Product Management Case Study: LittleGuardians

Product Management Case Study: LittleGuardians

In this product management case study, we explore the development of LittleGuardians, a Tunisian babysitting platform. 

There are a lot of women who struggle to find a reliable babysitter or kinder garden for their children, particularly those who work. 

Furthermore, mothers of disabled children are always searching for a reliable and secure place where their children can be left and cared for by professionals.

LittleGuardians is the solution to these problems.
 

Product Planning

  • Product Vision: Empowering parents to find trusted and specialized babysitters for each children's needs.
  • Product Strategy:
    • Target: Parents (target audience): young parents between the age of 30 to 39 and children between the age of 0 and 14 years old (target market) as well as Babysitters: Skilled in dealing with children, as well as specialized babysitters for working with children with special needs.
    • Corporate Goals
      • Increase brand awareness.
      • Position the brand as a safe alternative to competitors.
      • Create a community of both babysitters and parents.
      • Develop the platform (technically) 
    • Value proposition: A tailored search option to find babysitters who meet parents' needs, including special needs.

PESTEL Analysis

PESTEL Analysis Product Management Case Study

1. Political Factors

Changes in government/election cycles: The Tunisian government is unstable, especially with the recent enhancements made by the current president Kai's Said. For instance, on the 15th of September 2022, a new electoral law was adopted. These major and rapid enhancements cause unpredictability and unsteadiness in the entrepreneurial landscape in Tunisia. 

Role of Civil Society, Non-Governmental Organizations, and Protest Groups: The civil society in Tunisia is active, we can establish relationships with them and look for opportunities for collaboration. Groups from civil society have an impact on shaping the narrative of the entire society as well as on policymaking.

Size of government budget: Tunisia is going through a major crisis with debts and a sharp deficit in the overall budget.

Regulations: The platform should be aware of local labor laws and regulations affecting childcare providers in Tunisia. This includes working hours, minimum wage requirements, and necessary qualifications for babysitters.

    2. Economic Factors

    Unemployment rate: it’s considered to be high with a percentage of 15.3% in December 2022. This high rate has two impacts on the platform: first of all, the prices of the babysitters with whom we’ll be working are going to be relatively low however, the number of our customers won’t be that high since the employment rate is low. A high unemployment rate may also create a larger pool of potential babysitters, making it easier for the platform to recruit qualified candidates.

    Inflation Rate:  The Central Bank raised its policy rate by 0.75 basis points in May 2022. This is the highest rate since September 1991. A high inflation rate may affect the demand for the services offered by our platform. Higher inflation might make it necessary for us to keep raising prices to keep up with it, which might result in lower levels of brand loyalty and ongoing efforts to control expenses. Cost-based pricing may not be the best course of action in some circumstances. 

    Workforce productivity: The low productivity rate in Tunisia would not enable us to hire skilled babysitters which can a major issue in our platform especially when it comes to children with special needs.

    Government Spending: The government of the nation is running deficit budgets, as was noted in the political factors. Our platform might potentially increase short-term product sales, but it would also expose us Incident to medium-term currency and depreciation risk.
    The high cost of living with low purchasing power makes it harder for families to afford daycares and nannies which can decrease the demand.

      3. Social Factors

      Educational level: In Tunisian society, the educational level is relatively high which gives out opportunities for better employment. However, in the context of our platform education for nannies and babysitters is almost non-existent; especially when it comes to children with special needs. 

      Changing family dynamics: An increase in dual-income households and working parents in Tunisia can create a higher demand for babysitting services.

      Acceptance of babysitting platforms: The platform's success will depend on the cultural acceptance of using online platforms to find childcare providers. Building trust and ensuring safety measures are in place will be crucial to gain acceptance among Tunisian parents.

      Awareness of special needs: The platform can benefit from increased awareness and acceptance of children with special needs in Tunisia. Educating parents and babysitters about special needs care can help the platform cater to this niche market.

