INSITUM + NATURA
Designing a digital ongoing training platform through a deep understanding of the different profiles, behaviors and needs of Natura’s consultants in Brazil.
Natura is one of the largest Brazilian manufacturers and marketers of beauty, household, personal care, skin care, solar filter, perfume and hair care products. The company sells products through 1,5 million representatives in many countries across the world. Those representatives are central to the company’s business model and training them is critical to guarantee their understanding of the benefits and attributes of Natura’s products in order to ensure and enhance the sales of products; but with the limited number of employees that can teach them Natura faced an enormous challenge: only 30% of the representatives participated in training of their products and lines, implying a reduction in quality of care and service to the end customer. Furthermore, the major part of the representatives are from lower socio-economic classes, having low or none education which means a higher learning curve when being educated in new contents and skills. In that context INSITUM was brought in to help Natura envision a new e-learning tool intended to be engaging, easy to use and adapted to the needs of the different types of representatives as way to guarantee that more Consultants participate in Natura’s training activities.
The goal of this collaboration was to help Natura to create a continuous training digital platform through the user-centered innovation process, focusing the solution on the different profiles and needs of Consultants in Brazil. Specific objectives included: an in-depth understanding Natura’s consultants, their motivations, learning behaviors and emotional aspects that lead them to be engaged in an activity, developing design principles to create a new e-learning platform; co-creation with Natura’s stakeholders several solutions for the new e-learning platform, consolidating them in prototypes to be tested and iterated with representatives; and design the final e-learning platform with technical specifications and implementation roadmap.
Training representatives is critical to guarantee their understanding of the benefits and attributes of Natura’s brands and products in order to ensure and enhance sales.
The project entailed involving the users from the beginning, by understanding their needs and habits, until the end, by developing concepts and validating the final outcome.
Initially INSITUM's team conducted an extensive ethnographic research with Natura’s salesforce all around Brazil, interviewing and observing representatives in 17 cities in order to understand different existing profiles in terms of needs and expectations as well as their different learning habits — such as the way some learn from each other as a more trustable source of information and others for example, desire to go deeper into topics such as hair care or make-up to better convey products.
Secondly, we co-created concepts with Natura’s stakeholders based on the different representatives profiles’ needs (new functionalities, ways to progress into the content, new formats etc). These concepts were tested and refined with representatives to evaluate the most relevant, attractive and useful solutions for them. After receiving feedback, we incorporated the outcomes into a platform containing the basis of gamification, social reinforcement and cognitive learning.
For part of our representatives this will be an alternative of professional education, since they not always have the habit to deal with accounting and commercial activities.
Adriana de Queiroz, Commercial Training Manager
The resulting design is a unique learning platform that smoothly communicates and engages the different profiles of representatives, what we called ‘knowledge paths’. It was rolled out to all Natura salesforce in May of 2014 after several usability tests and Natura’s expectations for the new solution include 50% of their 1,5 million representatives already using the platform in 2015.