Introducing the slow cooker into the Italian market

In the past few years we’ve experienced a change in eating habits: we are used to spend less time in the kitchen than ever before because we are working more. Many companies are trying to find a way to combine healthy (food) routine with the limited time available and that’s why has been introduced the Slow Cooker.


The Challenge

As a university marketing team project, we had to face a hypothetical challenge:

Lagostina, as an innovative Italian company of cookware, has decided to introduce the Slow Cooker into Italian habits.

It is very important to consider that in the Italian market “cook” it’s still something very linked to traditions. It’s kind of unbelievable to think about a pot that can cook without people and without supervision. By introducing this product into the Italian market we will have, somehow, to change Italian attitudes towards that kind of product.


My Role

As a team project, I was in charge of the user research, the definition of the goals and strategy and the design of the mobile/smart watch design application. Since it was a huge marketing project I also focused on the market analysis.


User Research and Analysis

After a huge research on the brand Lagostina and the product itself, we could draw a competition benchmark and some positioning maps. We also analyzed the competitive structure of the cookware industry by studying the five competitive forces introduced by Porter. After the previous analysis, we could start with the potential customer analysis.


Survey

With an online survey, we were able to identify the potential product, the potential customers and the potential demand characteristics. We received 132 answers from Italians, the majority of them were women and most of the answers came from full-time workers.

Some data:

  • 84% of them have never heard about the Slow Cooker;
  • 70% of them showed their interest in the product because they have been very concerned about food ready to eat when they come home (without supervision);
  • 30%, even after the information, did not show interest in the Slow Cooker because they did not feel safe leaving it cooking by itself without supervision;
  • The majority of the interviewed would buy the Slow Cooker with a price between 30 and 60 euros;
  • 24% have the Slow Cooker and all of them are satisfied and would recommend it to full-time workers.

  • Netnographic Research

    After a netnographic research, we discovered that 74% of those who bought it (Russel Hobbs Slow Cooker), wrote a 5 stars feedback about it. All of them are from Italy so it seems like this is a very good opportunity for Lagostina to introduce the Slow Cooker in the Italian market.


    Target Segmentation

    For the target segmentation, we decided to use the life-cycle and life stage segmentation variables. Generally speaking, we identified our target with a range from 23 to 45 years old. We have divided the target into three clusters:

  • From 23 to 26 y.o.: Students from 23 to 26 years old, living alone, need to cook healthy food without wasting time, and the Slow Cooker could be perfect to them;
  • From 26 to 35 y.o.: Workers focused on their career. They are used to spend all their time trying to succeed in their job, with very frenzied rhythms so they don’t have a lot of time to spend cooking for dinner or to prepare their lunchbox for the day after;
  • From 35 to 45 y.o.: Working people focused on their family. They don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen, they have to take care of their kids, their family, their job, their friends...their life.

  • Personas Model

    After analyzing in detail our survey, the netnographic and previous researches we infer that our potential customers could be made of Pioneers (following the product lifecycle curve).

    We were then able to develop some personas model according to the characteristic highlighted in the previous analysis.


    Target Needs

    Here we have a list of need we get from the survey we found out in the previous analysis and the survey:

  • healthy lifestyle
  • cost optimization
  • efficiency
  • feeling green
  • maximum results with minimum mental effort
  • time optimization
  • safety
  • adaptability
  • easy to use

  • Entry Strategy

    Since we are all victim of globalization, Lagostina has to distinguish its products in a strong way and make itself meaningful to the consumers, bringing them closer to their needs and habits. With the dual adaptation strategy we will:

  • adapt the communication to the Italian market
  • adapt the product to the target needs (modifying the existing Slow Cooker)

  • Goals

    Communication

  • brand awareness,
  • safety,
  • give all the information (be clear),
  • build in the consumers a mental image of a safe product
    that it will be possible to control.

  • Product

  • remote control,
  • safe,
  • the target solution (time, costs, health).

  • Market

  • increased the demand,
  • increase online sale,
  • build an online sale.

  • Strategy

    After defining our goals and a collective brainstorming we were able to identify “how” to reach those goals, therefore our strategy linked to each goal and the feature of the Lagostina Slow Cooker. Since this portfolio is mainly focused on the UX/UI part I will just quote what has been done to skip directly to that part:

  • Product development (features, naming, logo,…)
  • Development of an experiential strategy (taking into account the four realms of experience)
  • Gamification strategy
  • Unconventional marketing campaign

  • Concept

    We said before that one of the main concern of the potential target was having to leave the smart pot alone, without surveillance. Many of our interviewed think in fact that this can be extremely dangerous in terms of house safety. The only way to solve this problem is to make people think that they have everything under control, anytime. We developed 3 main solutions to solve this problem:

  • Safety features in the product (ex: it turns o automatically)
  • Customer service 24/7
  • Give people more information (QR code on the box that allows people to go on the internet page and check all the information, watch videos + clear infographics that costumers will find in the box)
  • A mobile application (people will be able to control the smart pot remotely)


  • Mobile Application


    Storyboard and Scenarios

    After all the user researches we were able to develop some storyboard and scenarios, to understand how our digital product could improve the live of our user and create value. At this point we were also able to start thinking about the features of our product.


    Flow Map


    Sketches - Wireframes

    After different early sketches we arrived to some sketched wireframes. Because of time pressure we had to skip the wireframing step with Bansamiq jumping directly to the design of high fidelity mockups.


    High Fidelity Mockups


    Smart Watch Application

    We decided to introduce also an Apple Watch version of the application to allow the target to always manage the Slow Cooker remotely.The Apple Watch, through a notification, will alert the user that the food is almost ready, specifying the exact timing. The user can launch directly from his smart watch the Map Application in order to get at home in time for dinner. The App will recognize if it’s time for breakfast, lunch or dinner so very notification will be adapted to every meal. Slow Cooker is going to be always connected to us thanks to this innovative watch.

    Why we decided to design an App for smartphone and Apple Watch? Because from the survey we could realize that nowadays people are scared, so they need to know that they don’t have to worry about the Slow Cooker, they can manage it even if they are not home so they can always have the control of the situation.