Under Armour, Crocs and John Hardy Among New Customers Utilizing Five New Industry InsightSuite Solutions

PITTSBURGH, February 20, 2019 -- First Insight, Inc., a technology company transforming how leading retailers make product investment, pricing and marketing decisions, today announced the addition of more than 60 new retail and brand partners to its Customer-Centric Merchandising Platform. New First Insight customers span the entire retail spectrum, including digitally native brands, traditional retailers, and wholesale brands and licensees, with brands including Under Armour and Crocs. 

“We are excited that the retail industry continues to embrace our Customer-Centric Merchandising Platform,” said Greg Petro, CEO of First Insight. “At this point, the vast majority of the retailers and brands that are leveraging predictive analytics and digital product testing are doing so using First Insight.  This is a testament to the strength of our expanded platform which applies machine learning and predictive analytics to nearly a decade of Voice of Consumer data. By providing retailers and brands with the most information and strongest recommendations on the products they are bringing to market, we are ensuring they are able to meet their customers with the right products and prices out of the gate.”

“Under Armour’s mission is to make you better and our goal is to build innovative products that solve a problem and help athletes perform at a higher level,” said Maggie Winkel, VP of Global Merchandising at Under Armour (NYSE: UA). “Through First Insight’s analytics, we are incorporating the wants and needs expressed by our consumers into our product development process every step of the way. At Under Armour, every product we build begins with an insight and First Insight enables us to stay close to our consumer, bring differentiated product more quickly to market, and deliver performance solutions to athletes globally.”

First Insight’s Customer-Centric Merchandising Platform is a suite of solutions based on the company’s successful pre-season product testing platform that brings deep analysis, increased predictive capabilities, precise price forecasting, targeted customer segmentation data and accurate buy quantity recommendations on new products. The solutions are fast and simple to use while fully compliant with global standards for data governance and privacy.

In addition, First Insight today launched five new InsightSuite solutions tailored to specific retail sectors including:

Footwear

Designed specifically for footwear wholesale brands, InsightSuite/FW (footwear) delivers actionable intelligence early in the design cycle, reducing tooling, prototypes and sample costs, while providing sales teams with forward-looking consumer data segmented by retail channel.  These data are used at sell-in to increase adoption rates.

Caleres (NYSE: CAL) is the parent company of a number of footwear brands including Naturalizer, Allen Edmonds, Franco Sarto, Dr. Scholl’s and Famous Footwear.  “Being able to present direct consumer feedback during line reviews really elevates the discussions we have with our retail partners,” said Caleres GMM Keith Duplain. “Our sales team is more confident making line recommendations and our partners feel they are making more data-driven, consumer-based decisions.”

Crocs’ (NASDAQ: CROX) VP of Marketing Analytics Ed Wunsch continued, “First Insight results help us to target our styles, attributes, and product positioning for our key consumer segments. We use these insights to drive decisions across the organization, from product design to buying and planning to marketing.”

Consumer Products

InsightSuite/CP (consumer products) enables consumer goods companies to reduce the risk and increase the success rate of new product introductions quickly, providing feedback from hundreds or thousands of respondents in 24-48 hours. Predictive analytics deliver actionable data across dozens of attributes in real time. InsightSuite/CP is faster, more scalable and more predictive than traditional consumer research approaches such as conjoint analysis.

John Herman, EVP and GM North America at Nutrabolt, commented:  “As a fast-growing nutritional supplements company, Nutrabolt is focused not only on getting the product right, but on making sure we have the right packaging, labeling and pricing.  Also, since our products are offered through multiple channels, we need data to understand which products should be offered through which retailers and at what prices. First Insight’s platform helps us answer these questions quickly and accurately.  Using First Insight, within 24 hours, we have actionable data from our customers - as well as from those who are not yet our customers – on the optimal messaging, packaging and pricing – all segmented by retail channel. This has helped generate measurable gains in sales and margins.”

In addition to Nutrabolt, customers now using InsightSuite/CP include drinkware companies such as Tervis, restaurants, gift companies and personal care products manufacturers.

Fast Fashion

Designed to meet the unique needs of fast fashion retailers, InsightSuite/FF provides actionable data on a weekly cycle, enabling retailers to read industry trends and test new styles with consumers quickly so they can react in real time.  The result is a data-driven approach to identifying new designs, pricing items correctly, and weighting buys – all compressed into a weekly calendar.  Fast fashion retailers often buy new styles from vendors at market rather than developing products internally. InsightSuite/FF lets them test products from these vendors with speed and at scale.

Karen Pinney, Chief Merchant at rue21, one of the largest fast fashion retailers in the U.S. with over 700 stores, said, “First Insight is enabling us to test a wide range of possible new products within 24 to 48 hours. This capability enables us to drive speed to market with the right items, which is critical for a fast fashion retailer.  When compared to in-store testing, First Insight is faster, more accurate and less costly because we avoid buying unproductive store test inventory.”

Luxury

Luxury brands that traditionally based their strategies on scarcity and on selling products at full price are also turning their attention to managing inventory levels. Another challenge for luxury brands is the confidential nature of new designs: while they want customer feedback, they need to maintain confidentiality to ensure next season’s designs are not copied by another brand.

InsightSuite/LX (luxury) enables luxury brands to get feedback on new designs while maintaining confidentiality, and has proven to deliver more full-price sales while reducing inventory levels for many luxury brands.

“The John Hardy client is individualistically and artistically expressive; it’s an attitude and way of wearing jewelry that is growing in importance among our clients,” said Robert Hanson, CEO of sustainable luxury jewelry company John Hardy. “First Insight will enable us to get real-time client feedback to create and price those one-of-a-kind authentic pieces that are the essence of the John Hardy brand.”

Digitally Native

The challenge for digitally native brands is to find ways to grow a business without a physical store footprint and with a small but growing customer base. InsightSuite/DN enables these companies to reach consumer groups that are not part of their current database through integrated third party panels.  Through a wizard-based interface, designers and merchants in digitally native brands can select a target audience and gain feedback from these prospective consumer groups in real-time. 

Digitally native brands currently using First Insight include those in the apparel, footwear, jewelry and home categories.

About First Insight, Inc.

First Insight is the world’s leading customer-centric merchandising platform that empowers retailers and brands to incorporate the Voice of the Customer into the design, pricing, planning, and marketing of new products. Through the use of online consumer engagement, the First Insight solution gathers real-time consumer data and applies predictive analytic models to create actionable insights, which drive measurable value. Retailers, manufacturers and brands use the First Insight solution to design, select, price, plan and market the most profitable new products for reduced markdown rates and improved sales, margins and inventory turnover. Customers include some of world’s leading vertically integrated brands, sporting goods companies, department stores, mass merchant retailers and wholesalers. For further information, please visit www.firstinsight.com.

First Insight
Gretchen Jezerc
SVP of Marketing
gretchen.jezerc@firsinsight.com  

Media Contact:
Berns Communications Group, LLC
Stacy Berns/Michael McMullan, 212-994-4660 

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