Similac: Working with new parents to launch a leading US formula brand into the UK

Projects

Similac

Starting point

A need to reach parents in a new market through an alternative route.

Solution

Developing an authentic connection with new UK parents, and co-creating with them to understand their routines, thoughts and motivations.

What we did

Strategy
Design
User Experience

Similac, a formula brand owned by healthcare company Abbott, has an established presence in the US and Latin America, but they are relatively unknown in most major European markets. Rather than competing with big name brands through traditional media, they asked us to help them pursue an alternative route to market through the development of a D2C strategy.

We carried out a co-creation project, working directly with UK parents to gather insights and form a deeper understanding of the market context. We worked with 20 new parents, with babies ages 0-6 months over the course of 12 weeks to get a rich understanding of the audience, as well as their motivations for purchasing and brand loyalty.

We predominantly used WhatsApp to communicate with the parents, which allowed for authentic and informal conversation, giving us a real insight into their routines, thoughts and purchasing motivations.

We designed the co-creation process to help develop 3 main areas:

  • Proposition. Learning about the audience, what they need help with and what their purchasing motivations are.
  • Design. Understanding what brand elements and styles appealed to our audience and showing initial designs.
  • UX. Developing how the service works in practice with the audience, navigating prototypes and wireframes.

We asked the panel to complete a series of tasks to understand their journey as parents. Activities ranged from asking them to write a letter to a new parent as well as completing a digital service diary to help understand their habits. In the design and UX stages of the co-creation, we worked with the parents to choose brand characteristics and design attributes, navigating wireframes and user journey mockups.

The panel quickly became strong advocates for the brand and this co-creation process allowed us to develop a close and strong relationship with the group. They felt empowered to share their experiences to help us develop the value proposition.

Using the insights from the co-creation panel we developed a clearer brand identity, focusing on what brand attributes were important to them. Alongside this, we designed and developed the D2C customer website and potential subscription service.

Following our co-creation project, we launched the Similac website selling directly to customers in the UK and drove traffic using targeted advertising on Facebook, PPC and YouTube.

We have continued to work closely with the brand to grow its presence in the UK.

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