As a mum, it always startles me to see just how early on kids have a definite view of what they do and don't like - not just in terms of food but also clothes and even home furnishings. Try getting a four-year-old to wear clothes you've picked out specially if they've got it in their heads that they're having a pink or blue day and you'll realise just how strong their viewpoints are !
It therefore made great sense to me when I learnt that John Lewis had appointed a new set of product experts to help it appeal to an even wider range of customers: a ‘Little Panel’ of six 6 and 7-year-olds who will help to shape the department store's Children's Rooms homeware range.
The panel, from East London's Maryland Primary School in Stratford, have named new product items, as well as writing product descriptions which can be easily understood by children of the same age - a first for the retailer, and I'd even go so far as to say all retailers.
John Lewis asked the Madhouse Mini-testers if they'd like to get in on the fun and sent over a few products for them to try out and review. Here's what we received :
And here's the Madhouse Mini-testers' verdict :
Animal Fun Tommy The Monkey Soft Toy (£10) - "he's a cuddly toy in the shape of a monkey. He's funny because he's got a big smile and a big tummy. He's nice and snuggly when I take him to bed but he's a bit naughty in the middle of the night !"
Rainbow Flower Colour Changing LED Line Light, Multi, x25 (£30) - "I love these pretty lights because they are so beautiful and make my bedroom look like a fairy princess palace or magic grotto. They're very special because they look like flowers but change colours like a rainbow. I love them because it's like having fairy lights all the time even when it's not Christmas."
Abbey Elephant Plush Shaped Cushion (£15) - "This is a very soft cushion but it could also be a toy. She's very pretty with all her different colours and the dots around her eye. She looks very bright and colourful so she could be a girlfriend for Elmer the Patchwork Elephant !"
Animal Fun Wall Stickers (£15) - "Look, it's the monkey from the toy ! That's so cool ! I wish I could have all my other toys as stickers on the wall - that would be really good. They're really good for covering up all the holes in the paint on the walls where I pulled off my pictures. Now my bedroom looks really pretty and nobody can see the holes !"
Maybe I should take a leaf out of John Lewis's book and give the Madhouse Mini-testers free reign to express their views more often ! What do you think ? They certainly tell it like it is !
for more information about the Little Panel : http://www.johnlewis.com/inspiration-and-advice/family/little-customer-panel
Disclosure : We received the products in order to write an honest review.
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