Cognitive Square Inc.
David and Pamela Barret
A study in 2011 revealed that fewer than half of Americans could answer basic questions about the Constitution. As teachers, David and Pamela Barret saw a need in the market for a fun, engaging and effective way to teach children and adults about our nation’s foundational document, so they developed the board game Constitution Quest to fill that need.
The Barrets spent months developing a prototytpe for their game, but without any business background, they needed help bringing their idea to market. A friend recommended SCORE, where the Barrets were matched with mentor Bob Godlasky.
In addition to advising the couple on everything from business planning to sales and marketing strategies, Godlasky recommended SCORE seminars they should take and connected them with other business owners and professionals who could help their business grow. “Bob showed us the value of communicating with people, making contacts and being persistent,” Dave Barret explains.
Godlasky helped the Barrets develop approaches to decision-makers that enabled their product to stand out. While being designed by teachers and made in the U.S.A. are important features of Constitution Quest, Godlasky convinced the couple that to convey the game’s benefits, they had to get it into people’s hands and let them play it. Sending samples to homeschool conventions, holding game nights and sharing testimonials from satisfied customers on their website and social media have helped build demand for the game.
The Barrets originally targeted homeschooling families as customers, but Godlasky suggested additional markets to pursue. Today, they also sell Constitution Quest to charter schools, in presidential libraries, through Daughters of the American Revolution chapters, at Constitution Hall, on their own and other websites, and in independent retail stores nationwide.
Sales doubled in the company’s second year and tripled in 2013. The Constitution Quest game is now in its fourth printing, and with future goals including expanding sales to public and private schools and revamping their website, the Barrets are enthusiastic about the future. “Perseverance is a key ingredient to success,” says Dave. “Encouragement from the folks at SCORE has gone a long way to help us hang in there and reach our goals.”
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