When you’ve staked your brand on a single primary product, making a transition into an adjacent segment can be a risky move, even if the product you have in mind is complementary to your brand.
Our mattress manufacturer client decided it was worth the risk, however, and moved ahead with the development of a prototype.
We were brought in to help then assess the willingness of consumers to accept the new product (and brand) in the new segment. We began with a series of product evaluations, recruiting hundreds of consumers to test the product and rate its attributes. In addition to sensory measures, consumers rated and ranked the mattresses on diagnostic measures.
Once the evaluations were complete, consumers participated in moderated sessions in which they discussed the reasons for their rankings. The conversations focused on how well the brand fit in the category, and whether consumers would be willing to accept it.
In the process a critical insight was uncovered. Specifically, that the client had a major opportunity in a different, but closely related, segment. If they seized the opportunity they would be in a position to dominate the competitive set, something seldom seen in the durable goods industry. So the company changed gears and pursued the new opportunity.
Shortly after the studies were completed the new mattress line launched. Business skyrocketed. It was the most successful product launch in the company's history. Their product opened up an entirely new industry segment — one that competitors quickly entered, driving up overall industry growth. The client went from being a niche manufacturer to a dominant player in the mattress industry.