The Hive: A Cleaner Greener Home
Instructor: Abby Guido
The Hive is a concept I created for my thesis project. It is a mobile shop service and app that sells sustainable goods to college students on campus. When brainstorming my thesis concept I considered several different options but eventually decided upon tackling the challenge of making daily necessities more accessible to college students yet also more sustainable. As a college student myself I knew the frustration of having a nonstop day, finally getting home at eleven at night to take a shower, and realizing I have no shampoo. The Hive not only gives students a reliable place to buy what they need, but it allows them to stay on track of what they need, and when they’ll need to refill or repurchase; all while reducing their carbon footprints.
First I had to collect some data about where students shop for everything from hygiene products to cleaning products. I also wanted to hear students' opinions on sustainability and whether it’s a priority for them. So I conducted a survey and sent it out to a variety of college students. I sent the survey to about fifty people and got twenty-eight responses.
In my survey, I asked general demographic questions like age and grade. I also assumed that students being able to easily shop for their goods depended on their living situation, access to transportation, and location so I asked questions accordingly. In order to understand what products college students actually use I also asked what was purchased on a weekly basis and broke it down into four categories: hygiene, shower, cleaning, and skincare. I also wanted to know students' general opinions on sustainability and whether they recycled or not.
From the survey, I was able to solidify my product list, find out what packaging would make the most sense for my target audience, and gain a greater understanding of how students shop.
Once I had all of the information I needed I started to develop user personas. I chose to make three, one being Jenna, a 19 year old right brained, studious, and introverted person. The second being Charlie, a 23 year old creative, music production major who goes with the flow. Finally, Spencer, a 21 year old STEM major who is super extraverted and always on the go.
Once I had a good understanding of who my client was I was able to move on to my branding. I came up with the name The Hive which came from the saying busy bee. I wanted to have a fun name that related to the environment but wasn’t too on the nose and I also wanted to portray how busy students are. When it came to the logo and feel of the brand I wanted to steer away from the traditional green and leafy sustainable logos you typically see on the market. I feel that a brand should be able to be sustainable without making it the main part of its branding and I also thought something more bright and colorful would cater more to my target audience.
Sketches & Brainstorming:
Originally this brand was just called Busy Bee and was highly bee-themed and quickly found out I didn't want to continue in that direction. The color pallet was limited to just black and yellow and it read more as a food-related company. My original logo sketches also felt like they were supposed to be targeting a younger audience. So I pivoted my branding to something more colorful while still keeping some of the bee imagery.
The deliverables for my brand would first and foremost be the actual products themselves. Then there would of course be the design of the actual mobile shop. I also designed the Hive application and user flow.
For the design of the Hive truck, I wanted it to match the energetic feel of the rest of the brand. I mixed and matched some of the patterns I created along with the characters I designed for my style tile and incorporated them into the wrap on the truck. The truck would be an electrically powered vehicle and I included solar panels on the top to power all of the utilities on the inside while the truck is stationary.
After some back and forth of making mockups of my sustainable products, I decided to change direction and illustrate all of the packaging and products myself. I had a very specific view of what I wanted the packaging to look like. I wanted it to be, of course, sustainable, as waste-free as possible, and finally consistent with one another. For those reasons, I came up with the products seen below. For products that didn't need packaging, I went with a simple belly band. For products that needed more packaging, I used mostly either compostable cardboard or recyclable tin containers.