Project Description

Case Study: It’s Getting Hot in Here (Alternative Materials)

The Problem

alternative materials The research and development team at a large sportswear company noticed a growing demand for synthetic down sportswear and a parallel, yet conflicting, demand for lighter-weight gear. The R&D team realized that to keep up with shifting consumer preferences and exploit this market gap, they needed to develop a new synthetic material that was lighter in weight and maintained the thermal properties of heavier polyester padding. The team needed to speak with a variety of product and material scientists who had experience with alternative materials that could replace traditional down and polyester padding for sportswear, and appeal to customers’ changing preferences. To successfully bring a superior material to market, the team wanted to avoid revealing their company’s identity while they gathered insights from experts during the stealth development of their new product line.

Critical Issues

Cross-Industry Knowledge         Technical Expertise           Anonymity

The Solution

Maven conducted an Electronic Survey of thermal engineers, textile engineers, material scientists, and packaging professionals to anonymously gain insights about alternative materials that could be used to develop superior and lighter weight insulation for the client’s new sportswear line. In less than two weeks, the client received a report of 30 responses revealing several new alternative materials that could possibly be formulated to create an innovative solution. Once they identified the available materials that could satisfy their needs, the client selected a few respondents for Telephone Consultations to gain a deeper understanding of these alternative materials’ properties and is now testing new materials for formulation.

“We are well connected within our industry but not outside. Maven was able to seamlessly provide access to experts in other industries that opened our eyes to possible game changers. We are grateful for the guidance we received during such a critical time for our company; we were able to address our product challenges with the information we so desperately needed.”

– Performance Sportswear Designer