        4. Technological Factors

        Internet penetration: The success of the platform will depend on the level of Internet penetration and accessibility in Tunisia. A higher number of internet users will result in a larger potential customer base.

        Mobile adoption: The growing use of smartphones and mobile applications in Tunisia can help the platform's growth, as parents and babysitters can access the platform through mobile devices.

        Technological infrastructure: The availability of reliable and fast internet connections in Tunisia will impact the platform's user experience and overall success.

          5. Environmental Factors

          Although appearing to live independently of the physical world, digital activity has its own improbable carbon imprint. A 2019 analysis by the Shift Project found that the global digital carbon footprint was responsible for about 3.7 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, which is equivalent to the emissions from the aviation sector. Also, between 2013 and 2020, the energy usage of digital technologies rose by about 70%.

          On a side note, according to a study by OVO Energy in the UK, the country could reduce its carbon emissions by almost 16,433 tons just by having each adult write one fewer email every day. This gives clarity on the type of measures we can take with our platform to contribute to environmental sustainability. We can also support sustainable development by enabling remote work and virtual collaboration and reducing the need for travel and commuting.
          Our platform also aims at reducing transportation emissions by offering an alternative to daycare and childcare.

          • Sustainability: The platform can contribute to environmental sustainability by promoting eco-friendly practices among babysitters, such as using reusable products and minimizing waste when caring for children.

          6. Legal Factors

          Licensing and background checks: The platform should ensure that babysitters meet legal requirements for childcare, such as proper licensing and background checks. This will help maintain trust and safety among users.

          Data protection and privacy laws: The platform must comply with local data protection and privacy laws, ensuring the security of users' personal information.

          Employment laws: As an intermediary between parents and babysitters, the platform should be aware of employment laws and regulations affecting its operations in Tunisia, such as worker classification and tax requirements.
            In conclusion, understanding the PESTEL factors is crucial for the success of a babysitting platform in Tunisia. The platform should focus on building trust and ensuring safety while catering to the specific needs of parents and babysitters, including those with special needs children.

            Porter’s 5 Forces Model


            1. Threats of New Entrants

            Even though the platform may be subject to various regulations and licensing requirements, the barrier to entry is low, as several off-the-shelf products are available for building an online platform. As a result, the threat of new entrants is high.

            2. Bargaining Power of Buyers

            The bargaining power of buyers in this market may be moderate. That is because of the existence of several alternatives, such as nursery schools, relatives and friends, as well as home-based babysitters. 
            On the other hand, if the platform is a critical service for parents who don’t have other alternatives available, they may have less bargaining power as they are more likely to use the platform regardless of the prices or terms offered.

            Who is a disabled person?
            A person is considered disabled according to the provisions of Chapter 2 of Directive Law No. 83 For the year 2005 dated 15 August 2005 related to the promotion and protection of persons with disabilities, 
            every person who has a permanent deficiency in the physical, mental, or sensory abilities and qualifications that he was born with or acquired after birth that limit their ability to perform one or more of the basic daily personal activities.

            The number of disabled people in Tunisia jumped from 151,423 in 2004 to 241,240 in 2014 which is 2.2% of the Tunisian population, meaning that the demand for such services is also growing exponentially. 

            The bargaining power of parents of disabled children is moderate. They have specific needs and preferences, which can limit their options, especially with the lack of such service providers in Tunisia:
            • The Social and Educational Center "Al-Sanad", a public institution that attracts disabled children under the age of 6, with a capacity to accommodate 107 disabled persons, and provides them with services in the areas of care, treatment, rehabilitation, and social integration.
            • Center for the mentally retarded without a supporter, a care institution that embraces 110 persons with disabilities.
            • The Social Welfare Center "Al-Aman" is a public institution that attracts 110 mentally handicapped adults without support who have reached the psychological stability stage and have been referred from a mental and psychiatric hospital.

