A Desire for Performance Urban Wear—Does It Exist?

Is there a desire among outdoor enthusiasts for well-designed, branded “urban wear” with certified Gore-Tex® construction?

Objective: Brand extension
Case Study: New messaging
What We Did: Market and brand extension

A Desire for Urban Wear—Does It Exist?

The W.L. Gore brand recognizes serious performance athletes are its core audience for outerwear. But the active outdoor enthusiasts market is significantly larger and offers significant opportunities for growth. Could Gore-Tex® establish a profitable positioning by leveraging its outerwear/activewear franchises to create a new “urban wear” lifestyle brand extension? To support the yes/no decision, W.L. Gore needed to know if there was a motivating value proposition for well-designed, branded “urban wear” with certified Gore-Tex® construction.

Diving into the Outdoor Enthusiast Market

Following internal interviews and a review of secondary research, depth exploratory groups were designed and conducted in 3 markets. The respondents were people who enjoyed select outdoor activities, including hunting, walking/hiking, and snow sports. Sample garments were designed and manufactured by a variety of brand houses ranging from Prada to L.L. Bean.

The qualitative research yielded a complete set of benefits delivered by Gore-Tex® garments worn in various situations. Verbal and non-verbal stimuli were used with laddering techniques to identify benefits along the entire Maslow’s hierarchy continuum. We successfully identified new positioning and segmentation hypotheses based on the fulfillment of emotional/spiritual needs. The association of the Gore-Tex® brand with activities that respondents felt brought them “closer to God” was a powerful finding. The deeper levels of meaning were linked to highly motivating behavioral drivers. We successfully identified new positioning and segmentation based on the fulfillment of emotional/spiritual needs.

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