Retail Platform Reframes Autism
Echoing initiatives detailed in Empathetic Brand Engagement, new lifestyle website Wolf + Friends caters to parents of children with autism and other special needs by linking to a selection of need-appropriate yet aesthetically appealing products from both chains and independent retailers.
Such parents now present a sizeable demographic – approximately one in 45 American children has an autism spectrum disorder of some kind (US National Center for Health Statistics, 2015).
Considering itself a curator above all, Wolf + Friends links to third-party retailers’ product pages. Its contemporary design approach and compassionate sensibility in terms of key messaging/copy are devised as an antidote to the dour experience of therapy websites, where most parents seek product guidance.
Deliberately inclusive, featured apparel, toys and home décor products have mass relevance but happen to work well for kids with autism, sensory processing disorders, ADHD and anxiety. For instance, indoor tents create a space for a child to self-regulate, as the site explains. A team of parents, kids and experts in childhood development review all products pre-publishing. A Design Ideas content section expands on key product benefits.
Following an earlier blog post with Honest to Nod – the blog for Land of Nod (US furniture brand Crate and Barrel’s kids’ décor division) – Wolf + Friends is currently seeking brand partnerships for sponsored content.
Communal activities also beckon. An “inclusive and sensory-friendly” pre-Thanksgiving meal is scheduled for November 2017 in partnership with family-focused US dining event company Nibble & Squeak.