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May 13

Reinventing the Fresh Produce Delivery Model and Winning Awards

Today, MJR Creative Group was awarded the Platinum Award by the prestigious Creativity International Awards in the category Website – Consumer. Judged the best out of hundreds of entries, our work for Front Door Farms is being recognized across the globe today as a leading example of excellence in consumer marketing.

Creativity44-horiz-platinum

But beyond the glittering award lies a comprehensive story of brand creation. Before Front Door Farms the company existed, there was only an idea – to revolutionize the way consumers shopped for fresh produce. MJR’s branding, marketing, development and design teams developed the brand name, identity, messaging, eCommerce platform and website that brought Front Door Farms to life.

The Nutshell

FrontDoorFarms.com is an easy-to-use desktop, tablet and mobile phone friendly storefront where users can shop from an extensive assortment of amazingly fresh fruits and vegetables, including specially-curated theme boxes, and bulk boxes for home delivery.

Most of the produce items available on FrontDoorFarms.com are delivered to your door within 2-3 days from the time they were harvested thanks to a direct relationship with local producers. This offers higher nutritional values, optimal freshness and a longer usability window. Most of the produce you see available at the grocery store is more than 10 days old.

It’s a totally new fresh produce delivery model.

The Brief

Most of the “fresh” produce you find in the store is more than 10 days old. With traditional grocery store sourcing models, freshness and quality is compromised by a lengthy supply chain and over-handling of product. After grocery store buyers purchase fruits and vegetables from farmers it is loaded on a truck (sometimes rail or plane) and shipped to distribution centers where it is unloaded, sorted and re-palletized with other items that need to be delivered to each individual store. It is then loaded on another truck and delivered to local stores where it sits in a back-room (sometimes for days) before it is put out on display. This model is flawed. Produce items must endure days upon days of transit time, temperature fluctuations and over handling (not to mention sitting on a grocery store shelf) which compromises freshness and quality.

Additionally, grocery store buyers really only buy a handful of produce varieties that they believe their customers want. Spreadsheets, sales data and basket ring trends drive these choices that often have nothing to do with flavor, discovery, taste – things farmers think about when planting new varieties. Buyers order the same varieties over and over. Don’t get us wrong, they’re certainly not bad people, and some grocery retailers do a really good job, but there are amazing varieties and quality grades of almost every produce item that consumers (until now) haven’t had direct access to.

Tablet

The Intent

Online food delivery isn’t wholly new and eCommerce is a mature space with plenty of proprietors selling and delivering goods everyday. But that doesn’t mean everyone is doing it right. The space is full of conversion-killers like crummy photography, disingenuous looking deals, mobile UN-friendly experiences and lengthy checkout processes.

There is also an obstacle to overcome with consumer purchasing habits. Yes, purchasing hard goods and apparel online is now de rigueur, but buying perishable food online is a new habit we needed to help along.

With all this in mind, we set out to create an ultra clean and convenient way to order fresh produce from anywhere, at anytime, from any device. We designed the site to work best on a mobile phone or tablet FIRST, then translated that design to a desktop experience. We promised that Front Door Farms wouldn’t contain any unnecessary elements that would annoy customers and trigger abandoned carts – just a simple easy-to-use interface that would make our produce shopping experience a treat instead of a chore.

We made sure our photography and iconography was beautiful and simple, our brand voice and copywriting was personable, friendly and useful, and that a customer could create an order with a minimal amount clicks. We deliberately limited the amount of content cross-merchandising and made checkout possible without a membership or extensive sign up forms.

To sum up, we brought to the concept a well-thought out, elegantly accessible point-of-view, free from distraction and pretense.

Logo With Tagline

The Process

Looking back to the months before a single pixel of frontdoorfarms.com was imagined, before the name Front Door Farms even existed, the project team stood in the MJR conference room, possessing only our faith in the value proposition, and a deep desire to disrupt the traditional logistics of produce distribution to bring the absolute freshest quality produce directly to the homes and workplaces of consumers.

To test our concept, we rejected traditional market research and partnered with marketing technology leader Affinnova. We used Affinnova’s collaboration software to fully explore and optimize our ideas for the project’s name, positioning and messaging. The resulting creative space represented 7.3 million alternatives which were processed by the platform’s patented evolutionary algorithms that use individual and collective consumer feedback to find the optimal concepts and executions. We then measured our findings against competitive benchmarks to predict performance and provide actionable business insights.

It was out of this exhaustive research that Front Door Farms was born. We found our consumer touchpoints, uncovered their fears and uncertainties, discovered opportunities, and most of all, came away reassured that our core business proposition and values were enthusiastically supported and shared by consumers.

This foundational research served as a springboard for much that is FrontDoor Farms today. We took our learnings and applied them to every visual aspect of the project – logo design, color palette, photography, imagery, copywriting and design. We also took cues from our research to develop an intuitive and uncomplicated user interface. We also learned who our target audience was, what mattered to them, and how we could enrich the health of their families.

Our research also guided the packaging technologies we developed to reliably and sustainably deliver the world’s best produce to our customers. We partnered with packaging suppliers, challenging them to develop a solution that would maintain strict atmospheric and temperature stability while protecting the product during transit. The result is a revolutionary 3-part packing system: 1) air-filled liners that combine both impact protection and insulation, 2) moisture-wicking isolation blankets and 3) reusable cold packs, that represents the state-of-the-art in cold chain management for direct-to-consumer food delivery.

Even our delivery system was informed by our research. We found a deep concern about how services like Amazon Fresh were adding more trucks on the roads, contributing to fossil fuel consumption and aggravating our already damaging smog situation in California. Consequently, we partnered with UPS to deliver our customer’s orders. Since UPS’s trucks (many of which are now clean air vehicles) were already in our customer’s neighborhoods every day, we could keep our carbon footprint to a minimum, meaningfully contributing to our sustainability commitment.

Armed with our data, research, and systems development, we relentlessly refined UI/UX ideas, rigorously vetted suppliers, stress tested packing and delivery systems, a process that has continued through launch and has become a part of Front Door Farm’s DNA. MJR Creative Group serves as it’s heart and soul, driving every consumer facing aspect of the business.

The Team

  • Geoff Johnston – Producer and Account Director
  • Nico Dondlinger – Creative Director and UI/UX Designer
  • Frank Ruiz – Art Director
  • Bradley Fitzhenry – Copywriter
  • Bekah Franklin – Designer

Bradley Fitzhenry, MJR Creative Group:
Bradley on Google+ |  twitter: @mjrcg |  Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mjrcreativegroup

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