Research in the United States shows that the strong-wool brand Just Shorn TM, launched recently by Elders Primary Wool, has already eclipsed the long-standing Fern Mark in the consumer target market of luxury carpet buyers.
As part of its brand launch and promotion for the Just Shorn strategy, EPW commissioned an independent research company to survey the recognition and effectiveness of several wool brands across a range of measures.
This kind of research allows Elders to monitor both the potential cut through of its Just Shorn brand as well as ensuring that it clearly shows the brand’s key values to potential buyers of luxury wool carpet and rugs.
The values that EPW wanted Just Shorn to immediately communicate to luxury carpet buyers were “New Zealand wool, natural, sustainable and clean/green.”
In head to head comparisons with the Wools of New Zealand Fern Mark and WPI’s new ‘Laneve’ brand, a total of 93% of those surveyed felt that Just Shorn clearly communicated that the carpet was made of sheep wool and 91% were convinced that the brand communicated natural and organic themes. None of the consumers surveyed thought that the new ‘Laneve’ brand had anything to do with wool or with natural products.
The research also highlighted a major lack of recognition among US luxury carpet buyers for the Wools of New Zealand Fern Mark and the recently announced Wool Partners International brand Laneve. When asked whether they recognised the Fern Mark, 97% of consumers said they did not recognise it at all.
“ Wools of New Zealand statistically has no consumer brand awareness for the Fern Mark even on a forced exposure basis when given a carpet category context, and that nearly 50% of the consumers surveyed indicated that the mark communicated nothing at all about the brand’s values.” said the Managing Director of Elders New Zealand, Stuart Chapman.
“It would be remiss of us to put faith in a brand unless we knew it clearly communicated its origins and values to the target consumers. We’re very pleased with the results of the research as it clearly shows that Just Shorn does just that.”
The research has also proven the strength of EPW’s strategy to develop a consumer targeted brand that clearly and simply shows the end user the benefits of wool over synthetics. Previous attempts to market New Zealand strong wool do not take this approach as they are focused instead on the manufacturer.
“Just Shorn is performing even better than expected against its competitors,” said Stuart Chapman. “It also confirms our brand advisor’s view that any brand that does not have a clear link to wool would face a huge struggle to get appropriate brand recognition in the US.”
The Just Shorn brand was developed by Boston-based agency, BrandContent. “It’s clear to us that our decision to use an agency based in the target market has been vindicated” said Chapman. “The research has shown that brands that are designed in NZ don’t connect with US consumers. As a result, they will never be able to drive increased returns to growers.”
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