“Our insight communities have significantly enhanced our consumer centricity. They enable us to speak with our consumers almost instantaneously and are a valued resource across our family of brands.”

—Chris Hufnagel
Senior Vice President, Strategy, Wolverine Worldwide

Driving a cultural shift toward consumer centricity

U.S.-based manufacturer Wolverine Worldwide produces popular footwear brands like Sperry, Keds, Saucony and Chaco. To keep ahead of trends and make products that people actually want to buy, a company like Wolverine Worldwide can’t rely on traditional research methods, which are inefficient, slow and don’t provide a deep understanding of customer needs. Wolverine Worldwide’s solution: launch five branded insight communities to incorporate 20,000 consumers into decisions about product innovation and marketing.

Validating retailers’ purchasing decisions with customer feedback

The insight communities give the Wolverine Worldwide brand family instant access to consumer opinions. Since the communities’ launch in 2015, some 1,000 new footwear styles have been tested and screened with consumers. In one instance, the company used customer feedback to convince a skeptical retailer that a new line of Sperry shoes would have wide appeal. The retailer, seeing the Sperry Insiders insight community give the design a vote of confidence, placed an order for 60,000 units.

How Wolverine Worldwide benefits from our software

Improves consistency and credibility of intelligence

Draws a quantitative picture of consumers

Accesses quick, cost-effective customer feedback

Informs purchasing decisions among retailers

Shifts culture to be more customer centric

Develops products that consumers want

Changing product innovation direction based on customer feedback

The members of Wolverine Worldwide’s insight communities help decide whether a product goes to market. For example, the Chaco brand team gathered feedback from wholesalers and the sales team before developing a new style of shoe. In a last-minute validation, the team reached out to its insight community and was surprised to learn that consumers preferred an alternative style. Chaco followed their lead, producing a shoe that became a consumer favorite.

Earning organizational buy-in to support customer intelligence globally

Feedback from the insight communities is used by 60 corporate stakeholders and drives decisions for 10 key Wolverine Worldwide brands. Within 18 months of launching the communities, the Consumer Insights Market Intelligence team grew from two to seven full-time employees to meet the organizational demand for customer intelligence. After seeing increased sales and greater marketing and product value from its communities, the organization doubled its investment in insight.

Learn how to improve the innovation process just like Wolverine Worldwide