As an experienced product designer in adult bedding, Sleepyhead’s Natalie Norman was astonished by the limited range of safe, well-produced bedding options for infants and young children. So she set out to develop a range of safer alternatives for parents like her.
Natalie approached Previously Unavailable to become her surrogate co-founding team - complementing her product and industry knowledge with those needed to take her idea and product range from concept to a complete business quickly and successfully.
The team needed a compelling brand, proposition and positioning that could carry the initial product range - a new concept for washable and breathable bedding products using a new mattress technology best described as a nest of air - while being future-proofed for expansion into other categories.
Growbright became the parent brand - bringing bright ideas to growing families – with the airnest as the initial launch product range – a range of better sleep products built on a nest of air.
The founding team built the venture’s operating model across New Zealand and Australia, with Growbrightand the airnest© range successfully launched into both the Australian and New Zealand markets in under seven months, helping parents sleep that little bit easier in the process.
The founding team started by immersing themselves in the world of safe sleeping and baby products to gain a deep understanding of the market, product and competitor landscape, develop a range of potential proposition and brand territories to be tested in alongside physical product prototypes.
Through these prototesting cycles the team not only iterated the brand, proposition, positioning and product design, they also began developing a complete picture of what the venture’s business model needed to look like – the pricing, the cost of goods, channel dynamics and strategy, the content strategy, the operating model, commercial case and go-to-market strategy - an integrated view essential to bring a new venture like growbright in to the world.
By developing an robust and evolving commercial model, the team formed clear picture of the overall business model early, so they could assess various launch and scale scenarios with both operational and commercial confidence.
We tested these proposition and brand territories through a series of co-design workshops and product testing sprints where new parents, and their babies, took the prototype products home to use for several weeks as we iterated the brand, design, proposition and positioning with them.
This approach allowed us to explore a range of potential solutions and answer some deeper fundamental questions early in the process. Firstly, how to best navigate the critical but delicate positioning of sleep safety products for new parent’s without being seen to be scare-mongering in relation to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Secondly how to most effectively talk about the new technology, the product features and their benefits in simple, informative and engaging way. Finally, understanding what supporting content topics, formats and channels parents were most engaged in and what the right tonal balance should be for the future brand.
Once we felt we were close to a final solution we used a soft, but live market launch at a leading Baby Show to validate the final solution through taking product pre-orders. Ultimately, this iterative approach led the team to a brand, proposition and positioning that struck the ideal tonal balance between communicating the new technology and product benefits in a simple and effective way, while appropriately entering the conversation around SIDS.
Using a successful combination of rapid but in-depth consumer co-creation sessions; iterative product, operational and commercial prototypes; and live-market testing at baby-shows we were able to go from venture concept to a full market launch of an e-commerce, direct to consumer business, including production of physical product, in under seven months.