the following is an anonymous demographic take from 20 mothers of different race, religion, income as well as their geographic location (i.e. neighborhood.)
One of the questions on my survey ask parents/focus group participants to mark their household income, write their zip code as well as their/their child's ethnicity. All the mothers who marked Caucasian (except for one) listed their household income at $150,000 + annually. The latter were either Latino/Hispanic, Asian or African American with an average income of $50,000 - $100,000 annually. The mothers who make $150,00 + annually (and it should be noted that that option was the highest listed multiple choice) all live in Manhattan (Murray Hill and the West Village to be exact). When asked how much they valued my individual products the average was $45.00 to $55.00 for either set of building blocks or a blanket.
The mothers remaining, who took the same survey and were participants in the same way, live in either Queens, Long Island or Brooklyn. One is a resident of New Jersey. When asked to value the individual products their average came to $10.00 to $15.00. That's a difference of approximately $30.00. Also, of the above mentioned mothers, only have have a college education, one only completed high school in Columbia and is here illegally. These mothers also have children who are deaf.
My target customer is first and foremost parents with Deaf children (specifically Hearing parents of Deaf children). My secondary market are all other parents and children regardless of hearing abilities, etc. My goal is to make my products, hypothetically, as accessible as possible but also retain value for the customer. Hence, this will greatly affect my cost analysis and material choices.
My professor Richard mentioned to me earlier today that as a design we cannot possible meet every demand for our product without it affecting the product itself and your (the designers) appreciation/like for it. If i make it too cheap, it won't appeal to the mothers willing to pay $50.00. Perhaps those who felt $15.00 was reasonable choose not to purchase because of the poor quality of the product due to economic tweaking. The ideal is to find and maintain a middle ground where I can access the most individuals without isolating one major group from another.
It was surprising; the results I got from my surveys. I have to admit it wasn't something I never thought of, but like the intelligence of a 14 month old signing to her mother that she wants to draw on the pad of paper with a pen, it still impresses me and something i could only truly observe/gather from user testing.
Okay? Awesome. Now I need to tweak my final designs for the printers tomorrow.