            3. Bargaining Power of Suppliers

            The bargaining power of suppliers is moderate. 
            • There is a huge number of potential babysitters for non-specific needs children, thus If the platform would not depend on a few key babysitters to provide its services: it has low bargaining power. 
            • Disabled children in providing care for disabled children. 
            The platform would need to work harder to attract and retain qualified babysitters care: The bargaining power of suppliers is high, this is because there are likely to be a limited number of babysitters who specialize since they can dictate the terms of their engagement with the platform.

            4. Threat of Substitutes

            The threat of substitutes is low, as there are few substitutes for an online platform that matches parents with babysitters. However, parents may opt to find babysitters through personal referrals or traditional methods, which can limit the platform's growth.

            5. Rivalry Among Existing Competitors

            The online platform market in Tunisia is highly competitive, with several players offering similar services. However, none of them specializes in offering the service of matching parents of handicapped children with skilled babysitters.

            Competitive Analysis

            Direct Competitors

            • Bambinosit: is a platform that matches babysitters (unemployed women, female students seeking extra pocket money, etc) with parents who need someone to look after their babies. They also offer extra services like school aid, aged people care, and pet setting. The company has over 1500 users and over 3000 babysitters. (Annex 1)
            • Baby Sitter Tunisie: This represents a liaison for parents looking for babysitters and people looking for job opportunities in this field. The website of the company is not functional (babysitter. tn) and its Facebook page has been inactive since March 2020 (Baby Sitter Tunisie | Facebook).
            • Kindergartens and childcare centers: these are preschool centers where kids of a certain age can spend a specific time of the day. It is by far the most classic child car approach and the most trusted among Tunisian people.

            Indirect Competitors

            • Nadhafni: is a Tunisian platform that provides mainly cleaning services. It also offers babysitting services in the 4 main Governorates near the capital city  (Tunis, Ariana, Manouba, and Ben Arous).
            • Great Au Pair: is an online platform that matches young people looking from all over the world to work as au pairs to host families who need services including babysitting.  
            • Tunisie Annonce: This is a Tunisian website people can find job opportunities. This website also includes offers for parents searching for babysitters.
            • Employment office: This is the classic way to find job opportunities in Tunisia through which many parents may hire their babysitter. 

            Customer Context

            Our customers are divided into two categories:
            • Parents and children
            • Babysitters

            1. Parents

            • Age: Young parents (between the age of 30 to 50) tend to use childcare services more than older ones.
            • Location : Tunis (capital), Sfax, Sousse, Midoun, Kairouan, Bizerte, Gab├Ęs
            • Marital status: Single-parent families are less likely to use these services than partnered parents. 
            • Occupation:  A study proved that mothers who work for standard working hours are more likely to use childcare services. 
            • The number of children: the average number of kids in Tunisia is 2. Parents with two children or more have more tendency to use childcare services than those with one child.
            • Most of the questioned parents would like to have a babysitter who is qualified and has experience. 
            Parent user persona
            Parent User Persona

            Children

            37% of Tunisians are aged less than 18 years old.
            Age: 
            Between the ages 0 to 19 (2021):
            • 24% are under 4 years old.
            • 28% are between 5 and 9 years old.
            • 25% are between 9 and 14 years old.
            • 21.5% are between 15 and 19 years old.
            Disabled children:
            • 10% of the pupils are disabled.
            • 20% of the children have autism.

            2. Babysitters

            Most of the persons who worked or would like to work as babysitters are single females and most of them are students or unemployed who would like to work half-time.
            78% of them do not have any qualification that shows their ability to work with kids and most of them do not have experience with disabled children.

            They are paid between 200 and 1500 dinars per month.

            Nannies, our indirect competitors, earn on average 9 dinars per hour.

            Years of experience increase payment
            Babysitter user persona
            Babysitter Persona

            Product Type Choice

            Little Guardians fall into the New product category according to Booz, Allen & Hamilton's classification. 

