The Challenge

A leading provider of residential and commercial doors was looking for an expansive growth strategy for the business. One that would help them evolve from a slow-growth and cost-management paradigm to delivering market-leading topline and bottom-line growth. This was a significant challenge in a category seen by many as commoditized and homogenized. Masonite had historically depended in part on macroeconomic factors like housing starts to deliver business growth and profits.

The Solution

We assigned an integrated team comprised of multi-disciplinary experts with deep specialization in the building materials market – credentialed market researchers, seasoned brand planners, and business strategists, data scientists, and creatives. These experts worked together as a team to not only unearth insights but also derive transformative activation programs.

This integrated team synthesized historical learnings, interviewed key business leaders to develop a series of hypotheses, and used syndicated and secondary data to develop a cohesive learning agenda incorporating multiple research, analytic, and strategic steps. Using a hypotheses-led narrative, each stage was defined to surgically answer specific strategic questions versus using a boil-the-ocean approach. What they needed was a transformative idea that they could activate quickly in-market. This entire effort was executed over a four-month period.

We began with a robust buyer and market profile study. The data helped us identify a credible and sizable consumer segment that is very involved in their home, and are very active in updating and upgrading on a constant basis. Unlike the rest of the market, they are very interested in finding doors that can solve some of their life and living problems, and are willing to pay much more for them. We had found our Strategic Value Target (SVT).

To deepen our understanding of their unmet needs, we ethnographically developed their journey – from inspiration to fulfillment – fundamental human truths that illuminate the need gaps created by legacies. They want doors that do more than just open and close. They want doors that bring more light into rooms, help control daily noise, make them feel safe and secure, etc. The epiphany from this insight was powerful. Almost everything in their home has evolved – from video doorbells to smart appliances, from intuitive thermostats to automatic toilet seats, from digital assistants to touchless faucets, etc. – but doors, especially interior doors, have not. They fill a hole between spaces and are never thought about until they break. They are truly the “invisible men” in a home.

Leveraging these data-generated insights, we recommended that our client change the category conversation. Let the category sell door slabs. our client should solve the SVT’s life and living problems.

We then used a proprietary methodological approach, S+R BrandImpact™, to test the power of this idea in the marketplace. This highly responsive approach allows us to understand how new ideas can disrupt the market space and reframe category paradigms. It also provides powerful KPIs that define business impact and inform brand development. The test results showed that we had a very powerful platform that would help Masonite drive significantly better-than-fair share brand and business growth.

Unlike other research and insights firms, we have teams of creatives that bring strategic brand platforms to life. On this assignment, the team developed product innovation concepts, digital and advertising campaigns, OOH, retail POS, website, experiential apps, dealer, and contractor communications, and even trade show exhibits. This helped our client teams visualize how their new strategy could be executed in the marketplace.

The Outcome

Our client experienced transformative impacts, and focused insight has been embraced across the entire company. It has inspired powerful innovations and the strategy has changed the company from an operational, cost-management culture to an innovative, consumer-centric business. But, more importantly, it has helped drive the client’s valuation: The company’s stock price has since increased by 160%.