Garage & Basement Storage Research


Successful product development roadmaps start here

Target sought to improve its Storage & Organization business, and asked MGD to conduct a research project in order to determine unmet consumer storage needs in the garage and basement. Going into the project, Target understood that these areas tend to be the “dumping ground” for the household, and therefore, should be ripe for design innovation.

Target Storage Research Ethnography Image

Narrowing the gap between fantasy and reality

Like so many design research projects, this one started with ethnography. We recruited consumers who would invite us into their homes, so we could see their spaces, listen to their stories and observe their pain-points. We paid close attention to the gap between the “advertised fantasy garage” and the reality of how life is actually lived. With each insight, we built a narrative around unmet consumer needs and the opportunities that these presented to Target to fill with new products.

After many ethnographic research visits, we distilled the garage and basement storage challenges that consumers repeatedly faced into 5 main classifications:

Labeling, Access, Flexibility, Maintenance and Safety.

We proceeded to develop concept sketches that communicate potential solutions that could be developed into products. Target shared this work with key vendor partners who used it to develop their own product development roadmaps.

Target Storage Research Easy Clean Storage Tray Concept by Michael Graves

Products Team

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Ben Wintner

Chief Executive Officer, Michael Graves Design
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Donald Strum

President, Michael Graves Design
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Rob Van Varick

Chief Design Officer, Michael Graves Design
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