The honey infuser is self-serve machine that allows users dispense customized natural honey remedies for common health and beauty needs.
Understanding the business at first-hand
Savannah Bee Company is a company located in Savannah, Georgia and founded in 2002 by beekeeper Ted Dennard. It is known for its blended raw honeys, artisanal varietals, and unique body products which are sold around the globe through fine retail stores and its flagship stores.
Living in Savannah, GA. allowed the design team to visit the business' flagship store and its showroom/bee-garden in Wilmington Island, where the design team had a first-hand experience of the store and its multiple products.
The team interviewed sales associates, bee keepers, and bee educators to have deeper understanding of the brand purpose, product lines, brand experience, and the business vision.
After visiting the local store and interviewing the sales representatives, an analysis of the current product lines was conducted to identify the strengths and areas of improvement of their offerings.
Four product lines were found: Food and Beauty with the best sellers of the brand, Lifestyle with a variety of products with average to low sales, and Health with only one product.
According to the brand's website, the only Health product is part of the Lifestyle category, but after analyzing the potential use of honey for common health problems such as digestion, nausea, acne, sleep, and eczema, it was established as its own category.
An educational shopping experience
— "At Savannah Bee Company... we are dedicated to educating children and adults about the important role bees play as pollinators of our food... you will leave with a newfound appreciation for honeybees." (Savannah Bee Co. Educator)
The Savannah Bee brand store experience focuses on honeybee education and highlights three stations were users can taste, test, and learn from honey varieties, beauty products, and national meads.
Savannah’s Bee Co. as taken this educational mission further, and founded "The Bee Cause Project", a not-for-profit whose mission is to stimulate curiosity in young people about the importance of honeybees in our lives and the need to understand and embrace them.
Analyzing the journey
After analyzing the educational experience of Savannah Bee Co. brand stores and parter retails stores, it was noticed that the educational experience the brand offers and differentiates it from its competitors is not present in retail stores.
Understanding the customers
In order to gain a deeper insight into the brand's customers a set of empathy maps were developed. The first empathy map targets customers that are interested in natural beauty products and the second on targets organic consumers who look for all natural non GMO products, from food, to beauty and health.
In order to keep on market trends and customer needs, a trend analysis of cosmetic and natural food industry was conducted. Four relevant trends were identified:
- DIY beauty formulations
- Natural remedies
- Customized products
- Experiential retail
During the interviews sales representatives mentioned that they don't consider other brands as competitors because they don't provide the same experience as Savannah Bee Co.
However, the design team researched several honey businesses as well as big brands that provide natural and honey based beauty products in order to visualize the future of the brand as a big retailer.
It was found that most of the companies provide honey-based beauty products and do not have offerings that highlight the health benefits of honey.
There is an opportunity to expand the educational experience from brand stores to retail stores, as well as develop a health product line to highlight the health benefits of using honey in order to have a competitive advantage and stay relevant.
Based on the design criteria multiple rounds of ideation and clustering of concepts were conducted. Ideas went from redesigning the stores, producing honey on top of retail stores, developing virtual bees, and a physical wall for users to develop their own infusions. At the end, the virtual bee and the wall were combined into the honey infuser.
The honey infuser concept
In order to expand the product line of the organization and elevate its customer experience in multiple point of sales, we proposed a touchscreen honey infuser machine that provides a custom-made experience to users for creating natural honey-based remedies for their common health and beauty needs such as a sore throat, dry skin, and lack of sleep.
Savannah Bee Co. currently builds part of their stores with the wood of old beehives from their farms, therefore, the product aesthetic was designed to resemble and repurpose a traditional wooden beehive to allow the business to continue this sustainable mission.
Strengthening the offering
The product will allows Savannah Bee Company to link three of its product lines and expand its Health category by introducing new products such as infused honey and home honey infusers.
A virtual pollination journey
The honey infuser takes the customer into a virtual "pollination" journey starting by selecting the type of need, followed by a section of ingredients that combined with the brand's honey varieties will address the user need. By the end of the process the customer walks away with a tailored honey jar full of benefits and promised potential.
During the journey the user will be able to learn about the multiple benefits of honey, flavor profiles, and nutritional facts. Thus, expanding the educational experience Savannah Bee Co. believes in.
The interface designed follows the current color palette and typographic selection of the brand, as well as the type of illustrations found on the packaging design.
Expanding the educational experience
The Honey Infuser will allow Savannah Bee Company to expand its customer experience outside its home stores. The design of the honey infuser is adaptable to different environments, such as local home stores, exclusive retail and grocery stores, and kitchens.
By offering a compressed experience inside the home, the brand is able to introduce new products and offer a new service that competitors are not targeting.