W5 SPOTLIGHT: Informing Product Development for Brand Extension

With historically low interest rates and strong corporate balance sheets, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are very attractive in today’s marketplace. Sometimes M&A make sense (think AT&T & direcTV or Facebook & WhatsApp) and other times they can be quite tricky (think Quaker & Snapple or eBay & Skype). Conducting marketing research on the brink of M&A can be critical to future success of the brands involved. An apparel company recently partnered with W5 to uncover the opportunities and challenges presented by a newly acquired sub-brand. Check out the case study below to see how W5 approached this specific engagement.


Informing Product Development for Brand Extension

After a heritage outdoor equipment and apparel company acquired a specialized sub-brand, the company sought to explore opportunities for extending the brand equity of the sub-brand into the mass retail channel. Two specific products were in development and the client desired consumer feedback on the appeal and prioritization of benefits, features, and design elements for each.


W5 conducted a customized quantitative survey with a statistically robust sample of a target market for both the brand and specific products proposed. Though the brand successfully markets in the specialty channel, which is aspirational and often shopped among the broad target, consideration and shopping of mass retail was also important for this research. The research focused on product needs, benefit priorities, and reactions to how the specific products would be developed and marketed.


W5 provided positive consumer feedback to the client on both proposed products, and communicated the consumer priority of features with reliable statistics and visual reporting. Initial assessments of consumers’ basic price sensitivity for the products were helpful for the client’s product development and channel strategy decisions. Additionally, direct consumer feedback on a variety of product options was appreciated and helpful in informing design and marketing plans not only for the tested products but for other projects in the pipeline.

Spotlight is a special feature of the W5 Blog showcasing W5 consultants’ approach to designing marketing research studies, creating engaging deliverables, and informing strategy. For more information on W5’s approach to qualitative or quantitative research contact:

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