No one wants to put the effort into launching a new product to find that no one likes it, or it’s ineffective. That is why so many companies spend the time to find out what people think through the use of test groups.

Lisa O’Connor was working as a consultant for a baby accessories company, trying to help them find testers for a specific product, when she was hit with her ah-ha moment. After 6 months of planning she officially launched the Parents Insight Network in January of this year. Through her website Lisa is able to help connect companies with parents that are willing to test and review their products. At this time she has over 500 parents signed up and ready to provide the necessary feedback.

What was your inspiration for launching Parents Insight Network?

I was doing some consulting work for a baby accessories company that frequently needed “fit testers” or babies of a certain size and age to test the fit of their products. As a new mom myself, I would round up friends and friends of friends who fit the bill, frantically, at the last minute. I noticed that my client was benefitting also from the creative insights of my friends and friends of friends as they tried things on their babies and talked about them. They made product adjustments and improvements as a result.

I finally decided to get organized about it. I created a database of new moms and dads that I knew, or that friends of mine knew, and the list grew from there. We have moms and dads across the country and abroad who are screened for conceptual and creative ability. They are paid to participate in focus groups, online surveys and product test, and companies benefit from their “in the trenches” insights.

How does a parent join your team? What are your requirements?

All parents need to do to sign up is go to [our website] and click on “Parents Sign Up!”. They must fill out the survey completely. There are several questions which help me screen new members for articulateness and creativity.

What kind of products does the Parents Insight Network review?

We work on baby accessories of all types, including carriers, socks, shoes and swimwear. On the other end of the spectrum we work with a publishing company that creates a variety of interactive books for young children.

If a company is interested in utilizing your organization to test a new product or conduct a survey, how would they go about contacting you to sign up?

Just visit parentsinsightnetwork.com and complete the form under “contact us”.

What separates the Parents Insight Network from the competition?

There are a lot of database companies out there. The differences are:

  • I manage the list myself and don’t distribute it at all. I screen each new member personally and take any research project from start to finish. This protects my members from having their information passed along the companies I work with from fraudulent respondents.
  • Parents Insight Network members are screened for creative and conceptual ability, so companies have the benefit of feedback from truly insightful consumers who can help them grow their business and problem solve.

Do you have any goals that you would like to accomplish as your business continues to grow over the next year?

I am always looking for more database members and more companies to use our services!

How long did it take you to build from idea to launch?

About six months.

What lessons did you learn from the experience?

I learned that its good to have a gig on the side while you’re getting things up and running!

 

Originally posted by Angela Shupe on April 17, 2009 in Interviews.

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