Design Engineering
Showcase

Cauli Ltd

Team
Creative and Product
Supervisor
Dr Mazdak Ghajari
Role
Product and Marketing Lead
Sector
Sustainability

The UK’s rising ‘food-to-go’ sector produces 11 billion pieces of single-use packaging waste annually (Censuswide, 2019). CauliBox aims to tackle this by providing an affordable and sustainable alternative, through its digitally-enabled reusable lunchbox scheme.

CauliBox was founded in 2019 and currently has a small but growing team. This meant that my projects had a significant impact on the company and I was trusted with considerable responsibility, such as rebranding CauliBox and designing the touchpoints for their next trial scheme.

CauliBox’s primary goal, to reduce single-use plastic waste, has also confirmed my aspiration to work within the field of sustainability.

 — Cauli Ltd

Demonstration of Design Engineering Thinking and Skills

My product design work for CauliBox is currently under NDA. However, my first project was to rebrand the company, including creating branding guidelines to inform the new CauliBox website, internal & external print and digital materials, and a new logo. This involved gaining an understanding of the company’s mission, vision and values to solidify the branding strategy. The co-founders wanted to create a stronger brand personality and voice to gain footing in the sustainability sector. This involved outlining some key differentiators from their competitors; an inclusive, fun and colourful brand promoting ‘bite-sized’ sustainability for every meal, consumer and business. Competitor research and social media engagement analysis were used to develop personas and to visualise the ‘ideal Cauli-customer’, so we could meet their exact needs. The new logo underwent countless iterations and user testing sessions, resulting in a versatile and memorable design which features on all of CauliBox’s collateral, including on their injection moulded CauliBox.

My key learning from this process was the importance of communicating the brand quickly and clearly; you have a matter of seconds to engage a new customer. This was achieved not only through using a consistent brand identity across all channels, but deciding exactly which information to convey and doing it in a concise manner. For example, my CauliBox system diagrams explain the overall CauliBox concept and are utilised across CauliBox materials including the website, business plan and pitch deck.

 — Cauli Ltd
CauliBox system diagram.

Role and Contributions

As CauliBox’s Product and Marketing Lead, I rebranded the entire company, creating an identity which CauliBox will use to build a reputation and project their values. Attracting consumers and business partners in this way will directly impact the company’s profitability. The resulting branding guidelines informed my next project; redesigning caulibox.com, including copywriting, SEO optimisation and graphic design.

CauliBox secured government funding to complete trials of the CauliBox scheme within office and university settings. To implement the trials, we needed to design and manufacture touchpoints for the systems, including drop-off points for used CauliBoxes and QR codes to scan at the point of purchase. I project managed and executed this task from ideation and rapid prototyping to user testing and full manufacture. The resulting touchpoints adhered to all of our design constraints including being ‘hands-free’ interactions in line with COVID-19 guidelines, and displaying CauliBox branding while still being aesthetically appropriate for corporate environments.

My role also extended to researching and proposing app gamification ideas (under NDA) based on psychological principles and UX knowledge, to promote long term behaviour change and regular usage of the CauliBox app. This is a key differentiator for CauliBox among their competitors and is a critical factor to the long-term success of the app.

My work on the content and design of the CauliBox pitch deck and business plan contributed to CauliBox receiving significant investment offers during my placement. I regularly presented my work to the CauliBox co-founders and liaised with clients and stakeholders remotely. This enhanced my communication skills and prepared me for work in the ‘new normal’ corporate world.

Summary

Going somewhere small meant that I could do big things.

Being a Design Engineer means you have a unique set of skills; you can combine creative thinking with technical understanding to solve problems. Use this to sell yourself and set yourself apart from other candidates.

Say what you are interested in. Throughout my placement CauliBox were open to my feedback and were keen to give me projects that I would enjoy. The experience is to benefit both them and you.

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