            First, it is not a completely new product to the market, neither does it use a technology not used before, that is why it is not a “new-to-the-world product”. Second, it is not a line extension since the platform is Little Guardians' first product category. 
            The choice of the new product category is based on several factors. The most important of which are:

            Market Need The demand for convenient and reliable babysitting services is growing and often, parents have trouble finding trustworthy babysitters due to their busy schedules.
            Competitive Advantage Besides the impeccable user experience, Little Guardian offers, it gives parents the ability to choose babysitters based on their specific needs, especially if their child is disabled. Little Guardians give parents a huge filtering choice.
            Feasibility It is technically feasible to develop and maintain an online platform.

            Product Life Cycle

            An anticipated life cycle could be developed based on similar platforms, mainly Care.com, UrbanSitter, and Sittercity (Resources 14-15-16-17)
            For each stage, several strategies could be implemented. 

            1. Development

            • Market research
            • Conceptualization and planning
            • Technical development: Building a user-friendly and secure platform for parents to find, connect, and book babysitters and kindergartens. 
            • Testing and Quality Assurance: The implementation of a background check, review, and rating system.

            2. Introduction

            During the introduction stage, the focus is on building awareness and attracting the initial user base. Key activities and product developments may include:
            • Continuous market research: Conduct in-depth market research to determine the target audience's needs and preferences. Using this information will help shape the platform's features and marketing strategies.
            • Marketing and Promotion: Promoting Little Guardians by targeting working parents of disabled children. Using online advertising, social media campaigns, partnerships with relevant organizations, and word-of-mouth marketing techniques.
            • Partnerships: trusted childcare professionals, organizations, or existing platforms to enhance Little Guardians' credibility and reach.

            3. Growth

            In the growth stage, the platform gains traction acquires a larger user base, and experiences increased demand. Product developments at this stage may include:
            • Additional services: Expanding childcare services to meet a broader range of needs. Providing emergency babysitting, after-school programs, or partnerships with specialized caregivers for disabled children could be part of this strategy.
            • Mobile Application: Development of a mobile application to make it easier for parents to book babysitters.

            4. Maturity

            During the maturity stage, the platform reaches a stable market position with a substantial customer base. 

            • Loyalty Programs: Incentives such as loyalty programs and referral incentives can be implemented to encourage repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals. This can help retain existing customers and attract new ones.
            • Partnerships: collaborating with other parenting-related platforms or services to offer a more comprehensive solution. For example, integrating with family activity planning platforms or partnering with nutritionists or healthcare providers to provide additional resources and services.

            5. Decline

            • Consider Diversification: Exploring diversification opportunities within the childcare industry. The company may launch new services or expand into complementary fields, such as educational resources or parent support.
            • Technological advancements: Staying relevant and competitive by embracing emerging technologies. Enhancing the matching process with advanced safety features such as real-time monitoring and AI-powered recommendations, for instance.

            The Process of Developing New Products

            We used a variety of ideation strategies to generate new service ideas when creating our platform. 

            We started with brainstorming sessions that helped us generate some innovative ideas, to begin with. 

            Second, by disassembling the platform into its component pieces using morphological analysis, we found potential new features by fusing various alternatives. 

            Third, we utilized analogy to draw parallels between random ideas, such as equating looking for reliable babysitters to looking for hidden treasure. 

            Finally, we used forced analysis to thoroughly assess many elements that potentially have an impact on the platform, including technological developments and social problems. 
            These brainstorming processes allowed us to produce original concepts and features that have contributed to the success of our platform.

            Brainstorming

            Below is a sample of the outcome of our collective brainstorming sessions. We used the website: Lucid. app to brainstorm online effectively and build off each other’s ideas. 

