Green Upward


Green Upward

Green Upward is a design studio and lifestyle platform challenging consumers to rethink what sustainability means in our daily lives. They produce eco-friendly products so that customers who want to make conscientious purchasing decisions can do so with ease. Having experienced rapid success after the launch of their first product, Green Upward’s founder and lead designer engaged our team to help answer the following questions:

How Do I Reach Additional Customers, and when I find them, How Do I Grow My Business?


My Role

I was a part of a 2 person project team formed by a Business Designer (myself) and a UX researcher. I held the initial exploratory meeting with the company’s Founder and CEO, helped her shape the problem statement, defined the research plan, synthesized the product and social media performance data, and delivered strategic recommendations based on customer insights.


To help uncover the answers to Green Upward’s questions, our team did the following:


  • Created Personas based on Green Upward’s perception of their target customer

  • Rewrote the company’s core values

  • Synthesized qualitative product and quantitative sales data to understand the current customer’s purchasing behavior

  • Wrote Customer Acquisition and Growth Strategy


  • Interviewed Green Upward Designers to understand the core values behind the brand

  • Collected all existing social media performance data and historical financial data

  • Drafted and deployed customer surveys to learn now only how people felt about the product, but how they were using it

  • Analyzed the current supply chain to understand the pain points associated with the process

Customer Acquisition and Growth Strategy



Recommendation #1: Differentiate Green Upward from “The Market and Storage Bag”

Green Upward and “The Market and Storage Bag” were created at the same time to solve for the initial problem at hand, but the vision for the company is bigger than just one product. As the company continues to get more press and the bag sees more sales, it is increasingly important to distinguish between the identity of the company and the identity of the product. For this reason, they need separate, yet complementary strategies. 

A theme that emerged out of our research was a love for “designs that are simple and functional, yet elegant.” With that in mind, the name of the product should match the intention behind the design. To achieve this, we recommended Green Upward re-evaluate the name of “The Market and Storage Bag” and consider a name that speaks to the values of the brand, addresses the problem the bag solves for, and embodies elevated, yet simplistic design.

As Green Upward focuses on growing their community, it is imperative that the products they create are protected. To mitigate risk of duplication, we recommended that Green Upward write and file a provisional application for the name, design and production of the bag and use the 12-month provisional period to continue iterating on the design based on customer feedback.

Recommendation #2: Value First Marketing

What makes Green Upward consumers different from the rest of the world is that they are people who strive to live mission driven lives, they truly want to make an impact, and in doing so, demand detailed product information in order to make educated purchasing decisions.

To date, Green Upward had used a traditional marketing style with acquisition tactics like informational product advertisements and discount incentives on their website. While this may slightly increase brand awareness, the passion and fervor behind the mission of the company is absent. We recommend including the values in the messaging in two ways:

First, highlight the human beings in the supply-chain. Customers resonate with people more than products, so we identified an opportunity to share the stories of the via Green Upward’s Instagram, website, blog and newsletter. Value first marketing prioritizes connection over sales, but the sales certainly follow.

Second, turn core values into calls to action. Because the vision of Green Upward is to foster a collective of like-minded designers, the language must feel like one unified voice. For example - the core value “Meaningful Materials” stating “all materials are chosen carefully, purposefully, and with ecological consideration” should be changed to read “Choose all materials carefully, purposefully, and with ecological consideration”. These changes activate the language and challenge both the designers to create sustainable products and celebrates the customer’s decision to spend for impact.