When Fiskars decided to enter into a new tool category, they knew that the consumer had to be an integral part of the process. As their research partner, we helped to create an iterative process that enabled us to uncover and build upon consumer insights. One result of this process was an innovative new line of hammers from Fiskars that consumers and influencers, including Fast Company, rave about.
Step 1: Ethnographic Research
The first step was to get a deep understanding of the targeted consumer. We immersed ourselves in the consumers’ world. We observed and interviewed consumers in their tool sheds, jobsites, trailers, garages, and basements – wherever they used their tools. We saw their frustrations, witnessed their ergonomic challenges, experienced the elements they dealt with, and noted unmet and unspoken needs.
We followed them into the store as they shopped for tools. We watched what caught their eye on shelf and delved into their decision-making process when selecting a tool. Interacting with consumers in their “natural habitat” enabled us to pick up on things that the consumer would not have been able to articulate in a survey or a focus group.
Step 2: On-site Concept and Prototype Testing
Insights from the ethnographic research lead to ideas which were fleshed out into concepts. We then went back out to the field to do on-site concept, and later, prototype testing. This iterative, one-on-one process provided Fiskars with a clear understanding of what product adjustments consumers wanted and why and which changes were imperative vs. nice to have.
Step 3: Package Optimization
With the product development underway, Fiskars focused on the product packaging. The package needed to sell itself at shelf, but the small package size meant limited space for messaging. We used our Optimization Model, a proprietary model that augments the traditional conjoint with machine learning and a powerful statistical model, to determine the optimal package messaging. This model allows us to compare a large number of variables, without the large sample size required when doing a traditional conjoint. With the Optimization Model, we not only identified what messaging would drive the most sales, but also which competitors Fiskars would steal share from.
In the end, the brand team’s focus on the consumer throughout the development process made their entrance into this new category a success. We congratulate Fiskars on a job well done.
“At Fiskars we have had the privilege of working with the Decision Point team for the past five years. Their extensive proficiency in all forms of consumer research have played an invaluable role in providing rich consumer insights that have made a direct, positive impact on our business. More specifically our successful product and brand extension into the ultra-competitive world of hardware tools would not have been possible without Decision Point’s help. Decision Point has been a valuable asset for us, a tangible competitive advantage.”
Tom Maskel Director of Product Management and Innovation at Fiskars Brands, Inc.