. Due to the impact of the crisis people in Britain have changed their lifestyle. They are now concentrating more towards saving than spending. According to Mintel report “British Lifestyles 2009” 30per cent of adults in Britain have reduced their level of expenditures fearing their own financial condition. The crisis has left an impact in the minds of people who have seen big corporations tumble even with the biggest profitable businesses. According to Mintel report “British Lifestyles 2009” 71per cent of consumers have reduced their expenditures due to the situation in 2009. A significant three in ten adults have cut back on their spending not because they have to, but mainly through ҝ fear of how the recession might affect 褐 them...........It’s important to remember that a lot of customers are cutting back not because they have to, but because it's seen as the right thing to do. Nobody wants to be seen as being too flash in a troubled economy (McCoy, 2008) 2.7 The concept of new product development 2.7.1 New Product development Product development has become an important factor in today’s market scenario where hundreds of products are launched. Businesses are trying to keep customers indulged in using their products by reducing development cycles and offering quality innovations to consumers. Apple has pioneered this 25
  33. 33. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 art by constantly providing products that are of top quality with good innovative solutions built in which makes consumers life easier. Whenever a new product is developed for consumers, marketers try to gather needs and wants of customers for their product. The product which is to be launched should satisfy most of the needs and wants of the customers. If the product fails to satisfy the needs and wants of the consumers then it is bound to fail in the market. Customer’s attention is always diverted by different innovative products always being offered by different companies who are always trying to increase their market share by staying innovative. New product development is known as the riskiest exploration which is carried out by companies in the modern industry and is of utmost importance for the company to stay afloat. Producing a product taking into consideration consumer’s needs and wants, matching that with company’s goals and capabilities is quite a challenge. Companies have to always prove that their product is better than competitors. Many products are launched and theَ failure rate of these products to perform in 絀 market is still high. Research and development costs involved with a new product are usually high and businesses try to minimize these costs to achieve minimal risk in business. If the product did not perform well then the business would have to bear the loss involved with the development and promotion of the product. Many problems contribute for the failure of a product in the market. While development and introduction of the product in the market, marketers must take into consideration various shortcomings of the product and the market environment at that point of time. Innovation is a constant driver of success. If companies failed to innovate and launch new products or upgrade their product then they will perish in the 26
  34. 34. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 competition. So innovation is important in any business. It offers new avenues for the company to succeed. 2.7.2 New Product Types: Booz, Allen and Hamilton(1982) identified six types of new products: New to the world products - New innovative products which establish an entirely new market; New product lines - New products that allow a company to penetrate an existing market for the first time; Additions to the existing product lines - New products that supplement a company’s established product lines (package sizes, flavors and so on); Enhancements to existing product - New products that provide improved performance or greater ROI and replace existing products; Re-positioning - Existing products that are targeted to new markets or market segments; Cost cuts - New products which offer similar functionality at lower cost cited by Kotler(2003,pp. 189-190). According to the types listed above educational robotic kit satisfies the definition of the type new to the world products. It is a new innovative product which will establish a new market. 絀َ 2.7.3 Stages of new product development New product development is involved of eight stages: idea generation, screening ideas, concept development, concept testing, business analysis, product development, test marketing and commercialization. New product development failures can be avoided by taking more user advantages into consideration. Idea generation: This is the step where customer’s needs and wants are identified and the product idea is configured such that it satisfies most of the customer’s needs 27
  35. 35. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 and wants. It helps to determine whether the idea which is generated after gathering feedbacks and requirements of consumers is worth thinking about. Many of the best ideas are collected here. The ideas should have capable potential to contribute value to gross margin. Ideas for products can evolve from any corner of the company. The ideas which come up can be either with very less details or with maximum details. Idea Screening: In this step, ideas which were generated from the previous step will be screened to filter out ideas which don’t seem feasible to continue. The ideas are narrowed down so that ideas which hold value and are worth pursuing are only considered and weak ideas are dropped. The idea may consist of a written document which describes the product, the target market and competition in the market. “Overall the company must determine whether the idea strategically fits its corporate objectives, considering also demand, resourcing and competitive forces”.(Groucutt et al, 2004) 絀َ Concept development: The product idea which was developed in above step is elaborated further to include more details and is known as Product concept. This idea is expressed in meaningful terms which consumers would understand. Concept testing: The product concept which was developed in earlier step is now handed over to a group of consumers who are the intended audience to explore it. They are asked to provide their feedback and their responses are noted down. It helps to understand whether the product has enough market potential to attract more customers. The feedback from customers is used to make the product more customers oriented. Consumer views help the product to shape better. Groucutt 28
