The Challenge

One of the world’s largest coatings manufacturers was facing a challenge with one of its core brands.  While still the market leader, shifts in channel distribution saw the brand consistently losing market share to far lesserknown brands.  Without a change in strategy, this brand would find itself going from “the brand of choice” to playing second fiddle.

The Solution

We leveraged three core teams within Shapiro+Raj.  The research team would dive headfirst to extract all of the data and needed learnings along the way.  Our team of strategist and brand planners sifted the data to find those insights that would become the platform for the strategy.  A team of seasoned project managers ensured that all phases of learning came together without a hitch. 

We began by delving into the market to better understand the key players, how the market operates, and the relationships both DIYers and professionals have with the brand.  This insight would allow us to frame a strategy that we could then validate before prescribing activation activities to change the brand’s fortunes. 

We used a mix of qualitative and quantitative approaches to crack the code.   

  • S+R Relationship Monitor™  – a proprietary tool examined the current marketplace for interior wood stains and provided critical insight into the bond and relationships that today’s DIYers and professional wood workers had with our client brand and key competitors 
  • Customer journey – defined and prioritized the unmet need states (rational/emotional, stated/non-conscious), a deeper understanding of how our constituents connect with our brand and the pathway from project inspiration to completion 
  • S+R BrandImpact™ – validated the power of our strategy with consideration and preference data to understand potential market impact 

The Outcome

There were already assumptions that the brands customers were aging, but our Relationship Monitor™ showed a severity at which not only were they aging but that we were missing the mark with a customer group that was highly engaged and passionate within the category.  Specifically, we saw that 65% of their customer base were Boomers who had a weak relationship with the category with just 39% of them Dedicated or Devoted to stain brands.  Versus Gen-Mills (just 35% of their customer base) but who overall were very engaged with brands 58% are Dedicated or Devoted to stain brands.  This growing customer was looking for a trusted brand that could help them bring their visions to life in a way, something that none of the brands in the category were focused on.  Everyone spoke of product features versus delivering on the aspirations of this cohort.