Discovering and developing ongoing creative solutions with Scotts

Help us improve the consumer experience. That’s been a common refrain throughout Design Central’s relationship with Scotts. It’s one that has lasted more than a decade and included roughly 100 different projects, ranging from high-speed tactical successes to marketplace slam-dunks. Our designers and engineers have built a rapport with the Scotts team that allows us to be tapped into a wide range of projects, no matter their market niche or stage of development, and deliver. From the Comfort Wand (which has sold more than 50 million units) to primary and secondary packaging to point of purchase (POP) displays and direct mail marketing pieces, our continued collaboration illustrates our depth of knowledge in home, lawn and garden, as well as the overwhelming value of gaining insight on day-to-day opportunities from an outside design team with a broad and objective vantage point.

  • The Scotts Company
  • Consumer
  • Research
  • Product Design
  • Engineering
  • Prototyping

Objective: Provide ongoing efficient and creative design and engineering support on a range of home, lawn and garden projects.

Design and engineering balance elegance and cost

Because many lawn and garden products might be used just once or a handful of times before being disposed of, our designers and engineers make it a point to balance elegance with cost of production and environmental stewardship. The end results need to deliver a delightful experience for the consumer and a win for Scotts. So we inform our designs through consumer research, ensuring proper ergonomics on products, resulting in a proper grip on fertilizer dispensers, for example, and we’ve also made sure Scotts’ visual brand language is translated across all liquid packaging products. With the ultimate goal of helping facilitate a sale, we developed full point-of-purchase (POP) fixtures for big-box and DIY players like Lowe’s and Home Depot, designed to showcase the brand and offer plenty of versatility for the retailer. This POP also reduced the cost of goods significantly. That’s what we call a win-win-win.

Engineers work quickly to produce prototypes, streamline production

Scotts often comes to us with the request to help them look at something in a new light, make it perform better or to develop new intellectual property. Our team is able to hit the ground running, providing objective support and input so a project can go from sketch to functional prototype as efficiently as possible. The Comfort Wand, for example, spun off another project and moved rapidly from concept to final design, with incredible results. We’ve also worked with Scotts on several cost-reduction programs, including the Snap Spreader. Here, we took out 30 percent of the cost of goods while improving performance. On the Typhoon ready-to-spray applicator, a product made in the millions each year, our team developed a patented mechanical design for Scotts to own and therefore better control manufacturing costs. We paid special attention to design for manufacturing assembly (DFMA) nuances throughout that process, making sure the primary packaging could be filled and labeled at high speed. We also developed intellectual property that allowed the applicator to be assembled on the high-speed line yet provide a rock-solid mechanical connection. These seemingly straightforward products come with many competing design requirements, but the Design Central team is skilled at this balancing act.