  36. 36. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 et al (2004) emphasizes that the goal of Concept testing is to get customer reactions to the idea generated. “Concept Testing allows a relatively inexpensive judgment to be made by customers before embarking on a costly product development programme.” (Jobber, 2010) Concept testing helps in filtering those product ideas which are going to be non performers in the future market. It helps to filter out ideas based on future preferences of consumers. Business Analysis: This helps to identify whether the product concept will be feasible for the business when it becomes reality. The company will evaluate the potential of the product to contribute into company’s expenses and earnings. There are a lot of tests which the company performs to identify if the product is feasible for the company and the market. Jobber (2010) narrates that a market analysis needs to be taken to identify the target 絀َ market, its size and the projected product acceptance over a number of years. Guiltinan et al (1997) highlights that evaluations involved with new products are higher. Product Development: The conceptual product which passes the business analysis stage will be converted to reality. Groucutt et al (2004) explains that a prototype of the conceptual product is developed which reveals the tangible and intangible properties of the product. Dibb (2006) phrases that marketplace demands must be linked to the products design, mechanical features and intangible aspects. This calls for huge investments from the company’s side. As the costs involved with development are high companies aim only for successful ideas. 29
  37. 37. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Test Marketing: The product developed is tested in the market to check its acceptability. It is offered in limited locations to a limited audience. This is used to monitor the performance of the product in the selected areas in which it is launched. “test marketing is the acid test of new product development since the product is being promoted as it would during a national launch, and consumers are being asked to choose it against competitor products as they would if the new product went national” (Jobber, 2010) This test is being done practical in natural market environments. It provides the accurate market statistics related with the product. It provides the actual customer acceptability levels. It brings to the front the actual problems the product will face in actual scenario. So instead of launching it all markets companies use it analyse the launch of the product in a selected few markets. It also helps to identify the competitor’s moves who may try to block the products supply to the market and help to prepare for the future. 氠Ҧ Commercialization: The final decision whether the product will go into production will be taken at this step. In this step the company will start with the full production and commercial launch of the product. “If a firm learns that a competitor is nearing the end of its development work, it can choose: first entry (being first to market, locking up key distributors and customers, and gaining reputational leadership; however, if the product is not thoroughly debugged, it can acquire a flawed image); parallel entry (launching at the same time as a rival may gain both producers more attention); or late entry(waiting until a competitor has borne the cost of educating the market and revealed problems to avoid)” (Kotler 2003) 30
  38. 38. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 In this phase the product will be launched into the market. The elements of marketing mix place a vital role over here. New product development displays the product development phase of a product. The educational robotic kit is in the idea phase of the project. Products do have a product life cycle and the same cycle applies to educational robotic kit. The educational robotic kit is in the introductory phase of the product life cycle. The product life cycle is a useful tool for accessing that products performance in the market and when it is going to face difficulties in its life cycle. 2.8 Consumer adoption process (innovators, early adopters) “A useful starting point for choosing a target market is an understanding of the diffusion of innovation process”. (Rogers, 2003) cited by (Jobber, 2010) C 13 ½% Early adopters 2 ½% Innovators 34% Early majority 34% Late Majority 16% Laggards Time of adoption of innovations Fig 2.8(a): Adopter Categorization on the Basis of Relative Time of Adoption of Innovation (Rogers, 1983) cited by (Kotler, 2003) 31
  39. 39. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 “Adoption is an individual’s decision to become a regular user of a product.”(Kotler, 2003). Consumers have different buying patterns. Every consumer has a different taste and understanding of products. They are categorized into different categories according to their preferences. “An innovation refers to any good, service or idea that is perceived by someone as new” (Kotler, 2003) This curve explains how a new product is adopted throughout the market by various users with respect to time. The sales in the market for new product always depend on the willingness of public to try something new. Consumers have different levels of willingness to try any new product out. Their willingness to adopt any new product has been divided into categories in this model. This process is the indicator how the consumers adopt the product in the market over a period of time. The market usually consists of different types of consumers who have different purchasing tendencies. They have different 辨ҧ acceptance levels for innovative or new products when they are released in the market. 32
  40. 40. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 2.9 Product life cycle Sales Volume Introduction Growth Maturity Saturation Decline Time Fig 2.9: Generalised Concept of product life cycle showing five sequential stages (Chisnall, 2005) In a product development life cycle products have finite shelf life during which they have profit reaping capacity. The life duration which it generates revenue depends upon the demand in market for that product and the marketing decisions that has been taken to keep the product in the market. The duration for which the product lasts from introduction to decline is called the product life cycle. The product life cycle consists of 5 phases of life cycle. The toys and games market is dynamic. New products and new brands keep on showing up in the market and each has its own product life cycle. Some which are acceptable to the customers remain in the market while other products just perish. Toys Products do observe the product life cycle and as educational robotic kit will be launched as a product it follows the same product life cycle. The affordable educational toy is in the introduction stage. It will follow the same 33
  41. 41. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 introduction as other products. It will also decline when the product demand will go low and product will become saturated in the market. The product life cycle is usually a bell shaped curve which differs from industry to industry. The span of growth varies from industry to industry. The affordable robotic kit is in the growth phase of the product life cycle. “The length of profitable life, as well as the duration of each stage of demand curve, will tend to vary significantly according to the types of products and services involved.” (Aaker, 2006) 헸٦ 34
