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  • How did Design Change the Life of Mother-to-be in China

    16 December 2016
    S.Point, Member Firm (China)

    01 Question

    A famous international ecletronic company, wants to enter China's maternal market. But it met no small resistance. Although women have a lot in common in the matter of procreation, the maternal markets in China and Europe differ. In the Chinese market that this brand desires to enter, procreation is not a thing involving one person, but the priority of a family or even a clan during a certain period of time.

    "What about the baby's position? Is it good?" "I lined up in the hospital for more than two hours. When it's finally my turn, the inquiry time is only a few minutes." "Do I need food nourishment? What should I eat?" Chinese expectant mothers are always asking all kinds of questions. It seems there isn't a fixed and comprehensive channel that provides them with information and accompanies them through the most special time of their lives.

    This means that this brand has a big opportunity in the Chinese market. Fetal monitoring, pregnancy guidance and other related opportunities are all directions that the brand can try out. But it needs to fully understand the market, which is not unfamiliar to S.POINT at all. It has always been the attempt of S.POINT to study consumers based on design thinking to gain insight and seek opportunities from an innovative perspective.

    02 Insight

    3 Chinese tier-one cities, 27 family visits and a 2-week online survey. In a span of more than a month, S.POINT strategists conducted an in-depth and specific survey on different families and pregnant women. Unlike traditional surveys, this design thinking-oriented survey and interview work was characterized by uncertainty and randomness. If they confined themselves to an established interview outline, the strategists might not obtain the needs of potential consumers. This exacerbated the difficulty of the work. The strategists even accompanied the pregnant women to the hospital for an antenatal check-up, or visited them at home to observe their daily life.

    The 1-month survey made things clearer. S.POINT strategists found that Chinese expectant mothers had rather complicated needs. During the stage of fetal monitoring, they need to regularly go to the hospital for a check-up and begin to collect information about early fetal education from various channels. But they don't have a doctor who always tracks and monitors the physical condition of the baby and the expectant mother herself like pregnant women do in foreign countries. There is too little information they can gain from professional institutions.

    The waiting for the arrival of a new life has also changed the original life style of expectant mothers. They hope to live a balanced life through entertainment and social relationships, but at that point, they've become the focus of protection by their family who don't want them to go outdoors and are concerned the radiation from digital devices may affect the fetus. "I want to have some entertainment to enrich my pregnancy process and I also desire to maintain my social network and get to know other expectant mothers." An expectant mother told the S.POINT strategies during the interview.

    03 Solution

    Different needs were collected by the strategists. But seeking opportunities from insight requires a lot of creative thinking and brainstorming. At theheadquarters, the brand China and S.POINT strategists gathered together to have a brainstorm based on the survey results and consumer needs. S.POINT strategists put forward six major opportunities, including fetal monitoring (focus on fetus), pregnant women entertainment (entertain mum), and hospital inquiry (just 3 minutes).

    Take hospital inquiry for example. After waiting for several hours, the pregnant women often have only 3 minutes of inquiry time. The opportunity from this fact can facilitate the brand with product R&D such as the establishment of information exchange channels, generation of a list of self-monitoring items or methods, or even recommendation of authoritative and private consultants to users. This helps expectant mothers improve the efficiency of physical monitoring and gaining professional advice.

    The strategists also prioritized the 6 different opportunities based on different dimensions. These reference dimensions also reflect the pregnancy status of expectant mothers in China, such as mother-oriented, or child-oriented, following the trends and listening to different voices, or self-planning and strict control.

    From the pregnancy status of an expectant mother, we can tell whether she is a scientific expectant mother (PHD mum-to-be) or a girly expectant mother (little woman mum-to-be). After screening these opportunities, the strategists suggested 3 high-priority opportunities, including fetal monitoring (focus on fetus) and hospital inquiry (just 3 minutes) for the brand to make a comprehensive decision and a trial and error.

    The strategists also proposed innovative concepts for each market opportunity, which are more executable and start the process of how demands gradually evolve into products or services. For example, through wearable devices and intelligent mobile phones, the expectant mothers can monitor fetal movement by themselves. Or, the creation of databases and information diagrams in a mobile application allows the expectant mothers to fully understand their baby's state, and provides comprehensive data support for physician testing.

    This is how a business trend is refined to a function of a mobile application, which requires surveys, exploration of insights, discovery of opportunities and the proposal of innovative concepts. S.POINT strategists, while helping the brand discover potential opportunities in China's maternal market, is also using design thinking and innovative ideas to help Chinese expectant mothers gain a better pregnancy. This is how design changes our life.

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