VTech is the global leader in electronic learning products from infancy through toddler and preschool. Since its establishment in 1976, VTech has been the pioneer in the electronic learning toy category.
Our mission is to design, manufacture and supply innovative and high-quality products in a manner that minimizes any impact on the environment, while creating sustainable value for our stakeholders and the community.
Our culture comes largely from the great group of employees we have at VTech. They're friendly, yet professional. We embrace and value all of our employees and strive to foster a positive, collaborative work environment.
VTech believes that each employee makes a significant contribution to our success. That contribution should not be limited by the assigned responsibilities. Therefore, this position description is designed to outline primary duties; qualification and job scope, but not limit the incumbent or the organization to only the work identified. It is our expectation that each employee will offer his/her services wherever and whenever necessary to ensure the success of our endeavors.
The Sr. Director, Product Development will lead develop our US Product Development team and collaborate with our Hong Kong team in the development and execution of our product development strategy and processes for all categories of VTENA business. These activities include setting the short- and long-term US strategy, leading the planning cycle, driving roll-out of new products, and providing strategic direction that allows for VTech's strategic growth.
RESPONSIBILITIES (ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS):
- Provide overall direction and guidance on product development initiatives for all products with US teams, global partners, and Hong Kong development teams.
- Oversee short-, medium- and long-term strategic planning and development of product plans to meet growth and profitability targets. Manage product portfolio through all phases of lifecycle: launch through end-of-life.
- Drive product development efforts ensuring all new product introductions are aligned with the overall brand strategy.
- Assure that VTech products are being rigorously evaluated to assure sensitivity to and appropriateness of ethnic and lifestyle diversity during the development phase and in advance of release.
- Differentiate between features and values in products, quantitatively assessing and prioritizing products to meet targeted cost.
- Drive the development and delivery of key strategic presentations to both US and HK Management at key intervals throughout the year.
- Work closely with Marketing, Sales and Leadership teams to align the communication of key messaging for product and brand strategies through public relations, advertising, trade shows, sales materials, websites, and media.
- Work closely with Sales on establishing forecasts, exclusives, key retailer expectations, and communicate any specifics that would impact Product Development.
- Partner with Sales and Category Management to identify new aisles and opportunities to expand the business.
- Work closely with Marketing to ensure support of product lines and objectives are met on packaging, key messaging, digital, website, naming, positioning and inclusion.
- Provide requirements and inputs to Hong Kong leading to a long-term roadmap for the product categories, including those that we currently do not participate in.
- Review necessary marketing assets for product support, which include product marketing briefs, gift boxes, advertising copies, POP Displays, and artwork for conventional and digital media.
- Monitor retailer, dotcom and other relevant websites for reviews and related postings on launched products, providing feedback and raising issues to Hong Kong.
- Manage and mentor a team of direct reports that are responsible for product road map/definition, focusing on US content and educational expertise, industry analysis and ensuring brand integrity.
- Incorporate consumer focus groups insights, industry data and marketplace trends into the integration of new product strategies. Develop and share information on trends, best-selling products from competitors, underserved child development/learning needs. Communicate Product Development requirements, direction, and concepts to Hong Kong teams.
- Provide requirements and inputs, from the US Product Development team or our Education Advisors, on education and development contents for inclusion in the product.
- Manage successful relationships, with internal departments and external partners (colleagues overseas, media, agencies, etc.).
- Provide ongoing guidance and support to staff to ensure workload is balanced across the Product Development department.
- Develop and manage the annual budget for the Product Development department.
- Attend annual Marketing and Sales events, including but not limited to New York Toy Fair and Fall Previews. With those team, lead the development, preparation, and delivery of product presentation and demos.
- Travel to LeapFrog Office in Emeryville, CA at least four times per year to collaborate with the team regarding new concepts/items and to meet with direct reports.
- Be available to travel to Hong Kong at least four times per year (outside of pandemic related events) to participate in global product development meetings.
- Communicate effectively with co-workers, management, clients, and others in a courteous, collaborative, and professional manner.
- Exercise sound business judgment.
- Conform and abide by all regulations, policies, work procedures and instructions.
- Other duties as needed or required.