  42. 42. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 3.0 Research Methodology: This chapter will cover all aspects of methodology that has been covered in this research. The methodology which has been selected is based upon the research problem and the questions which are to be answered. The Oxford Dictionary (2010) defines research as to carry out systematic investigation to establish facts with the study of materials and sources and reach new conclusions. (8) Follow up (2) Creation of the Research design (7) Writing and presentation of the report (1) Identification of the problem and statement of the Research Objectives (3) Choice of method of Research (6) Analysis of the data (5) Collection of the data (4) Selection of the sampling procedure Fig 3.1: Problem definition and the Research process (McDaniel and Gates, 2004) 35
  43. 43. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 The figure above shows process of research which starts with identification of a problem and goes through all the steps of research till it reaches the end. 3.1 Research Purpose: The type of strategy that is to be used to do research is based on the type of research that has to be performed. There are three possible types of strategies which are widely used and they are: exploratory, descriptive and casual. Each research strategy has its own advantages and disadvantages and is selected upon careful examination of the type of research problem that needs to be addressed. If an improper research strategy is used it will lead to a flawed research. 3.1.1 Exploratory research: Exploratory research is concerned with identifying the reality based in the hypothesis of the problem. It offers a valuable deeper inner view of the reality with reference to the problem involved. It enables the problem to be defined in ٦ 헸 more detail. It is the fastest and economic route of finding an overview to the problem and the factors associated with it. “It is useful in developing hypothesis about specific markets; tends to use qualitative assessments rather than detailed quantitative data.” (Chisnall, 2005) 3.1.2 Descriptive research: Descriptive studies originate from previous knowledge about marketing variables. In this type of research, information can be obtained by designing queries to obtain specific data. Most of the marketing research reports available are mostly of descriptive nature. This research provides data for comparative analysis of competitive products (Chisnall, 2005). This research evaluates how a product is going to 36
  44. 44. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 perform in the market. This research will create profiles about consumers and their behaviors. It will help to identify the different types of consumers. Most marketing variables which describe the market behavior are covered in quantitative and qualitative terms. 3.1.3 Casual Research: This research will usually tend to find the cause and effect relationships that exist between marketing variables which determine the market behavior. “The cause and effects relationships are very difficult to deal with realistically and objectively. So there is a temptation to jump to conclusions, usually in support of a preconceived notion of how, for instance, the market behaves in specific situations”. (Chisnall, 2005) There should be a cautious approach while using casual research. While performing associations and correlations between variables, they should be carefully analysed, and should not be accepted at the first sight. The decision to go on with a type of research strategy depends on what the research aims at proving. As the purpose of this research is to check how a product is going to perform in the market and to study whether it is going to be acceptable to consumers in the UK market, so the research purpose of this study is going to be descriptive research. As this study is focusing in a new area of interest it is exploring the area which is unexplored and so it also includes exploratory research. This research is not finding the cause and effect relationships among marketing variables so this is not a casual research. This research is a combination of both exploratory and descriptive research. 37
  45. 45. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 3.2 Research Approach: There are basically two approaches to a research i.e. qualitative and quantitative research (Bradley, N., 2007). “Qualitative research is intrinsically subjective; its findings are not supported by statistical evidence based on probability sampling” (Chisnall, 2005) “Quantitative research is defined as research involving the use of structured questions in which the response options have been predetermined and a large number of respondents are involved” (Burns and Bush, 2010) According to Blumberg (2008) quantitative research relies on quantitative information which includes numbers and figures whereas qualitative research relies on qualitative information which includes words, sentences and narratives. The research approach is selected based on the research problem definition and identifying the type of data required for solving the problem. The type of data required is dependent on the research objectives. This research used both qualitative and quantitative methods of research. This research started with looking for information which was already existing i.e. Secondary data. Secondary data is information that some organization or individual has collected for a different purpose than this research (Bradley, 2007). Some of the existing information for analysis was available in various different sources like market research, company reports, government statistics and many case studies. It is a better practice to utilize the existing available resources as it provides quality data, saves time and saves resources for the research which could be utilized for other areas of research. The information that was to be retrieved was in the minds of parents, who have the idea about the choices, activities and they make the decisions about 38
  46. 46. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 shopping toys. They have their experiences about shopping toys, toys availability and their experiences while shopping different types of toys. So this information needs to be retrieved as it is valuable from a perspective of marketer for a products success. Primary data is this new information that is developed from scratch by various data collection mediums. It is mostly the case that secondary data provides all the information which is required by the research. To fill up the gaps which were left empty by secondary data, primary data i.e. original data was used. 3.3 Data Collection Methods: Secondary data that was collected for this research was through these sources: Market Research reports, Company Annual Reports, Company Websites. Primary data for this research which was not available from existing sources was obtained using surveys and Interviews. The data collection methods used for this research are Depth Interviews and surveys. The selection of the data collection methods were based upon the type of the data that needed to be collected. 3.3.1 Depth Interviews It is the most common methods for collecting qualitative data. It is technique that helps to know the respondents view on the research topic. During depth interview, respondent is the person who has the knowledge and researcher is the person who has to figure out questions which will get the information out of the respondents head. Researchers start the interview in a neutral tone; listen to the respondent’s answers and fire questions based on respondents answer. They do not control the respondent’s answers, according to their expected results, nor do they show any gestures which indicate whether the respondent is giving any appropriate answer. 39
