Almost 150 primary schools,including 52 in England,are now using a unique product from a Belfastprinting company to help parents of young children manage and safeguard cash for dinners and other items.
Moneypouch, an eye-catching and strongly branded envelope, has been developed by TH Jordan Commercial Printers with help from Invest Northern Ireland’s Design Development Programme (DDP).
“Moneypouch is the development of a business that we’ve built up over many years in providing collection envelopes to churches throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland,” says Jim Parkhill, TH Jordan’s managing director. We were researching new business opportunities and identified a market demand for a product that would make it possible for parents and primary schools to manage money more effectively and,of course, safely.
“Following an initial approach from a teacher who was using our church envelopes and suggested something similar for use in school, we carried out market research and began to develop the new product. We found that young children were carrying cash to school in everything from empty plastic bread bags to sweet wrappers. Often teachers, who are understandably reluctant to handle money, had to search for loose cash in a pupil’s school bag,” he adds.
Mr Parkhill said the research showed that parents would welcome an envelope to help them organise cash on a weekly basis.
“We recognised that it also had to be a ‘fun’ item for the youngsters; something colourful with which they could identify and find easy to use. So, we decided to seek help from Invest NI’s Design Group. Staff there were tremendously supportive and introduced us to Positive Design Consultants under the Design Development Programme. Working with Positive introduced new thinking to our strategy, by developing a strong,distinctive yet youthful and vibrant brand identity that has impact and instant recognition.
“It’s been a tremendous success with parents, pupils and teachers. Another important benefit of Moneypouch is that it gives youngsters experience in handling money,” adds Mr Parkhill.
Alastair Eves, director of Invest NI’s Design Group, says: “Moneypouch is a simple but very effective example of innovation that meets a market need. TH Jordan has used design to add value to an established product, thereby developing an extensive market opportunity.Design is essentially the application of creative thinking to the development of ideas and products.
“The Design Development Programme offers practical support that enables local companies to enhance their design and marketing capability and to exploit quickly to new business opportunities,”he adds.
TH Jordan, which has been in business for over 100 years, currently employs 16 people at its printing works in Millar Street, Belfast.