Brand Storytelling and Consumer Market Research | Liz Claiborne

The aim of this consumer market research study was to develop a potential branding strategy for Liz Claiborne.

The concept we were exploring was “Metroburbia.” It was initiated by The Kaplan Thaler Group, the New York based advertising agency known for high-profile campaigns liked he Aflac Duck. KTG wanted both to develop the “Metroburbia” idea and understand what it might mean to Liz Claiborne consumers.

We set up the project as a series of in-home ethnographic research studies in the suburbs of New York and Chicago.

The Story Begins with a Journalist’s Insight

Informing us were insights from David Brook’s 2004 book, On Paradise Drive, in which the New York Times columnist and author argues that the suburbs have become far more diverse, interesting and sophisticated than the bland and unidimensional image of the ‘burbs that so many of have held.

Starting from that, we asked our respondents to give their points-of-view.

They confirmed Mr. Brooks’ findings, describing their “metroburban” communities as filled “with so many different kinds of people, so many different kinds of careers…it’s really an eclectic group.” The women talked about neighbors ranging from corporate executives to artists, actors and concert pianists. Moreover, they were both comfortable and proud of where they lived.  Some added that “metroburbia” was more “authentic” than the city, where people are often “trying to be what they’re not.”

Connecting the Research to the Brand

We then presented the women with mock-ups from a potential ad campaign, which showed models dressed in the latest Liz Claiborne fashions.

For one, they were pleasantly surprised that these clothes were coming from Liz Claiborne. They liked what they saw and felt the styles aligned perfectly with the Metroburan identity which they had been exploring with us.

Liz Claiborne’s marketing teams was also impressed with the results of this consumer market research study. The video distillation was part of a presentation which helped KTG land the high-profile fashion account.