            Product-Centered Techniques

            Attribute Analysis:  Morphological Analysis Matrix

            Service/Feature Option 1 Option 2 Option 3 Option 4
            Scheduling Calendar-based Time slot-based Availability-based Custom scheduling
            Safety Background checks Safety ratings ID verification Insurance
            Payment Credit card In-app wallet Bank transfer Cash
            Communication In-app messaging Video chat Phone call Text message
            Babysitter search Filter by location Filter by availability Filter by experience Filter by rating
            Parent search Filter by location Filter by babysitter availability Filter by price range Filter by preferred qualifications
            Reviews and rating Star ratings Verified reviews Anonymous reviews Photo reviews

            Analogy Thinking
            To get a clearer vision of the possible services we can incorporate into our platform we have thought about two possible analogies:

            Match-making services (like dating apps): A babysitting platform is like a matchmaking service for parents and babysitters. 
            Just as a matchmaking service helps people find compatible partners based on their preferences, a babysitting platform helps parents find babysitters who meet their specific needs and preferences.

            Just as a matchmaking service may use algorithms and personalization to suggest compatible matches, a babysitting platform may use filters and search options to suggest suitable babysitters. 

            And just as a matchmaking service may provide safety measures to protect its users, a babysitting platform may provide safety features such as background checks and ratings to ensure the safety of children and peace of mind for parents.

            Travel booking website: A babysitting platform is like a travel booking website for parents. Just as a travel booking website helps travelers find the best flights, hotels, and activities for their trip, a babysitting platform helps parents find the best babysitters for their needs. 
             
            It offers a range of babysitters with different experience levels and rates and provides reviews and ratings from other parents to help parents make informed decisions about their babysitter choices.

            Forced Analysis

            Problem 1: Difficulty in finding suitable babysitters on a babysitting platform
            Forced analogy: Finding suitable babysitters on a babysitting platform is like searching for buried treasure.
            Explanation: Just as searching for buried treasure requires a specific set of skills and tools, finding suitable babysitters on a babysitting platform requires specific filters and search options. To address this problem, we could use similar techniques to those used in a treasure hunt, such as maps, compasses, and metal detectors to locate the hidden treasure.
            Potential solutions inspired by forced analogy:
            1. Creating a detailed map: This could involve creating a map of all the babysitters available on the platform, along with their skills, availability, and rates, to help parents navigate the available options.
            2. Using a compass: This could involve using filters to narrow down the search to specific criteria, such as location, availability, experience level, or special skills, to help parents find suitable babysitters.
            3. Using a metal detector: This could involve using a rating and review system to identify highly rated and recommended babysitters or using an algorithm to match parents with the most suitable babysitters based on their preferences and past experiences.
            Problem 2: Lack of trust between parents and babysitters on a babysitting platform.

            Forced analogy: Building trust between parents and babysitters on a babysitting platform is like building trust between two countries.

            Explanation: Just as building trust between two countries requires transparency, open communication, and mutual respect, building trust between parents and babysitters on a babysitting platform requires similar qualities. To address this problem, we could use similar techniques to those used in building trust between nations, such as diplomacy, cultural exchange, and international agreements.

            Potential solutions inspired by forced analogy:
            1. Diplomacy: This could involve creating a code of conduct for both parents and babysitters to follow, establishing clear expectations, and setting up channels for conflict resolution to build trust and mutual understanding.
            2. Cultural exchange: This could involve providing training for babysitters on cultural differences, child development, and safety guidelines to build trust and confidence among parents.
            3. International agreements: This could involve partnering with trusted organizations, such as reputable childcare agencies or educational institutions, to certify babysitters and ensure their qualifications, thereby building trust among parents.
            Overall, the ideation techniques we used to develop our babysitting platform allowed us to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to common problems in the childcare industry. 

            By employing methods such as morphological analysis, analogy thinking, and forced analysis, we were able to generate a range of innovative features and services that will help set our platform apart from the competition.
             
            However, for a long time, we were not able to settle on just one final version. That being noted, we made numerous modifications along the way.

            The first one was adding to our mission the care of kids with special needs. This detail will require us to entitle a strong set of skills regarding our contractual babysitters.

