Shinola is a great company to follow. They are helping revitalize Detroit, creating beautiful and functional products that are coveted by a wide range of customers, and leveraging innovative technology to understand their customers and make timely, smart decisions. We asked Christina Stilianos, the watch merchant at Shinola, for a few minutes of her time to share how MakerSights fits into their day to day retail life.
At what points in the product development cycle do you use MakerSights?
We test demand and gauge interest early. We’ve found that consumers really like being part of the design and development process. It’s important to us to understand what they don’t like as much as what they do like! We also use MakerSights to understand the potential risk of cannibalization between products and identify those with the highest likelihood to appeal to new and different customers, and drive incremental demand within our total assortment.
Which teams at Shinola engage with the MakerSights platform?
Merchants, Product Development and Planning teams all leverage MakerSights. We’ve seen the more they are engaged with the platform, the more they accept and appreciate the information. Everyone gets super excited to see the results and dig into the data! In the past, we were focused on historical data and making gut decisions. Now we can include the voice of the customer in our decisions. MakerSights helps us align our objectives and provides the science piece of our art + science equation.
We also share insights with our marketing team. They are able to tie each respondent’s feedback to unique customer attributes to help segment their customer database and understand favorite products by customer segments. This data allows the teams to include the highest converting products in engaging marketing campaigns and even select which styles to put on billboards!
What advice do you have for brands just beginning to work with MakerSights?
Keep an open lens. Un-bias yourself! Ask questions that are as open as possible in order to deliver the right products to your customers. The information that you receive can be dissected so many interesting ways. We send our women’s surveys to both men and women and we’ve had some great insights as a result! We’ve been surprised by styles that had poor ratings, but resonated with a younger crowd. We then go back to the drawing board considering…What do you do with this information? How do we change our strategy in the right way?
What other technology platforms do you use?
Google insights and Google trends give us stylistic trend information.
What’s your favorite thing about MakerSights?
Their Strategic Engagement team! Amy & Nicole are great to work with – So smart and great personalities!