  47. 47. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Depth Interviews were used to identify information about a respondent in more detail. It was conducted face to face and involved only the researcher and the respondent. It involved telephonic conversations with respondents who lived in far away areas and face to face was used to interview respondents who lived nearby. Recordings were obtained from respondents who gave consent to being recorded. A personal interview is best when users are to be provided with some additional information or some additional reference materials can be handed over to them for getting an idea. Respondents who were literate enough to answer the level of questions being asked and had technically advanced knowledge were selected to give interviews. The criteria for selection were their education level. Respondents who had education level of university and above were selected. The interviews taken lasted about 10minutes. The respondents were encouraged to provide as elaborated information as possible. 3.3.2 Surveys: Surveys are instruments which are distributed to respondents to know their opinions. These contain a set of questions and answers which respondents are supposed to answer. These set of questions can be close ended or open ended. Open ended questions are included when the research wants more information in detail from the respondents. In close needed questions respondents are provided with a set of options which they to choose from. Surveys were used to help understand the opinions of customers. The information retrieved from surveys would be used to help in decision making for analysis. It helped to understand their opinions about toys availability, preferences, pricing and awareness. It helps to generate good quantitative data. As the analysis performed on data collected though surveys is done using laws of mathematics and statistics, the chances of deducing wrong or totally vague conclusions is very less. It is also a low cost way of reaching out and gathering information from a large population. The quality of the research being done will not be affected though it being a low cost way of data collection. The target population 40
  48. 48. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 in a survey should be clearly identified and segmented. The population which is selected for questioning should have some information about the information that is going to be retrieved from them. Surveys are based on the desire to collect information from a sample of respondents from a well defined population. (Czaja and Blair, 2005) Surveys helps to know what respondent are thinking and helps to know their opinions. Opinions of respondents can be collected through different mediums like in person, over the phone, by mail and through web. The target population in a survey should be clearly identified and segmented. The population which is selected for questioning should have some information about the information that is going to be retrieved from them. This research survey used both open ended and closed ended questions for its survey. Open ended questions Open ended questions is used in both qualitative and quantitative research. In an open question, respondent can reply openly and is not restricted to limited options based questions. The advantages of using open ended questions are it brings to the front some unexplored ideas which were not explored before. It provides full answers to questions which weren’t possible to get in closed questions. The disadvantages are that the answers can be misinterpreted and the speed of asking and analysis would be slow. Coding the results would be time consuming and requires skills. Close ended questions In Closed ended questions respondent provides answer from the list of options that has been provided to him by the researcher. Closed questions are where researcher provides all possible options for that question. The advantages of 41
  49. 49. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 closed questions are they are fast to create, fast to administer and easy to analyse. The disadvantages are that errors in this type of questions in inevitable, it needs to be tested before it is administered. 3.3.2.1 Internet Surveys The purpose of initial contact was to explain the purpose and importance of the survey. They had to be provided assurance of confidentiality. The respondents had to be explained the instructions for accessing the survey website. To ensure that no repetitions occur the survey software had an option to avoid duplicates based upon the IP addresses of respondents. A brief introduction to the survey was provided with an image of the product so that respondents can be encouraged to participate and would understand purpose of the survey. The questionnaire was carefully designed so that it can be accessible and the terms used are understandable to respondents. Social networking sites and forums were used to gather the target audience and were invited to answer the survey. 3.3.2.2 Telephone Surveys Telephone surveys are the mostly used for respondents who are not readily available for interview and are readily available in person for interviewing. Outbound interviewing was carried out wherein respondents were called to carry out their survey. Advantages of telephonic surveys is telephonic surveys are a speedy way of administering surveys to people, they do provide quick results and this method is known as a cost effective method. It is a useful method for reaching to respondents who live in inaccessible areas or people who are not comfortable for a face-to-face interview. Telephone calls can be recorded for later analysis but with the respondents consent. (Bradley, 2007) Disadvantage of telephonic 42
