Over the last 25 years Seventh Generation has been working to craft plant-based products that are safe and work. As the “wellness” trend has grown and become more mainstream, so has their portfolio. It includes household products like hand soap and laundry detergent as well as baby products and most recently feminine care products. And as the demand for safe, effective and environmentally friendly products has increased, Seventh Generation has seen new competitors enter the category causing a fight for shelf space and the need to elevate merchandising.
So the question became, how do you make natural products more mainstream? Yes the category is positioned for exponential growth, but when it comes to consumers buying patterns is it more effective to merchandise Naturals as a holistic offering or to integrate it into the more traditional categories in retail.
The brand wanted to gain insights into what makes their ideal consumers tick as well as make it easier for them to find products that are healthier for themselves and their families while in store. They turned to WD Partners who deconstructed the shopper path-to-purchase in order to understand the emerging target audiences, position the brand at retail and develop an in-store activation strategy.
The process started with qualitative research based on various consumer segments to learn how shoppers are making decisions. In order to do that, we went in store and shopped with them to really uncover the beliefs these consumers have about healthy products and how they go about selecting them. Through these in-store shop-alongs as well as in-home interviews, we garnered insights into their lifestyle and shopping process, which we then turned into key opportunities for reaching the brand’s target segment.
Using our proprietary Live/Shop lifecycle, we identified shopper need states beyond their buying journey to get to the heart of their wellness-driven lifestyle. We identified opportunities and touchpoints for Seventh Generation to make an impact at shelf and through messaging. We were also able to prioritize segments by level of opportunity for each unique retailer’s demographics in order to determine where the brand could make the most impact. We identified low hanging fruit and game-changing recommendations for the shopper, brand and retail. Combining these insights with our retail expertise and heritage, we defined an in-store activation strategy unique to Seventh Generation.
We developed a retailer-specific messaging hierarchy to capitalize on the key moments for the brand’s target consumer and then applied that messaging strategy to in-store signage and design, creating an elevated shopper experience. This resulted in a broadened audience for Seventh Generation while providing education moments in-aisle and spreading the mission and beliefs of the brand to the masses.
In partnership with Seventh Generation and Target, we pursued a “segregated” merchandising approach that creates a unique destination for natural products in store. By presenting a natural brand holistically, we created a deeper emotional connection to the brand and showcased the breadth of products across multiple categories. Header graphics define the destination and differentiate naturals from mainstream products. Secondary graphics connect to the shoppers’ needs while helping them find specific products and giving them the confidence to purchase.
Our consumer research, insights, path to purchase assessment and strategy has led to a 25% sales increase in all of Seventh Generation’s cleaning categories in the first few weeks since roll-out at Target stores nationwide.