A Spooky Halloween Challenge to Make You Think

jack o lantern
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A post I saw on LinkedIn from Diego Granados, Senior Product Manager at Microsoft inspired this special Halloween edition article. His post asked:

“If you were a Product Manager for a pumpkin bucket to pick up candy, how would you improve it?”

By the way, Diego has given you unlimited budget.

How would you improve the pumpkin bucket?

🍫 Trick or Treat

Halloween wasn’t big in Sydney when I was growing up so I have no experience with pumpkin buckets. I’d probably run some customer interviews first!

I remember one time all the kids in my street decided we’d dress up and go Trick or Treating against our parents wishes. Most people in our neighbourhood didn’t open their door or told us to go away. “Bugger off, we don’t celebrate Halloween in Australia!”

Feeling defeated, we tried one last house. The lady answered the door! She didn’t have any treats so she asked for a trick instead. We had our eye on the chocolates and lollies – we hadn’t planned for this!

I’ll never forget my little sister confidently declaring “I’ll tell you a joke!” to which the woman agreed.

Sis: “What do you call a woman with two toilets on her head?”

Everyone: …

Sis: “A Lulu!”


🎭 Halloween personas

After running some customer interviews, you’ve outlined 4 personas, and identified some of the core customer needs and outcomes for pumpkin buckets.


  • Persona: Although he has a stereotypical comedian’s name, Jimmy is a kid who just isn’t that funny. He doesn’t know any tricks or jokes, and if someone responds with “trick” he panics internally and freezes up. He is an only child who typically goes trick or treating on his own.
  • Need: He wishes his pumpkin bucket could help him with tricks and jokes so he’s never put on the spot again.
  • Outcome: A pumpkin bucket that can automatically suggest the next trick or joke for the user.


  • Persona: Loves chocolate.  Hates lollies. His dream when he grows up is to be a chocolatier in Belgium. Although he’ll eat just about any chocolate, he particularly adores marble flavor. He can’t stand orange chocolate after a clown gave him some once. His mum doesn’t buy him chocolate, so he lives for Easter and Halloween.
  • Need: He wants to maximize the amount of chocolate he can get when Trick or Treating.
  • Outcome 1: A pumpkin bucket that can hold more chocolates.
  • Outcome 2: A pumpkin bucket that can sort through the chocolates and lollies, flushing out any that don’t align to the users preference.


  • Persona: An average Aussie mum who can’t understand what all the Halloween fuss is about. Her kids love Halloween though, so she let’s them Trick or Treat with their friends. She always leaves a bowl of lollies at the door on Halloween. Her biggest fear is the safety of her children. Now they are getting older she cramps their style if she follows them around as they trick or treat.
  • Need: She wants to know her kids are safe trick or treating.
  • Outcome 1: A pumpkin bucket that can track where the user is.
  • Outcome 2: A social community where users can find Halloween walking trails, register a pumpkin bucket and form Trick or Treating groups.


  • Persona: Loves trick or treating with her friends. She has some challenges with the strength in her arms but doesn’t let her disability stop her. Holding a pumpkin bucket all afternoon can be a real struggle though as it starts to fill with lollies.
  • Need: She wants to be able to collect all the lollies in Sydney without having to carry a heavy pumpkin bucket around
  • Outcome 1: A pumpkin bucket that doesn’t rely on the user to carry the bucket around

👻 Spooktacular!

You’ve identified some key customer needs and potential outcomes. You didn’t jump straight into solution mode. Instead, you tried to understand who you’re Australian customers are define outcomes that will meet their needs.

You now have a year to discover some potential solutions, test further on customers and prioritise product improvements for your pumpkin buckets!

Happy Halloween!

I'd love to hear what you think!