NUK’s brief was a creative gift. ‘Rethink toddler feeding’ – it was as expansive as it was simple. However, the marketplace was anything but simple. Crowded and fragmented, it was splintered into niches separated by age, gender, and background. Competition was stiff with the field dominated by a small number of big players.
To stand out in a saturated market, we needed to get to the root of the problem. We started with moms and infants. We interviewed a whole group of moms from various backgrounds with children ranging from 3 months to 3 years. We watched infants eating, we observed moms cleaning up, and we recorded everything in between. After enduring extensive mashed peas n’ carrot crossfires, we were able to go beyond conventional assumption and discover what was truly needed. After all, assumptions do not lead to sales.
But when it came to brainstorming, many of our insights conflicted. While toddlers craved feeding independence, moms were hard-pressed to relinquish control due to worries about safety, germs and spillage. How could we combine these conflicting needs while still achieving ‘stand-out’ on a crowded store shelf? That was the challenge.
In the end, our conflicting insights turned into clever solutions. Our baby spoon mouth guard designed to safeguard against choking, fluidly evolved to encompass a spoon rest that also safeguards against germs and mess. The suction cup bowl securely sticks to any surface for toddler self-feeding, yet can be easily removed for an adult assisted mealtime.
The beauty of a solution must go beyond mere aesthetics. Sometimes conflict can bring harmony. But the litmus test is always whether the product is bought and used. The moms shopping at Target certainly seem to agree that we got it right.