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What happens when the R&D team has modernized the production line for one of its top-selling bras in the U.S. that has been produced on the same machinery since 1962? 

An intimate apparel brand approached us to conduct a wear test with the goal of disaster checking the bras coming from their modernized production line against their tried-and-true product, without alienating its current loyal customer base. 
 

Problem

Our client’s product had been manufactured on the same equipment for the past 56 years. It was time to modernize. But, the current product’s fabric was a sensory experience, especially to its loyal consumers. It had a certain look, feel, and even smell to it. What are the potential risks facing the brand by modernizing the equipment to bring it into the modern-day era? Would users notice the change, and if they did, would they like it?

Result

The women could not tell the difference between the bras. In fact, they gave higher ratings to the new bra! The fabric most impacted by this manufacturing change was thought to be more comfortable and feel better against the skin. We were able to determine true preferences between the two bras and with detail behind it to support reasons for those preferences. 

The data was consistent across all six sizes tested, and we were able to not only support the quantitative data with open-ended responses, but we were also able to bring those results to life. 

C+R concluded there was no risk in moving forward with the new manufacturing equipment. The client could proceed without hesitation into a new era of production and possibly an even more successful product knowing their current customers wouldn’t notice a change; and if they did, it would be for the better. 
 

Solution

Our analytic team used an in-home usage test (IHUT) study to conduct the bra wear test among women. Respondents were pre-recruited online to participate in the in-home usage test. However, adding complexity to this study was the fact that bras come in many sizes and the products coming from the new line was limited. We recruited 325 women who currently wear this style bra and completed the study with 291 women across six sizes. Women wore both the new and the control bra. We randomized the order of the bras in the test to limit order bias and women were sent one bra at a time to avoid confusion. Each bra was evaluated individually on its own merits and then the bras were compared. At no time was the objective of the study, or which bra they were testing, revealed to respondents.