Megan Reilly | Experience Design & Strategy
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Rascal & Co.

Brand Strategy, Product Innovation, Service Design, Visual Design & Branding

INDEPENDENT STUDY  |  8 WEEKS

PRODUCT INNOVATION, BRAND STRATEGY, SERVICE DESIGN, PRODUCT DESIGN and UX/UI DESIGN

 
 
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Creating more wags and less waste through a new, circular model for dog toys

 

INDEPENDENT STUDY  |  8 WEEKS

RESEARCH, BRAND/ INNOVATION STRATEGY, VISUAL DESIGN & BRAND IDENTITY, SERVICE DESIGN, PRODUCT DESIGN

 
 

 
 

My Role

I independently conducted research, developed the strategy, and sketched the business model and service concept. I created the brand’s logo and visual identity system and designed all touchpoints from packaging to UX/UI for web.

 
 

Tools Used

Sketch, InVision, Photoshop, Illustrator, AfterEffects, Keynote, Physical Prototyping

 

 
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The pet industry’s first-ever closed-loop service.

 
 

Problem

Over 180 million dog toys will end up in a landfill this year.

Today’s “dog parents” revel in spoiling their pups with the very best of everything– from toys to birthday treats to human-grade food– but their expectations fall short when even “indestructible” toys are shredded within minutes, causing undue waste for the planet and deep frustration for consumers.

 
 
 
 
 

“My dog will shred any toy within minutes. It’s frustrating to spend money on things that I know won’t last. I’ve tried getting him the ‘unbreakable’ toys but the rascal manages to destroy those too.”

- Daniel, Boxer Owner

 
 
 

Opportunity

What if we could have everything we want for our dogs without creating so much damage, to both our wallets and the environment?

Toys help dogs stay healthy and happy, but acquiring them can become an expensive, frustrating, and wasteful process. No brand has taken the initiative to deliver key consumer benefits while also solving for an inevitability: destruction.

 
 
 
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A closed-loop dog supply brand

Rascal & Co. offers a zero-waste subscription service centered around the dog owner’s need for better value in the toys they purchase.

By disrupting the ineffective cycle of “buy, destroy, toss,” Rascal is committed to creating value for customers, improving the planet, and restoring the joy of play.

Solution

 
 
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Subscription Offering

The Rascal Pack

Rascal & Co.’s core product offering, the Rascal Pack, is shipped to subscribers with toys customized to the specific habits and preferences of each dog.

 
 
 
Rascal & Co. delivers high-quality dog toys from organic, recycled materials at a fair value. Instead of being designed to be destroyed, Rascal’s toys are designed to be renewed again and again.

Rascal & Co. delivers high-quality dog toys from organic, recycled materials at a fair value. Instead of being designed to be destroyed, Rascal’s toys are designed to be renewed again and again.

In an effort to contradict the wasteful packaging trends in today’s direct-to-consumer market, each Rascal Pack is made of post-consumer recycled dog food bags and designed for re-use.

In an effort to contradict the wasteful packaging trends in today’s direct-to-consumer market, each Rascal Pack is made of post-consumer recycled dog food bags and designed for re-use.

 
 
 

How It Works

Disrupting the way we buy dog toys

 
 

By moving customers to an ongoing subscription model rather than a one-off purchasing pattern, Rascal eliminates the inconvenience of having to return to the pet store over and over again for new toys.

 
 
 
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The Rascal Experience

A frustration-free method for dog owners to keep playtime fresh

 
 
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01. JOINING THE PACK

To get started, users input their dog’s toy habits and preferences and select a frequency for receiving fresh toys. 80% of all dog owners surveyed purchase new toys on either a one, two, or three month basis.

 
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02. RECEIVE

Users receive three toys per shipment. Importantly, they’re instructed to hang on to the bag to fill it up with any toys (or toy parts) as they become destroyed.

 
 
 
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03. WRECK

Rascal takes the guilt out of toys being wrecked right after they’re purchased– since they’ll be used to make new toys and earn the shopper Impact Points.

 
 
 
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04. RETURN

The service includes a simple, easy process for returning damaged toys in the original packaging so that they can be remanufactured into new toys.

In the return process, users provide feedback on what worked and what didn’t (many dog owners repurchase toys, thus the option to “send again”).

 
 
 
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05. RENEW

Once returned, materials are deconstructed, sorted, decontaminated, and remade into new toys.

 
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06. REWARD (& REPEAT)


Each time a subscriber sends back toys, they earn Impact Points that equate to landfill waste, material, and energy savings in the remanufacturing process. Points can be used toward discounts on future shipments.

 
 
 
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Pet parents increasingly look for products that align with their own personal preferences and beliefs.
— Rebecca Cullen, Household Care Analyst, “Pet Supplies,” Mintel 2018
 
 
 

Who This Serves

The eco-conscious millennial pet parent

They see their dog as their “fur child” and are highly engaged in shopping for them. They care more than their parents’ generation about buying from companies they believe have environmentally sustainable practices– and are willing to dish out extra in support.

For this audience, it's about giving their pets the best quality in everything. Although they aspire to always do what’s best for the planet, they’re most likely to adhere to eco-conscious behaviors when it’s convenient.

 
 
 
 

Core Values

Doing what’s best for people, pets, and planet

Rascal & Co. envisions a better world for dogs and humans to live and play. As such, the approach toward product and service design is simple: make things better for people, pets, and the planet. 

 
 
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PEOPLE-CENTERED SERVICE

Provide a customer-centric service that creates longterm value and added convenience in each dog owner’s life.

 
 
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PET-CENTERED PRODUCTS

Build high-quality toys to foster pet health, maximize the joy of play, and satisfy each dog’s specific preferences & personality.

 
 
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PLANET-CENTERED PROCESSES

Cause no unnecessary damage to the planet through a closed-loop system powered by renewable energy, and continue to innovate to make the planet a better place.

 
 

Making the planet a better place for dogs & humans to live and play.

 
 

Design Process

PERSONAS & USER JOURNEY

 
 
 
 

RESEARCH

Key themes and insights emerged from primary research, which included ethnographic interviews and surveys, and secondary research, which focused on consumer and market trends. I also looked at a lot of dog toy collections.

 
 
 

TOY DESIGN VISION

For the purpose of this project, "toys” refers to any man-made, manufactured dog toy (i.e. synthetic bones, plush toys, rope toys, etc.). This definition excludes all-natural toys (like antlers) or anything can be ingested (like raw hide or Bully sticks).

The toys represented throughout this project are not of original design– however, I created design guidelines and key considerations for this work to be undertaken in the future in collaboration with others.

 
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LEARN MORE

Check out my articles on Medium to learn about the project’s backstory and my exploration of circular design methodology.

Spoiler alert: My 5 year-old Lab, Berkeley, was the inspiration for this project (and you might recognize him from the logo). I nicknamed him “the shredder” as a puppy for reasons you can probably now guess.

 
 
 
 
 

BRAND IDENTITY

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