            The second modification was added after conducting some surveys to better understand our market needs and wants, which were safety requirements including rating systems, tracking technology, and ID checks.

            The Testing Phase

            It is of great importance to test the efficiency and the ability of our platform to check all the boxes our prospective customers may need, and for that purpose, we relied on our testing different techniques.

            The testing was done under the actual name of the Service “Little Guardians”, as we decided that since the platform is still in the development phase, the brand name has little effect on the perception and reaction of our prospects. 

            We presented our platform through: 
            • Black-and-White Line Drawing
            Through this method, we presented an alpha version of our platform and allowed our prospects to use it in a trial mode. We kept note of their feedback and all the possible changes they suggested regarding the user experience and the additional options or features they might need.

            Furthermore, to have an accurate overview of the prospects' general idea of the service we are providing, we used both:
            • Qualitative Techniques
            By gathering up prospects from the circle of people we know (potential parents and potential babysitters) and we have done focus groups where we had a deep understanding of their specific needs and expectations from the service and hence conclude what changes and improvements we can do to ensure the best possible customer experience.

            • Quantitative Technique
            For this method, we prepared a survey and shared it on social media, mainly on Facebook groups where we can find the maximum number of parents in need of this service or potential babysitters.
            And based on the results we received we could make additional improvements to our platform.

            The Launching Strategy

            1. Marketing Mix

            • Product: a platform matching babysitters with parents
            • Price: Each babysitter will give a commission of 20% from their payments to the platform.
            • Place: The platform will first be launched in Tunis then we will expand gradually to Sfax, Sousse, and the rest of the country.
            • Promotion: our marketing objectives are
              • Building brand awareness: As a new platform building brand awareness is highly important to attract customers.
              • Building trust with our potential customers
              • Increasing the conversion rate of babysitters per quarter
            Our communication objectives are focusing on reaching our target market, parents and babysitters, with an image that inspires expertise, trustworthiness, and uniqueness. we will focus on highlighting the benefits and unique selling propositions of our services and building trust with our future customers.
            We will focus on promoting our brand both online and offline:

            Offline: 
            • Partnerships 
            • Word of mouth
            • Radios
            • TV commercials
            • Brochures and leaflets
            • Events and sponsorship: kids-related events
            Online:
            • Website
            • Mobile app
            • Social Media: Facebook and Instagram, because Tunisians are using more these two platforms than the others.
            • Influencers: we will choose those who have kids, both mothers and fathers, who are part of our target market.
            Our digital marketing objectives are 2:
            • We will focus on increasing traffic and engagement of our website through content marketing, SEO, and paid search.
            • Increasing our social media traffic through social media ads and creating partnerships with influencers who are parents.

            2. The Launch Timing

            Since the beginning of each scholar year marks the pick of the demand for childcare services, the platform will be launched at the beginning of the scholar year 2023/2024.

            3. Market Rollout

            Since the limited resources and a relatively competitive market, we decided to rely on organic development and follow a rollout strategy. Our company will focus on creating partnerships with other well-known nurseries to get access to well-trained babysitters, and houses for disabled children.


            Authorship: 
            As part of the Product Management course at Tunis Business School (TBS), this project was conducted by: Razane Chebil, Ons Hamdene, Sahar Dronga, and Yasmine Jedidi. All collaborators granted The Marketing Recipe the copyright of the material above.

            Annex:
            Market research surveys:
            2. Parent's market research
            3. Babysitters market research
            4. Features Survey

            Yasmine Jedidi

            If I'm not writing, I'm drinking tea! Apart from being an introverted tea lover, I am also an SEO content writer✍️, a freelancer, and a BBA student. It is my humble intention to use this blog to share my knowledge and experience in the field of marketing and SEO. Ever since I started The Marketing Recipe, it has turned into my secret addiction. Without skipping a beat, I continually think of ways to enhance your knowledge and benefit you. Your feedback on our content is greatly appreciated, so don't be shy, drop a comment and I'll make sure to answer you.

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