The client is a major supplier of animal feed stuffs and has been an established manufacturer of foods for small animals and birds for over 200 years. The client already had several ranges of garden bird feeders but did not have an established market in the budget sector.
The brief was to research the market for budget seed and nut garden bird feeders and propose innovations to secure a share of this high volume but low margin market. The client has extensive retail presence in a wide variety of sectors, including independent pet shops, national retail chains, hardware/DIY stores, garden centres and pet wholesalers.
The client made its own experts on bird behaviour and feed stuffs available and conducted a customer focus group to discuss their own and competitors products. The first stage was an in depth review of the information available and lead several brainstorming and focus sessions.
Each new concept was budget costed as part of its assessment. The final concept featured fold down perches, snap fit assembly for easy build and cleaning, bayonet attachment of the lid to the body and body to base so the user could build a multi-port column feeder consisting of several different feeders connected together. A wall mounting bracket that allowed feeders to be mounted above and below it was also developed.
The design was developed from sketches into 3D CAD and field tested as rapid proptotypes. Tha parts were manufactured from CAD data and control drawings.