- Skilled in the use of market data and trend analysis and applying that information to create and communicate product strategy and direction.
- Strong ability to lead cross-functional teams and manage a major product line or sub-brands
- Can manage product and organizational complexity and ambiguity.
- Deep understanding of key product features and benefits to help drive overall brand strategies.
- Experienced in developing and managing budgets and product costs. Able to adjust quickly based on changing markets.
- Has excellent communication skills including written, verbal and presentation skills across all levels of the organization, as well as with external partners.
- Able to work in a fast-paced, ever-changing, deadline-driven environment.
- Has a positive, "can-do" attitude with strong problem-solving skills.
- A track record in mentoring and developing direct reports and extended team.
- 10 years of progressively responsible experience in Product Development as it relates to the development of consumer product goods, preferably in toys and/or children's educational products, with an emphasis on Infant/Preschool learning
- Bachelor's degree in Business, Marketing, Liberal Arts or a related field; or any combination of experience and education that provides the necessary skills, knowledge and ability to perform essential functions of this role.
- Master's degree is desirable
- Experience collaborating with an international headquarters is a plus
The individual in this position must possess the following job competencies:
- Rules of Engagement: Actively demonstrates behaviors established in the Rules of Engagement to 1) Set Common Goals and Clearly Define Priorities, 2) Make Timely and Appropriate Decisions, 3) Communicate Openly, 4) Challenge Issues Constructively, 5) Be Accountable, and 6) Be a Team Player.
- Dependability: Meets commitments, works independently, accepts accountability, handles change, sets personal standards, stays focused under pressure, meets attendance/punctuality requirements.
- Product Knowledge: Knows and explains product features/benefits, understands/sells the full product line, understands customer's business operations and needs, understands/responds to the competition, applies market knowledge.
- Results Focused: Targets and achieves results, sets challenging goals, prioritizes tasks, overcomes obstacles, accepts accountability, sets team standards and responsibilities, provides leadership/motivation.
- Creativity/Innovation: Generates new ideas, challenges the status quo, takes risks, supports change, encourages innovation, solves problems creatively.
- Budget/Cost Control: Plans for and uses resources efficiently, always looks for ways to reduce costs, creates accurate and realistic budgets, tracks and adjusts budgets, contributes to budget planning.
- Decision Making/Judgement: Recognizes problems and responds, systematically gathers information, sorts through complex issues, seeks input from others, addresses root cause of issues, makes timely decisions, can make difficult decisions, uses consensus when possible, communicates decisions to others.
- Customer Focus: Builds customer confidence, is committed to increasing customer satisfaction, sets achievable customer expectations, assumes responsibility for solving customer problems, ensures commitments to customers are met, solicits opinions and ideas from customers, responds to internal customers.
- Planning: Develops realistic plans, sets goals, aligns plans with company goals, plans for and manages resources, creates contingency plans, coordinates/cooperates with others.
- Managing Performance: Applies clear/consistent performance standards, handles performance problems decisively and objectively, is direct but tactful, provides guidance and assistance to improve performance.
This position manages the following positions:
- Director, Brand Strategy
- Director, Consumer Insights
- Director, Product Development & Brand
Duties are primarily performed in an office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, and filing cabinets.
MENTAL AND PHYSICAL DEMANDS
Mental activities required by this job include constant decision making, discretion, problem analysis and resolution, independent judgment, and independent action. The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.
The employee must read, speak, write, and understand the English language. The employee frequently is required to stand, walk, and use their hands to handle and grasp, reach with hands and arms. The employee is occasionally required to sit, climb, or balance, and stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl.
The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds 50 pounds if travel. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus with or without the use of prescription eyeglasses.
POSITION TYPE/EXPECTED HOURS OF WORK
This is a full-time position, 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday. Core hours will be set between employee and manager and will be based on business needs. Occasional evening and weekend work may be required as job duties demand.
Travel is primarily local during the business day, although out-of-the-area and overnight travel may be expected 25% of the time.
This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. The responsibilities and expectations outlined in this position description are not to be construed as exclusive or all-inclusive. Duties and responsibilities may be added, deleted, or changed at any time at the discretion of management, formally or informally, with or without notice.