Co-op approached Robot Food to get to grips with a new generation of parents and rebrand its baby care range. The new range needed to provide customers with a credible own-label alternative and encourage a wider shop, the aim being to grow category sales and engage shoppers.
Taking a closer look at the baby care category, Robot Food found that it was out of touch and failing to cater to a new type of parent. Research showed that the majority of new parents were millennials, yet most brands hadn’t moved on much from when said parents were in nappies themselves. In own-brand, an abundance of cutesy sub-brands and ‘me-toos’ seemed content to follow conventions of the leading brand names, competing solely on price with busy packs cluttered with claims and familiar colour schemes. Many across the category also appeared to generally support a sanitised, unattainable ideal of ‘perfection’ – something far from the experience of most new parents.
Robot Food saw an opportunity for Co-op to create a fresh, modern take on baby care that would be more aligned to the needs of the consumer. The team focussed their strategy on the realities of being a parent and looked to spark an emotional connection with the audience, built on the joyful (and not so joyful) moments that come with parenthood.
In true Robot Food ‘challenger’ style, the designs flout category norms and expectations of ‘perfect parenting’. Rather than airbrushed studio shots of smiling babies, the team commissioned children’s book illustrator, Jim Field. Famous for best-selling titles including ‘The Lion Inside’ and ‘Oi Dog’, kids and adults love Field’s colourful and humorous illustration style. Animal drawings replace babies on front of packs to communicate the relevant age and improve navigation, while rhyming product descriptors offer a storybook style tone of voice, completely unique to Co-op.
New packs say less but communicate more through a simple, stripped back hierarchy and clever use of iconography to simplify and amplify key pack messages without the clutter. The final result is a look and feel that is contemporary and relevant to modern parents, tied together with a tasteful colour palette that looks just as good on nursery shelves as it does in store.
Look out for the newly designed nappies appearing in stores now with further products in the range soon to follow.
Brooke Fletcher, Packaging Design Manager at Co-op, said, “As well as helping us raise the bar for the entire category, Robot Food’s work is also raising plenty of smiles. Playful, clever, effective – the range is absolutely spot-on for what we wanted to achieve. We now have a strong, cohesive, beautiful baby-care range designed for a new generation of parents that’s easy to navigate, and encourages consumers to consider a wider Co-op shop. We’re looking forward to seeing what Robot Food does next.”
Julia Allan, Senior Designer at Robot Food, said, “We wanted to be on the same side as mum or dad. A lot of us are new parents as well and have all felt the pressures that come with the role. The last thing we wanted to do was project this unrealistic expectation of ‘perfect parenting’ – the category needed a wake-up call.
Read more about the project here!