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Meridian Success Story: 10

Thermos Steel Vacuumware, a new product line from The Thermos Company

Thermos Takes on Aladdin’s Stanley Insulated Steel Bottle, Market Leader Among Blue Collar Workers, and Wins

  • Client Issues:
    1. Blue–Collar Segment Identified as Growth Opportunity for Thermos: Thermos dominated three of four consumer segments in the steel insulated bottle market, but had yet to make substantial inroads with the blue-collar worker segment, a market controlled by Aladdin’s Stanley brand
    2. Co-Branding Idea Under Consideration: Thermos identified a potential opportunity to increase presence in the blue-collar segment with a Thermos “SKIL” branded steel bottle
    3. New Bottle Design Also Developed: As part of exploration of a SKIL branded bottle, a new bottle design had been developed for evaluation
  • Commissioning of MAI:
    1. Issue to be Addressed: Whether the SKIL positioning and new Thermos bottle design could capture serious blue-collar market interest, and particularly whether launch of this new Thermos product had potential to take meaningful share from Aladdin
    2. Qualitative Consumer Research was Designed, Implemented, and Interpreted by MAI: Research methodology called for recruiting blue-collar workers who were Aladdin brand users and separately, users of other brands of steel vacuumware
  • MAI Conclusions and Recommendations:
    1. SKIL Name Does Not Enhance Interest in an Insulated Bottle: Blue-collar workers did not resonate with a SKIL-branded bottle at a level required to attract interest away from the Aladdin brand
    2. Thermos Should Instead Target Each of Two Distinct Blue-Collar Market Segments that Emerged from MAI Research – Using a Thermos Brand Positioning: Instead of the SKIL positioning, MAI recommended that Thermos develop a wholly new launch platform that individually targets the two very different need-based segments of the blue-collar worker market which were identified in the MAI research
    3. Two New Launch Platforms Recommended by MAI: Each launch platform, keyed to target the two unique blue-collar segments, included a recommended brand positioning and series of distinct product features and benefits to incorporate in each of the prospective new product lines
  • Results:
    1. Thermos Abandons Idea of Licensing the SKIL Name: MAI research findings led Thermos to abandon this idea
    2. Thermos Executes Alternate MAI Recommendation and Wins In Marketplace: Thermos followed one of the MAI recommendations and brought to market a new product introduction in 2003 for blue-collar workers. The new Thermos succeeded in overtaking the Stanley brand, gaining a leading market share in markets where it was introduced

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