  50. 50. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 surveys are there is little control in a telephonic survey. There is very little chance of showing visual aid materials to the respondents. 3.3.3 Sampling: There are basically two methods of sampling, probabilistic and non probabilistic sampling. In probability sampling each unit of population has good chance of being included in sample. In non probabilistic sampling, individual units of population do not have a chance of being included in the sample. Non probabilistic sampling was used for this study for selecting samples. Chisnall (2005) has noted that selection in non probabilistic sampling was done by human judgment. This helps in selecting a sample which has the general characteristics of the required sample and acts as a reliable indicator which satisfies all the required characteristics. Non Probabilistic sampling is useful in this research as it is easier to select individuals in a non probabilistic way where the chances that the right person is selected is less. Judgement sampling is used to identify samples with best possible criteria that matches the requirements. The selection made is based on a set of criteria, such as for this research parents with children aged from 7 years to 16 years was an selection criteria. It is easier to segment samples who match the required criteria in judgement sampling. Snowball sampling is one of the non probability sampling which was used for sampling some of the respondents. It starts off by identifying a person who has the special characteristics that are required for the survey audience. They are invited for taking part in the survey. The initial respondents who took up the survey were asked to supply details of other respondents who had similar characteristics to that of the initial respondents. Chisnall (2005) has explained that snowballing techniques provides a good analytical view of the consumer behavior and attitudes or which might have been difficult to observe while doing 43
  51. 51. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 study. It is easier to get respondents with similar characteristics through this method. 3.4 Ethics “Ethics form a system that helps to determine what is right and good from what is wrong and bad”( Kolb,2008) Ethics are a set of guidelines which researchers are bound to follow. It defines a set of rules which define the set of actions allowed and prohibited. Daymon and Holloway(2002) emphasized that it is important for a researcher collecting data from human to take care of ethical issues because of the problems that are involved in the process of research. In this research, ethical boundaries were drawn to maintain the integrity of the research and to protect vulnerable respondents from any kind of action as highlighted in Dayman and Holloway(2002). It helps respondents gain confidence on the quality of research being carried out and researcher motives become clear to them. Daymon and Holloway(2002) have noted that the ultimate goal of any research should be the achievement of highest ethical standards. While performing the research the researcher must define the limits to the depths of information the researcher wants to retrieve from the respondent. The researcher must also keep into consideration the welfare of participants. 3.4.1 Ethical research Issues: The Initial ethical issue that was taken into consideration was the purpose of research being carried out. The research study was carefully designed so that the end result of the research was not predictable and was dependent on the research output. The next ethical issue addressed was while selecting the sample for the research. The target segment included children and the answers for this research could have been retrieved from children as they are the beneficiary 44
  52. 52. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 who will be benefited from the availability of the affordable robotic toys. Since children don’t take their own decisions and are too vulnerable to questions, so the questions were targeted towards their parents and safeguards who make most of their decisions. Parents and safeguards are involved in their toy purchase decisions as they are well augmented with their child’s choice and what they want their child to play. Confidentiality was an ethical issue that was tackled to gain confidence of respondents who would answer the questions. The respondents who participated in the survey and interviews were shown a disclaimer that the personal information they provide won’t be used for any third party purposes. Reluctance to get recorded was another ethical issue that was observed. In depth interviews some respondents were reluctant to get their voice recorded or to offer depth interviews. Those respondents who had issues in getting their personal details noted or did not wish to be identified were asked to take the web based surveys. ٓ As online research is vulnerable over the internet, special considerations have been taken to keep respondents details confidential. Research done over Internet does not have the same level of control which is achievable in face to face interviews. If the respondents email address becomes available to others they may utilize it for unwanted purposes. This will led to unwanted security issues for the respondent. As everything is stored over the internet, the data becomes more vulnerable. Privacy of the participating respondents must be maintained when they agree to get involved in the research. Over the web data is not secure and privacy is not ensured so maximum confidentiality of data must be maintained. Respondents must not be exposed to unnecessary risks. Confidentiality of respondents should be maintained when they agree to cooperate for the study. Anonymity of their details is the primary concern of many individuals who volunteer up for research. 45
  53. 53. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 3.5 Reliability and Validity: Reliability and validity maintained in any research highlights the trustworthiness of that research. Chisnall (2005) has highlighted that reliability and validity are crucial part of any research and its relevance should be understood by those working in collecting data. “if a study is valid, it means that it measures what is expected from the study. if the study is reliable, it means that if the study is repeated the same results will be obtained”. (Bradley,2007) During every stage of the research constant criticism of the techniques used helped to determine the reliability and validity of that technique used. Any flawed approach used would have resulted in an improper research. During data collection it was ensured that respondents enter their answers for questions and were not directed or defaulted to any intended answers. They were given their own convenience to answer the questions as this would help achieve the proper results which were not biased to any result. Since the research itself is aimed at ٜ investigating the acceptance of customers for affordable toys in the UK market so there were no assumptions as this would affect the investigative essence of the research. Respondents of the interview weren’t offered any incentives to appear for the interview. The respondents did share information for this research on their will and weren’t lured to appear for participating in the research. So data collected reflects the general opinion which they had in their mind when providing the information. 46
