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The Culture Of Smoking

[With Catapult Thinking, Jul. 2005 to Sep. 2005]

Our client, a pocket lighter manufacturer, asked us to document the current lighter experience, capture the behaviors and attitudes associated with lighters, derive insights into the next generation of lighter product design and strategy.

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The Digital Photo-Editing Process

[With Catapult Thinking, May 2005 to Jun 2005]

Our client, a manufacturer of color calibration tools, approached us with a new product targeted toward the average digital photographer. They asked us to identify the potential target audiences, the problems and issues this audience faces, how they might expect to try and buy the product, and the retailer opportunities and perspectives associated with the new product. In our preliminary research we realized that the company faced a bigger problem — did anyone really need this product.

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Rebuilding A B2B Financial Services Brand

[With Catapult Thinking, Jan. 2005 to May 2005]

Our client, a large business-to-business (B2B) financial services company, was suffering from a proliferation of product offerings resulting on complexity and confusion, overall erosion of the master brand, sell-in and sell-through obstacles, and a breakdown in its strategic communications. Our client asked us to evaluate its branding and communications strategy across several channels. Using design research techniques, we set out to understand its multi-channel communications, the breadth and depth of its product offering, and internal stakeholder needs. We explored the company's brand attributes and equities, the specific challenges of the various business units, and its customer's web interactions.

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The Meaning Of "Made In America"

[With Catapult Thinking, Aug. 2004 to Dec. 2004]

Our client, a tool manufacturer founded and headquartered in the Northeast for nearly 150 years, faced a complex problem. Chinese and Japanese made versions of its tools were flooding the marketplace with similar or better quality at lower prices. Our client was known for the high quality and precision of it's products. However, when it offered Chinese made versions of it's own tools, it received vocal disappointment from its customers. We were charged with answering 3 primary questions to be answered with ethnographic research:

1. Define the meaning of the client's brand among key partners, influencers, customers, and end users in the United States. Identify the defining equities and attributes these audiences value most in the brand.
2. Clarify the meaning and value of “Made in America” with the client's stakeholders. Define how this claim affects purchase behavior.
3. Evaluate the potential risks to the overall brand of the current strategy involving integrating products “Made in China."

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