The Challenge

An industry leader of premium building products brand was looking for an expansive growth strategy for its composite decking business, a category on the rise as more homeowners became aware of and intrigued by its benefits versus traditional wood.  New leadership at our client company decided to accelerate the pace of growth to close the distance between their brands and the category leader.

The Solution

With an aggressive timeline, we started by sifting through what they already knew.  Our team quickly found the most critical knowledge gaps and means of filling them; we would need to develop an actionable segmentation to identify the Strategic Value Target among homeowners and contractors, define the customer and contractor journey and map the market to identify the IdealSpace™.

The plan required conducting research with numerous constituents via online and phone: 

  • Sales staff 
  • Distributors
  • Dealers 
  • Consumers in the buying cycle for decking 
  • Professional contractors who install and work on decking  
  • Home builders 

This required an iterative learning agenda, running multiple qual and quant studies in parallel.   

  • Front line interviews – sales staff, distributors and dealers, get first-hand understanding of current landscape and practices to optimize next steps 
  • Buyer profile – consumers and professionals, identify the SVT based on emotional attitudes/behaviors and sizing of market for current offerings 
  • Customer journey – professionals and consumers, prioritize the need states (rational/emotional, stated/non-conscious) and define the pathway from inspiration to project completion 
  • Brand market mapping – professionals and consumers, understand the competitive market landscape and the IdealSpace™ opportunity to seize 
  • Retail market mapping – professionals and consumers, understand the competitive retail landscape and the best desired retail partner 
  • New product evaluation – consumers and professionals, conjoint study to understand the most impactful product lineup for retail presence 
  • S+R BrandImpact™ – professionals and consumers, validate the BVP idea with consideration and preference data to understand potential market impact 

We used our Advanced Qual Analytics Engine (AQuA™), a machine learning app amplified with Luminoso, the text analytics AI from MIT Media Labs, to unearth insights faster and deeper.  Every qualitative interview was transcribed in real-time and uploaded, allowing us to find patterns and themes in the blink of an eye.  As quantitative data rolled in, we cross-referenced and triangulated the qual insights, vetting with our own experience and intuition along the way.  

The Outcome

The most lucrative homeowners loved to live a life that’s a step more interesting, proudly outfitting their homes with more creative technologies and styles.  They had a reputation to protect as well as a hunger for validation from friends and family, yet no decking brand was helping them achieve a look, feel and style that lived up to their demands.  These insights formed the basis for a compelling new brand idea that we created that connected our SVT’s desire to our client’s authentic advantage, inspiring a bold and compelling go-to-market strategy. 

The learning and resulting strategy powered our client to significant and accelerated business growth.