Product Development from a Feline Perspective
Case Study: Fluffy Mask Development
In this case study, we'll take a look at how our cat employees helped us develop our Fluffy Mask product.
Product Development Process
- Marking the position of the skeleton: Chakkun, one of our cat employees, helped us mark the position of the skeleton on the mask. This helped us ensure that the mask would fit comfortably on a cat's face.
- Checking for potential hazards: Pon-chan, another of our cat employees, helped us realize that the corners of the mask could be dangerous if they hit a cat's eyes. We made adjustments to the design to prevent this from happening.
- Testing for breathability: We initially thought about using mesh to make the mask more breathable, but we ultimately decided against it because we worried that a cat's nails might get caught in the mesh if they struggled against the mask.
- Adjusting the shape: To prevent the corners of the mask from touching a cat's eyes, we decided on a circular shape for the mask. This also helped to ensure that the mask would allow for proper breathing and for the tongue to stick out.
- Finalizing the design: After testing and adjusting the design with our cat employees, we were confident that our Fluffy Mask would be comfortable and safe for cats to wear.
Putting Ourselves in Their Paws
At Nekozuki, we constantly ask ourselves what it's like to be a cat. This is why we use our "cat employees" to experience our products and give us their feedback.
We also practice the feline perspective by creating enlarged versions of our products for human use. This allows us to check for comfort and usability from the perspective of a cat.
One example of this is our feather collars. We designed them to be soft and lightweight, to reduce stress on the cat's body.
Our cat employees have also tested our nail grinding and elevated feeding products, and have found them to be comfortable and easy to use.
Using the Food Bowl Stand was less stressful on the body.
We believe that by constantly considering the perspective of our feline friends, we are able to create products that truly improve their lives.
Understanding Cats' Needs: Our Product Development Approach
Feline habits inspire the products we develop.
Addressing Nail Clipping Challenges
Problem: Cats dislike having their nails trimmed and can become agitated.
Habit: Cats are known to become more docile when blindfolded.
Solution: We created the Fluffy Mask which utilizes this habit by incorporating a blindfold design to make nail clipping a more comfortable experience for cats.
Making Carriers More Inviting
Problem: Cats are resistant to entering carrier bags.
Habit: Cats are drawn to paper bags and boxes.
Solution: We developed the Nekozukina Tote which is designed to mimic the shape of a paper bag, making it more appealing for cats to enter.
Improving Eating Experience
Problem: Cats leave food uneaten or spill it.
Habit: Cats use their tongues to push food out of bowls.
Solution: Our Munch Munch Food Bowl is designed to prevent food from spreading to the edges and spilling by accommodating the food in the center of the bowl, making it easier for cats to eat using their natural habits.
Meet Our Cat Employees!
At Nekozuki, we believe in the importance of collaborating with our feline colleagues to develop and improve products that meet the needs of cats. We're proud to introduce you to some of our cat employees who have made a significant impact on our business.
Our first cat employee, Mr. Naruto, joined our family in 1997 through a foster care program. He is a laid-back and calm boy who helped us start our journey in developing cat products. He was always there to cheer us up and his presence was a constant source of inspiration.
Second photo: Mr. Naruto is surprised to see his own image in the mirror for the first time.
Born in 2005, Pon-chan is a playful and athletic girl who loves to run and jump. She is known for her striking two-tone paw prints, charming eyes, and her ability to wake up her owners every morning with her cute cat paws.
Born in 2005,Chakkun is a sweet and cuddly boy from Iwate, Japan, with a curious and energetic personality. He's always up for an adventure and we've learned a lot from him during product development testing.
Kinako-chan is a friendly and curious cat, also from Iwate, who loves to be cuddled. She joined us from the animal welfare organization "Zoo Inochi no Aiwaite" in 2022.
An-chan is also a new member of our team, joining us from the animal welfare organization "Zoo Inochi no Aiwaite" in 2022. She's more reserved and takes time to warm up to new people and situations, but once she's comfortable, she's a pampered little girl.
We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to all our cat employees for their contributions and for being a constant source of inspiration. We're thankful for their companionship and the valuable insights they've provided in helping us create products that make cats happy and healthy.
Creating Safe, Reliable, and Durable Products for Cats
We understand that cats are creatures of habit and may take some time to adjust to new items. That's why we prioritize the use of materials that are long-lasting for our feline friends.
Our team works closely with our cat employees to design products that take into account their natural instincts and habits, without causing any unnecessary stress. In terms of safety, we strive to use materials found in nature as much as possible. If non-natural materials are necessary, we ensure that they are non-toxic and safe for cats to use.