User-centred research for an iconic Kiwi brand
Nature Baby is an iconic Kiwi brand that is loved by many and looking to grow. The company has been exporting to Australia for many years selling via e-commerce, department stores and boutique retailers.
Nature Baby wanted to grow and mature its business and appreciated the value of understanding customer needs and experiences in achieving this.
But could Auckland-based Nature Baby assume the same things that motivated customers and consumers in their native New Zealand would hold true for other markets?
Better by Design, a New Zealand Government scheme that helps businesses create market value through design processes, engaged ThinkPlace to develop a deep understanding of the experience of current and potential Nature Baby customers in Sydney, Australia.
The aim of the engagement was to deliver insights that could help Nature Baby understand how parenting experiences for people living in Sydney were both similar and different to those in Auckland.
The research focused on understanding how parents research and make decisions around baby purchases.
ThinkPlace designers specialise in conducting research with hard-to-reach or sometimes-vulnerable groups. Over time, this has included cohorts ranging from people with lived experience of disability to people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, people in remote locations and indigenous peoples around the world.
This project presented a different challenge: How to conduct meaningful research and discovery with another complex group: not just parents but parents and their babies.
ThinkPlace used an innovative set of methods to help deliver meaningful insights.
Semi-structured interviews uncovered deep contextual information about participants’ behaviours and attitudes. A variety of probes and generative tasks were used in each interview.
Interviews were conducted in parents’ homes to allow for observation of the home, baby’s clothing, care products, dresser/closet and bathroom.
Researchers also spent time in public areas around Sydney to observe where parents spent their time outside the home.
At the conclusion of the research, the field team ran a full day synthesis session with the Nature Baby team to make sense of what was heard and to uncover potential opportunity areas to move from insights to action.
HOW WE DID IT
Insights from the research were presented in a format to help the design team make sense of what the field team learned, explore what it means for the business strategy and what the next steps are to move from insights to action.
The insights report also included a customer journey map highlighting key milestones and purchasing behaviours of mothers as well as five distinct personas to help guide and inform future design decisions.
The personas were mapped to the Diffusion of Innovation Model. Adoption of new ideas, behaviours, or products is a process where some people are more likely to adopt the innovation than others. The model helped frame our personas and identify “adopter” groups who adopt an innovation early compared to others who do so later or not at all.
Our research produced nine key insights that provided crucial pointers for how Nature Baby could better connect with parents and potential customers in Australian markets.
Some of the areas we uncovered included how shopping frequency changes during different stages of pregnancy, the difference in behaviours of first time mums compared to mothers with more than one child and how Australian mothers perceive organic and ethically produced baby products.
When promoting a new idea, behaviour, or product, there are different strategies used to appeal to different adopter categories to help the Nature Baby business grow in Australia.
Overall, the process was successful in producing beneficial and actionable insights, while building a foundational capability in design research and synthesis for the Nature Baby team.