  54. 54. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 4.0 Data Collection Methods: Data for analysis was collected using web questionnaires and depth interviews. The respondents who shared information for this research were from all over the UK. Those who were willing to attempt the survey were given a web link where they can attempt the survey. Respondents were given the convenience to answer the questions at their convenient time and place. Respondents attempting the interview were asked for their willingness to being recorded for the interview. Respondents who attended the depth interviews were asked about their opinions in depth about educational robotic kits and their expectations from it. The questionnaire was designed by the researcher. The questionnaire was aimed at retrieving the opinions of parents about educational robotic toys and specifying details about the toys which they have, the place they purchase it from, the price segment for toys that they prefer. The questions posed in questionnaire were peer reviewed ٜ before being distributed to respondents. Some questions in the web survey questionnaire were closed questions and open questions. Open questions were used for retrieving open views of users on some critical questions where users were expected to provide some answers in detail. Closed questions used Dichotomous questions, lists and scale type of answers in the survey questionnaire. Sample copy of the questionnaire can be observed in Appendix 2. The depth interview survey had open questions which users were asked Respondents for web based survey and depth interviews were selected using various mix methods through various online business forums and social networking sites. 150 respondents were invited for web based surveys. Out of 150 respondents, 60 respondents completed the survey, 34 respondents visited but did not fill the survey, 10 respondents left the survey partial, 8 respondents left survey incomplete and 38 respondents did not visit the survey link. 30 47
  55. 55. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 respondents were invited for depth interviews Out of 30 respondents 15 agreed interviews. 0 for depth interviews. Web Survey Statistics 38 60 Completed 8 10 Abondoned Partial 34 Incomplete Did not visit : Fig 4.1: Survey Statistics ‫ע‬ʽ The respondents were selected on the basis of their being parents of children aged between 7 years to 16 years. Respondents attending the web based surveys were emailed the link for the questionnaire whereas respondents who attended the Depth interviews were informed the date and time for the interview interview. The respondents who shared information for the research were asked for any friends or relatives with similar characteristics as theirs who would be willing to wi complete the survey This study also used snowball technique apart from survey. ball judgement sampling. Respondents who were selected through snowballing technique were more attentive and responsible while answering the questionnaire. To analyse the market potential and competitors for affordable robotic kits several marketing research reports, annual reports of companies were analysed 48
  56. 56. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 and the market behaviour was observed by going through several newspaper articles and magazine articles. 헸٦ 49
  57. 57. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 5.0 Analysis and Findings d Findings: The completed surveys were collected and entered into the SPSS software for analysis. The data collected would be only numbers and characters unless it is analysed with usage of statistical tools, mathematical functions and display in displayed graphs or charts. The data which is collected has been classified on the basis of research objectives. They are: assessing market potential for educational robotic toys, determining the key benefit sought identifying the key competitors, sought, competitors determining an appropriate price level and determining an appropriate promotion strategy. This graph below shows gender wise distribution of respondents who completed the web based surveys. The respondents who completed the survey had 60 per cent male respondents and 40 per cent female respondents. All the respondents who appeared for the survey represented population for UK and are from all over the UK. ‫ע‬ʽ Gender wise distribution of respondents 38% 62% Male Female 50
  58. 58. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Fig 5.1: Gender Wise distribution of respondents. The survey respondents who were surveyed was majorly represented by younger generation who represented 53 per cent population out of total. As younger respondents are more technically aware they were responsible for more quality answers. Respondents who have completed university education represented majority of 77 percent among the respondents who completed survey. They represented the populations who were aware of the benefits provided by the educational robotic kits. The analysis according to research objectives: Market potential for educational robotic toys: The UK toys and games market consist of 585 companies who are involved in the manufacture of toys and games in 2009. (Keynote,2010) The market is divided into a large number of toy suppliers who supply toys to the toy market. 皠! These suppliers are some big brands, many small brands and a large number of suppliers. Many of these suppliers focus on specific product or specific region. Most of the companies selling toys in UK are US owned and are controlled by their US divisions. These are global companies which have main offices in the place they operate and will get products manufactured from all over the world. This helps them achieve the lower cost for products and achieve an edge over other local manufacturers. Key benefit sought from educational robotic toys As UK is a developed market, parents are spending on toys which offer educational and developmental values in addition to the child’s desirable choice.(Keynote,2010) Parents are focusing more on welfare of their children. 51
  59. 59. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Toy Evaluation Criteria 18% 22% Price Segment Educational value 60% Safety Fig 5.2: Toy Evaluation Criteria ig Parents evaluated toys based on educational value provided by a toy. As can be observed in Fig above 60 per cent of parents who answered web based surveys ‫ע‬ʽ had selected educational value over price and safety factors. Parents are growing aware of facts that toys with educational value are useful for their childrens cognitive development. Several parents who were interviewed using depth interviews also stressed more on the educational part of toys. They raised their concern over the growing ern influence of TV video games on the minds of children. It is giving rise to more impact of violence in their minds. According to Keynote(2010), Toys and games market is being seen as the most key role player in providing developmental e education. Mintel(2010) has indicated that parents are recommending educational toys for children as they complement education and develop knowledge and skills in children. 52
