John was an amateur magician, doing the circuit of small clubs and home parties in the North of England. On a show in one such house party, he met Mary, an art graduate and, after a wonderful courtship, they eventually married. Mary was a teacher by profession but always wanted to start her own business. John was making a living of sorts but both realised that they were not earning enough to start a family and have a comfortable life. So they both sat down one evening and decided to combine their talents and form their own business.
John had an idea. He decided to design and market a box of magic tricks for children. But Mary suggested that, as there were a number of these on the market, a box of tricks was not enough; they needed a ‘persona’ so that the child who bought the box could imagine that they had become the actual magician performing the tricks. So Mary, with her designer’s mind, decided to set about designing a set of magician’s clothes to go with the box, a complete magic kit. Although the box and the clothes would sell separately, she realised that ‘cross-selling’ would become a lucrative business with the children. Parents could ‘build up’ the magician’s kit piece by piece, the box of tricks, say for the child’s birthday, and then the magician’s clothes for another landmark event.
John set about making up the box of tricks and instructions and Mary designed the clothes. She found a willing group of home parents who were only too delighted to make a bit of extra money by sewing up the clothes. Both John and Mary provided the artwork for the box of tricks and found an online company which would make up the box for a relatively small price. Soon the couple were ready to launch the concept and make it into a commercial reality. They had no idea what demand for the products may be, or what price to charge. They decided to take a ‘cost plus’ approach to pricing. Now all that remained was the name of the magician and after a lot of soul-searching they decided on the name ‘Agotar’, a suitably mysterious and imposing name. They made up a few boxes and clothes and being rather naïve on how to market the concept and the kits, they persuaded a toy shop in their local market to stock a few kits. To their surprise, the kits sold out in a few short weeks and the toy shop was asking for a lot more stock. When asked who bought the kits, the toy shop owner said it was mainly parents but only after being ‘pestered’ by their child. John and Mary were buzzing with excitement. What to do next?
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