Gerber Gear, a global leader in personal knives and multi-tools, developed a product they were certain was far superior to anything on the market. What they lacked certainty on was how to introduce it in a way that would catch the attention of men who already owned one or more multi-tools, and effectively communicate its differentiation. To engage their consumer base, Gerber needed to clearly understand which aspects of the tool were most important.
We were tasked with getting fresh insight from men (who aren’t typically big talkers) regarding the new multi-tool’s differentiating features, and then turning that into an engaging brand name and positioning. A good name was critical because small packaging limits the communication of every feature and point of difference.
In addition, Gerber needed a marketing strategy that would capitalize on the tool’s competitive advantage.
\ Our Approach
To deliver quickly on this tall order, we leveraged our Rapid Brewery approach, where we build stimulus, get reactions from consumers, refine concepts and then test again over a few days (rather than months).
In co-innovation sessions, men got to handle the new Gerber tool, along side its’ competition. We provided experiential settings (built that morning by the Gerber and NE teams), testing each of the tool’s new functionalities in real-time. The men talked as they worked — not just to us but to each other. In conversation, they provided the gritty language needed to differentiate the product in just a few words.
Just as important, we observed compensating behaviors as they twisted their arms to get leverage with the competitor’s tools. The Gerber tool allowed workmen to drive in screws without this awkward stance.
Over the course of the Rapid Brewery, we built language and vetted it with the men to refine the brand name and positioning.
The rich insights — from both language and observation — led to the clear points of differentiation we needed to craft a highly impactful positioning and marketing strategy, including a strong name — Center-Drive — that highlights the tool’s definitive feature.
Additionally, we leveraged video footage from the co-innovation sessions to build a compelling sales touchpoint for use with retailers — one that clearly illustrated the superiority of the new tool in the consumers’ own words.
The Center-Drive opened to critical acclaim and was one of the biggest launches in Gerber’s history, with sales beating forecasts.
“THE CENTER-DRIVE IS KICKING ASS AND TAKING NAMES. IT’S ONE OF THE STRONGEST INTRODUCTIONS THE BRAND HAS EVER HAD, AND WE ATTRIBUTE MUCH OF THAT TO THE DETAILED CONSUMER INSIGHTS HARVESTED BY NEWEDGE. ARMED WITH THAT CRITICAL INFORMATION, WE WERE ABLE TO BOTH FINALIZE THE PRODUCT’S FEATURE SET AND SHAPE THE CAMPAIGN MESSAGING, HELPING MAKE THE PRODUCT AN IMMEDIATE SUCCESS.”
- Andrew Gritzbaugh, Vice President, Marketing, Gerber