  60. 60. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Key competitors for educational robotic toys When a business enters a market, it usually contains competitors who offer better competition. Every competitor wants to make their positions in market secure and they always want to increase their market share in the market where they are selling their product. Competitor’s size varies in the market and so their marketing preferences. Not all the competitors present in the market appear as a threat to the business. Some competitors offer opportunities in the competition. “Analysing competitors and the competitive climate can help marketers better understand market dynamics, anticipate what rivals will do, and create more practical marketing plans”. (Wood, 2010) Competitor analysis is used to analyse the competitors who are present in the market. It helps in understanding the current market scenario of the industry. It helps in developing the marketing plan with reference to the current market scenario. Competitor analysis is useful in context of developing a strong * marketing strategy. If any business avoids analyzing the competitors before they develop their marketing plan they are ignoring the competitors and will have to restructure their marketing plans. There are current competitors who offer competition and also there are potential competitors who may offer competition in the market. By performing the competitor analysis, a business identifies competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, prepares itself by comparing itself with competitors and preparing for that competition. Key Competitors who were identified are: Lego Company Ltd: Lego is involved in marketing and distribution of children’s construction toys manufactured from plastic. 53
  61. 61. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Lego Company Ltd. owns a market share of 62 per cent in the toys and games market in year 2009. Lego UK has made a sales of £1.3bn in year 2009. Lego spends £4.2m for its main media advertising.(Keynote, 2010) Product Lines of Lego: movie inspired licensed collectible toys like Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Toy Story, etc.; Construction Toys like Technic, Architecture and Bricks; Robotic sets like Mindstorms NXT; Video Games and many more.(Lego,2010) Brands which Lego is focusing on currently are Harry Potter, Lego Star Wars, Lego Atlantis, Lego games, Lego Universe and Mini Figures.(Keynote, 2010) Recent Marketing activities carried out by Lego include continuing its sponsorship for Vue cinemas. Its advertisements are shown before films. Lego Atlantis was advertised via television channels throughout UK. Lego initiated various promotional activities to promote its mini figures. Hasbro UK Ltd Hasbro is a group which is involved in marketing and distribution of toys, games and other products. ٜ Hasbro UK Ltd. owns a market share of 7 per cent in the toys and games market in year 2009. Hasbro UK has made a sales of £136.3m in year 2009. Hasbro spends £10.9m for its main media advertising. (Keynote, 2010) Product Lines of Lego: movie licensed collectible toys like Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Toy Story, etc.; Construction Toys like Technic, Architecture and Bricks; Robotic sets like Mindstorms NXT; Video Games and many more.(Lego,2010) Brands which Hasbro is focusing on currently are Games, Girl Ranges, In the night garden, Marvel, Sesame Street, Tonka and Transformers.(Keynote, 2010) Recent Marketing activities carried out by Hasbro include marketing tie ups with various organisations and social marketing for Hasbro Family Game Night. It released heavily promoted movie character Iron Man in its toy range. 54
  62. 62. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Mattel UK Ltd Mattel has been involved in sale and distribution of toys and related products. Mattel UK Ltd. owns a market share of 4 per cent in the toys and games market in year 2009. Mattel UK has made a sales of £78.5m in year 2009. Mattel spends £13.7m for its main media advertising. (Keynote, 2010) Product Lines of Mattel: movie licensed collectible toys like Avatar, etc.; Dolls like Barbie, Comic series characters licensing with DC Comics and Disney; Fisher Price; Girls Ranges, Cars from Hot Wheels and many more.(Keynote, 2010) Brands which Mattel is focusing on currently are Avatar, Barbie, DC Comics, Disney, Fisher Price, Girls Ranges, Hot Wheels (Keynote, 2010) Recent Marketing activities carried out by Mattel include sponsorship activities for Barbie in various mediums. Tomy UK Ltd Tomy UK Ltd is engaged in the sale ٜ of toys and nursery products in the Uk and Europe. Tomy UK Ltd. owns a market share of 2 per cent in the toys and games market in year 2009. Tomy UK has made a sales of £42.7m in year 2009. Tomy spends £0.8m for its main media advertising. (Keynote, 2010) Product Lines of Tomy: movie licensed collectible toys like A-team, Chuggington, Rah Rah the Noisy Lion, etc.; Sega and Sonic, Tomica and many more.(Keynote,2010) Brands which Tomy is focusing on currently are A-team, Chuggington, Rah Rah the Noisy Lion, etc.; Sega and Sonic and Tomica .(Keynote, 2010) Recent Marketing activities carried out by Tomy include fully integrated marketing campaign for Tomica and Micro Pets. 55
  63. 63. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Appropriate price level for educational robotic toys ppropriate After recession has affected the economy, parents have become more price conscious. Mintel(2009) has highlighted that 71 71per cent of consumers due to the economic crisis have reduced their spending. Keynote(2010) highlights that consumer confidence on spending has dropped due to UK recession and they are reducing the expenditure on most of household expenses. Imortance of Cost in purchasing decision 2% 42% 56% Always Sometimes Never ٜ Fig 5.3 : Importance of cost in parents purchasing decision. 56 per cent of parents sometimes feel cost is important factor while purchasing actor toys and 42 per cent of parents have always considered cost as a important factor while purchasing toys Overall out of 100 per cent, 98 per cent of parents toys. consider cost as an important factor to be considered while making purchasing decision. This indicates importance of cost that toy manufacturers should importance consider while bringing new toys to the market. 56
  64. 64. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 The figure below displays average cost of toys purchased. 42 per cent of parents who answered the web based survey selected £26 to £50 as the average cost of toys purchased 18 per cent parents have selected the below 25 purchased. price segment. Average Cost of Toys Purchased 3% 5% 18% 17% Below £25 £26 to £50 15% 42% £51 to £75 £76 to £100 £101 to £125 More than £125 ʾ : Fig 5.4: Average Cost of Toys Purchased According to Keynote(2010), four in ten consumers in UK spend in the UK toys and games market and most of them spend less than £50 annually. 50 annually The cross tabulated table below shows table of yearly household income against the average cost of toys being purchased. It can be observed from the table that £26 to £50 price segment is the favorite choice among all income groups £76 to groups. £100 is the next favorite segment after below £25 segment which is the second favorite segment. 57
