FLEMINGTON, N.J., May 27, 2014 – HCD Research announced today a partnership with PlayCollective, a leading global research, brand and product innovation group that enables companies to better understand, engage and develop for kids, families and the next generation of consumers. The partnership addresses the unique research needs of HCD’s consumer products clients, particularly those whose flavor and fragrance products are aimed at children and parents. This new collaboration brings together HCD’s expertise in sensory science measurement with PlayCollective’s extensive experience in cross-platform family-focused research and product design. Together, HCD and PlayCollective will bring to market an unparalleled array of research capabilities, know-how and expertise that will enable HCD’s clients to better understand and adapt to today’s fast-paced changes in consumer trends and preferences among families.
“We are very excited to be working with industry leader PlayCollective and it’s highly regarded research arm, PlayScience,” says Glenn Kessler, President and CEO of HCD Research. “There are significant unmet needs across many important CPG areas, and with the unique strengths of our two companies combined we will provide the solutions our clients are seeking.”
Leading the HCD Research team is Michelle Murphy Niedziela, Ph.D., a neuroscientist with extensive industry experience at Mars Chocolate and Johnson & Johnson consumer products, as well as a post doctoral fellowship at Monell Chemical Senses Center. She has helped HCD Research develop a methodology that integrates traditional cognitive measures with applied neuroscience techniques to deliver deeper insights into what consumers experience, the nature and strength of reactions to that experience, and the implication that these reactions have for product success. “Using applied consumer neuroscience techniques and our proprietary, yet customizable, multi-method approach, we can address the consumer experience in material ways that help product designers develop more compelling products,” says Dr. Niedziela.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with long-time industry innovator HCD Research to bring PlayScience’s interdisciplinary research approach to HCD’s research agenda,” says Dr. J. Alison Bryant, co-CEO of PlayCollective (the parent company of PlayScience). “Not only is it difficult to capture consistent preferences among children and to understand why a child prefers one product to another, there is also an important interplay between children and parents that must be analyzed as well.”
“PlayCollective excels at translating consumer research to brand and product development,” says Paul J. Levine, co-CEO and President of PlayCollective. “Our team and has spent thousands of hours working across every product, platform, media type and venue that drives brand engagement for kids & families, and our unique integration of qualitative, quantitative and psychophysiology research has enabled more than 100 clients around the globe to test, develop and launch an array of real-world and digital products. We’re excited to expand our scope in collaboration with HCD Research.” In addition, PlayCollective’s highly regarded, family-friendly PlayLab research and testing facility, located in New York City, is fully equipped with biometric capabilities and offers the ideal venue for collaborative sensory research for HCD’s clients. PlayScience also delivers a national research panel consisting of thousands of families throughout the United States. The company works internationally as well, and in the past 18 months has worked with clients in the US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Poland, China, Japan, Singapore, Mexico, Brazil and the UAE.
HCD Research employs innovative research tools, comprehensive data collection techniques and well-honed interpretive skills to assist to assist product development and marketing professionals in making business decisions. Over the past 10 years, HCD Research has conducted biometric studies in a number of countries including the "big 5" in Europe, Korea, Japan, Australia, Brazil and Argentina. Both traditional/cognitive tools as well as psychophysiological methods have been employed as part of the research design. The results are integrated and recommendations are made as a result of both the conscious and subconscious response to stimuli.
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About PlayCollective, PlayScience and PlayLab:
PlayCollective is a global research, strategy and product group that partners with media, entertainment, education, consumer products and technology companies that engage and positively impact kids, families, millennials, the next generation of consumers and their communities. A consumer-driven, interdisciplinary approach to developing brands, products and sustainable engagement is our calling card.
The company has offices in New York City and Washington DC, and has team members and strategic partners in Canada, the UK, France, Spain and China. PlayCollective excels at understanding global audiences and solving complex challenges that transcend geographic boundaries and cultures. In the past 18 months we have worked with clients in the US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Poland, China, Japan, Singapore, Mexico, Brazil and the UAE to test, develop and launch an array of digital and real-world products and services.
To date, we have been privileged to work with over 100 partners, including Disney, PBS KIDS, Sesame Workshop, Nickelodeon, Gannett, National Geographic, A&E Network, Kidzania, Girl Scouts of the USA, Boy Scouts of America, Hasbro, WB, YouTube, Yahoo!, Samsung, Microsoft, Walmart and Berlitz. PlayCollective also works extensively with innovative start-ups and non-profits, and participates in key industry discussions as advisors, investors, speakers and writers.
PlayScience is the global consumer research arm of the group, and is staffed by a team of highly regarded academics, scientists and moderators with decades of A-level experience. In New York, PlayCollective operates a cutting edge in-house “PlayLab” designed specially for user experience research and product testing with families, children, teens and millennials. The lab includes capabilities for conducting research on all platforms – including a full range of biometric and sensory testing – and is frequently used by a wide range of media, entertainment, consumer product, education and technology companies.