Case Study

A New Production Line for a Top Selling Bra


An intimate apparel brand approached C+R to conduct a wear test for one of its top-selling bras in the U.S. Why did they need a wear test? Well, the brand had just modernized its production line for the first time in more than five decades! Worried that the new machinery might change loyal consumers’ experiences of the tried-and-true product, they got in touch with us.

C+R’s analytic team quickly got to work organizing an in-home usage test (IHUT). After nearly 300 women weighed-in, the results showed that sometimes change is good.


An Intimate Apparel Brand Worries that Modernization Could Create Alienation

Our client’s product had been manufactured on the same equipment for 56 years. Clearly, it was time to modernize. But the bra’s fabric created a sensory experience, especially for its most loyal consumers. It had a certain look, feel, and even smell to it. Could the brand modernize their equipment without alienating consumers? Would users notice the change, and if they did, would they like it?


An In-Home Usage Test (IHUT) Answers the Question

C+R’s analytic team enrolled 291 women (across six sizes) in an in-home usage test (IHUT) to study both the new and the control bra. To limit confusion and bias, researchers randomized the order of the bras and sent participants one bra at a time. Each bra was evaluated individually on its own merits and then the bras were compared. At no point was the objective of the study, or which bra the consumer was testing, revealed to respondents.

The result

Sometimes Change Is Good

The IHUT showed that loyal customers could not tell the difference between the old and new bra! In fact, they gave higher ratings to the new bra. The fabric most impacted by the manufacturing change was thought to be “more comfortable” and “feel better” against the skin. Using quantitative and qualitative data, the research team was able to determine true preferences between the two bras and support reasons for those preferences. The results were consistent across all six sizes tested.

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