  65. 65. Mukesh Kulal Average cost of the toys purchase d Total Below £25 £26 to £50 £51 to £75 £76 to £100 £101 to £125 More than £125 2818510 Yearly Household Income Less £15001 £20001 £25001 £30001 than to to to and £15000 £20000 £25000 £30000 above Total 5 2 0 0 4 11 6 6 6 2 5 25 0 2 5 1 1 9 2 2 2 4 0 10 0 0 3 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 2 2 13 12 16 7 12 60 Table 5.1: Cross tabulated table of yearly household income against the average cost of toys purchased. 헸٦ Parents who attended depth interview also pointed out cost as being the major factor which affected their purchasing decisions. They explained recession has brought about changes to their buying decisions. Appropriate promotion strategy for educational robotic toys Promotion plays a major role for creating awareness of product among consumers. Selecting the appropriate medium for promotion is an important decision that will affect the future sales and success of the product. Internet is becoming a place where toy manufacturers want to improve the experience of child with product. (Keynote, 2010) Parents were asked if they remember of any educational robotic toy being promoted over internet or TV. 43 per cent parents remembered a little, 58
  66. 66. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Promotion of Educational Robotic Toys 50 45 40 35 30 25 Promotion of Educational Robotic Toys 20 15 10 5 0 A lot Some A little Nothing Other Fig 5.5: Promotion of Educational Robotic Toys Parents who prefer High street shops for shopping toys amount to 43 per cent, while choice of parents who prefer Internet and those who prefer Markets is pَ almost same at 25 per cent. High street shops is the most preferred place for shopping toys. 59
  67. 67. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Toy purchasing Place 4% 25% 25% Internet High Street Shops 3% Catalogues 43% Market Other Fig 5.6: Most preferred Toy purchasing place. : Findings: 36% of parents indicated that their children spent maximum time on playground. pَ 28% of parents indicate that their child spent maximum time on toys and 16% of parents had their children spending maximum time on TV games. Toys and games are the next possible category that may see expansion within supermarkets.(Keynote,2010) eynote,2010) 60
  68. 68. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 6.0 Conclusion and Recommendations 6.1 Conclusion: The previous chapter provided an analysis of the data collected in this study. This chapter will draw conclusions based on the findings found in the analysis. This will try to answer the research questions which were the hypotheses of this research and will also suggest some recommendations based upon that for further exploration within this area. The study will bring an important change in the education domain if it is implemented. Literature was reviewed, which brought to front the benefits gained by educational robotic toys when children interact with them, market analysis for Toy industry was performed. Literature written by other authors were reviewed and syncronised. Marketing models related to new products were reviewed which were suitable for affordable educational robotic kit and it was observed that educational robotic kit is still in its initial stage. C It can be concluded from this study that educational robotic kits is a new product and will satisfy requirements of parents. Educational robotic toys were not known by parents and its benefits were not known. Some parents believed that few educational robotic toys just claim to be educational and don’t have and positive benefits. The price segment for an educational toy which parents can afford should be £26 to £50 but some parents can afford £76 to £100. The promotion medium for the educational robotic kit should be through internet. 6.3 Recommendations: The educational robotic toy needs more awareness as very less people have heard about it. The benefits that educational robotic toy provides needs to be imparted to parents so that they can utilise it for the benefit of their children. 61
  69. 69. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Social networking sites are a meeting point where people satisfy their social needs to communicate with each other. It has got the maximum reach with an maximum impact. For E.g. Facebook has got a user base of more than 5million people. These sites offer an alternative for companies to advertise. If this medium is exploited then more people will become aware of the educational robotic toys and the benefits that it imparts. 62
  70. 70. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Appendix 63
  71. 71. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Appendix I : Micheal Gove Holding Lego StarWars set The force is with you: Education Secretary Michael Gove arrives at conference with a Lego set. He has said he loves spending time with his son building models (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23885365-arts-venues-face-closureunder-funding-cuts-says-theatre-boss.do) 64
  72. 72. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Appendix 2: Applications of robotics Fig: Usage of Robotics in Entertainment – HRP-4C – which is capable of performing catwalks in fashion shows. (Source:http://www.businesspundit.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/robotsupermodel.jpg) 㣘ٙ Fig: Usage of Robotics in Undersea Exploration – ASIMO Robot – which is capable of going to deep sea water depths and carry out exploration for scientists. (Source: http://www.bountyfishing.com/blog/images/robot-fish.jpg) 65
  73. 73. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Fig: Usage of Robotics in Medical Care – ASIMO Robot – which is capable of carrying patients around, nursing them. (source: http://www.geekologie.com/2009/03/05/robot%20love.jpg) 翀 Fig: Usage of Robotics in Android development – ASIMO Robot – which is capable ofclimbing, getting down staircases, talking, understanding human gestures. (Source: http://www.gizmowatch.com/images/asimo-robot_48.jpg) 66
  74. 74. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Fig: Usage of Robotics in Search Rescue – Snake Robot – which is capable of slithering to most of the possible areas which are unsafe for humans or any rescue equipments to reach. It can explore and search for any survivors. (Source: http://www.elistmania.com/images/articles/21/Original/Snake_Robots.jpg) ٚ Fig: Usage of Robotics in Space and Exploration – Mars Rover – which was built to explore the mars terrains and perform some experiments on the soil samples. (Source:http://www.gizmodo.com/assets/resources/2006/12/mars_rover.jpg) 67
  75. 75. Mukesh Kulal 2818510 Fig: Usage of Robotics in Military – Bigdog – which is capable of carrying huge loads of luggage in war torn areas and can self balance itself in any terrain. (source: http://www.mytko.org/random/bigdog.jpg) ٚ Fig: Usage of Robotics in Military –– which is capable of carrying anti terrorist activities in warfare zones as well as in civilian areas. (Source: http://web.rollins.edu/~tlairson/tech/robot10.jpg) 68

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