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Tita Toys: thanks for playing with us!

Tita Toys

Tita Toys was the first of the Sanoma Internal Ventures that came out of the Sanoma Accelerator Programme in March 2013.

The goal was to make an educational children’s app for preschoolers (age 2-5) with international potential.

The Lean Start-Up
The Tita Toys team worked the lean way, and discovered a lot on their customer journey: testing customers’ needs, getting out of the building to speak with parents and, of course, the preschoolers themselves.

After getting the clients’ needs in scope, the Tita Toys team built a High MVP to test the product market fit. The team has been testing along the way:

UX testing
Testing which characters the preschoolers liked the most. The favourite character got the lead in marketing materials.

Usability testing
Build, measure, learn in 24 hour sprints. This is how the sprints looked like: testing with children in the morning, making design decisions in the afternoon and coding at night (thanks to happycoders.nl for the nights of hard work!) And after that: iterate!

Media testing
With the High MVP proudly in their hands, Tita Toys could start testing how the world would respond to Tita Toys. Bloggers and journalists got informed about Tita Toy’s launch. Tita Toys got picked up in leading Dutch newspapers (de Telegraaf, AD) and international blogs (Educationalappstore.com, iMummies.com)

Launch in Appstore
After launching the MVP App in Appstore, the magic has happened. Tita Toys got featured! In the Netherlands, several European countries and China. As soon as Tita Toys got featured in China, Tita Toys translated the app into Chinese in only 3 days time.

After being in Appstore for 2 months, the downloads discreased, and Sanoma decided to stop investing in Tita Toys. The Appstore game market is unpredictable and extremely trends-sensitive. The only way to get attention and download conversion is to get highly ranked in the Appstore. This is what happened to Tita Toys, but still the Business Model Canvas was too much out of balance, especially the Revenue Streams (people that like to pay for an app) are too low, and Channels (Appstore) too rigid.