“What a mother wants, what a baby needs”

Company History
Founded in 1967 by aeronautical engineer Owen Maclaren, Maclaren is a premium lifestyle parenting brand providing a full range of innovative products that are safe, dependable and stylish for parents and children. Families have relied on the company’s iconic umbrella stroller for over 40 years.


The Challenge
In the last decade there has been a shift in the United States baby and youth durables markets with birthrates slowing since 2007, and the category settling from strong mid-decade growth. Maclaren, inventor of the 3-D, umbrella-fold buggy, seeks growth in the mass market space without competing against its core line of premium strollers. To explore the opportunity of increasing Maclaren’s market share by unit, Parsons and Columbia Business School (CBS) embarked on a study of the stroller market. Who is the target audience for each category of stroller? Where and how do they shop? How are their purchases influenced? Should Maclaren enter a new segment of strollers at all? Should a new brand be introduced, as fashion brands have tried? There were many questions facing the Parsons and CBS team.


“Introducing: Chu Chu”
Chu Chu is a standalone brand that provides premium design and engineering to all families. The second brand is for caring and value-oriented parents: it provides the guarantee of safety parents need while maintaining the playful essence of a family on the move. The Parsons and CBS team, after receiving feedback from demanding parents, recognized the need for a stroller with exceptional functionality and modularity. The team wanted to give the customer the ability to use a single frame, while allowing the stroller to grow with the child through interchangeable seats and components. With one frame, the parent can increase or decrease the seat size by purchasing simple add-ons, keeping the Chu Chu stroller affordable to growing families. Unique point-of-sale marketing strategies were developed for the brand, as well as new approaches to sourcing materials and packaging in order to further Maclaren’s commitment to strong and sustainable products. The Chu Chu concept is designed around durable, top-of-the-line safety features that have built Maclaren’s legacy of safety and ingenuity.


The Team
Giorgia Carastro, Columbia Business School MBA
Derrick Chan, Columbia Business School MBA
Veronica Vargas Gill, Columbia Business School MBA
Elfrun Von Koeller, Columbia Business School MBA
Allison Davidson, Parsons School of Design, Design and Management
Kevin Helm, Parsons School of Design, Product Design
Molly Mccorkle, Parsons School of Design, Interior Design
Christine Sheu, Parsons School of Design, Product Design