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Can you enhance the in-store appeal of national brands' natural products?
business retail retail sales store operations sustainability creative problem solving trend analysis innovation creative idea generation consumer insights
top 50%
48 months ago
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Whether you shop for organic food, prefer products with recognizable ingredients, or choose brands that align themselves with sustainability and social good, the 'naturals' trend has likely impacted your life in some way.  Although 'natural' means different things to different people (for example, natural might mean  "good for you," environmentally conscious, free from harsh chemicals, etc.), we tend to agree that it relates to the larger theme of authenticity from products and brands.  

This sweeping consumer trend has brought many small natural brands to retail shelves.   To stay relevant and meet consumer preferences,  big national brands have released their own lines of natural products.  For example, Tide laundry detergent has Tide PUR Clean and Tide Free (both natural options) to compete with small natural brands like Seventh Generation.  

Take a look at the chart below for more examples of national brands vs small, natural brands in three main product categories: laundry detergent, feminine products, and hair care.  


We have a two-part challenge to understand YOUR preferences for natural products and hear your retail ideas to drive consumers to national brands (including their traditional and natural product offerings).

A. Tell us about your experience with natural products by answering the following:

  1. What does a "natural product" mean to you?  
  2. Do you personally prefer to shop for natural products when they are available?  If so, what types of natural products / brands do you tend to purchase?
  3. If you purchase natural brands / products, how were you first exposed to them?   What made you want to purchase them?  (Think of why you may have purchased a natural brand instead of a national brand product that you might have been more familiar with initially.)

B. Propose an innovative retail idea that will make consumers more likely to choose a national brand (both traditional and natural offerings) over a small natural brand.  Consider the following: 

  • Your idea should relate to one (or all!) of the three product categories in the table above (laundry detergent, feminine products, hair care).  
  • Your idea should be implementable in a retail store such as Target.  We are not interested in out-of-store ideas such as marketing but rather seeking ideas that will impact shoppers who are having to choose among brands once they're already  inside the store. 

Now, please submit your idea by answering the following: 

  1. What is your unique, testable idea within a  retail store that will make consumers more likely to purchase the national brand (whether it's their traditional product or a natural product line) versus a smaller, natural brand for one of the product categories above?  
  2. Why would your idea make consumers who are shopping for natural products more likely to choose a national brand instead of a small, natural brand product? 
  3. Considering the three product categories, what steps could a national name brand take to help showcase and drive consumers towards their products once consumers are in a store?  
  4. Optional: Include a visual (sketch, drawing, mock-up, CAD rendering, etc.) if it helps to illustrate your idea so that we could test it in stores!
    Submissions will be graded on the following criteria:
  • Meets Deliverables
  • Creativity
  • Clarity
  • Potential to Drive Sales
Reward Tiers
Top 10%
will share $1,000
Next 15%
will share $400
Next 25%
will share $200
Actual individual rewards will be based on the total number of eligible solutions.
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