Design for the new Petnership
Design Research. Product Innovation. User testing.

Year 2019
Tools and methods: Research & Insights, Ideation workshop, Focus group testing
Client: Samsung
Field Location: Shanghai Team: Chum Wong, Kiddy Cui, Charlotte Meng, Su Zhang, Xiao Nan


By announcement of design for the Age of Experience, Samsung Design Center has been working on developing home products to refresh the idea of home experiences. The brand has commissioned Touch to look into the concept of ‘Petnership’ in young Chinese families, with the intent of creating new product unification of AI, IoT, and 5G technologies.

In China, pet population has been kept growing in the past 6 years. Statics show that by the end of 2018 dog and cat population has arrived 180 million with an estimated market retail value over 214 billion yuan by 2020.


Pets are gradually being seen and treated as a part of the family. Young people design their home setting and purchase home appliances while taking consideration of their pet’s needs. How to keep pets accompany is an emerging pressure of pet owners while they are thinking to become pet owners.

The aim was torevealnew pet people relationship, inspired by which to create pet products and market opportunities. Based on the findings, Touch Innovation would lead Samsung in-house design team to go through rounds of ideation workshop. During the process, we would iterate product directions and features based on consumer feedback, refining proposition by focus group testing.

Research process

We discovered that to the new pet owner generation, bonding is on top of all their concerns of pet owning. Pet is a family member. Their experiences and feelings are getting respected by pet owners. How could we encourage interaction between pet and their owner? How could we empower pet owners to be able to collect their pet’s feelings and behaviors in order to enhance the bonding?

The project was composed with multiple methods in a series of phases. Starting with desktop research we find out that raising pets and pet product revolution in Asia has quite different trajectory of culture from the market of US, Europe, Asia. Pets in Chinese family are very much likely been treated like a baby or a child, especially by those Dingke families. Pet product categories and pet public service are heavily influenced by the baby product and care service such as pet bath clubs. In order to further note down the key value and mechanism of pet ownership, Touch also reached out to a list of pet professionals including breeders, vet owners, leading pet brand owners, pet salonists and etc.

The Samsung designers were invited to participant in the design ethnographies while Touch’s ethnographers were trusted to lead the conversations. The goal of the ethnography was to dive deep into the lifestyle, habits which articulated the attitudes and value system behind pet ownership behaviors. Samples were chosen carefully to present a variety of behavior and value patterns. Each ethnography was conducted at selective occasions to present the best social implication.

The research findings enable the Samsung Design Center to come up with product concepts and after rounds of testing being presented at the global design conference.