How Timberland Used Marketing Analytics to Renew Its Brand

Timberland Brand Refocus

The brand had become stale in many ways, and the focus wasn’t there. – Stewart Whitney, Timberland President

Faced with declining market share and haphazard marketing strategies, Timberland shifted from being a product-driven organization to a customer-driven organization with the help of consumer research and marketing analytics:

...the cornerstone of the comeback has been a two-year customer study in which it collected data from 18,000 people across eight countries. In analyzing the trove of responses, Timberland was able to diagnose its problems and to zero in on its ideal customer — an urban dweller with a casual interest in the outdoors.

The company’s renewed focus has several advantages:

  1. Relevance. By focusing on one customer type, Timberland can better identify their customers' needs and anticipate evolving customer tastes.
  2. Consistency. Messaging is clear across different global markets.
  3. Filtering. With a clearer understanding of the customer’s needs, teams can decide what not to pursue.

Takeaway: Consumer research and marketing analytics are crucial to identifying your target market and defining your brand strategy. While your team may not have the resources to start a two-year study, your organization may have existing data that just hasn’t been widely shared. Reach out to colleagues in different units to begin compiling this information.

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