DeWALT Inc. is a leading worldwide consumer power tool company, founded in 1924 and acquired by Stanley Black & Decker in 1960. Currently, DeWALT manufactures and sells more than 200 different power hand-tools and 800 accessories. (Wikipedia, 2016). When DeWALT became a customer of Canadian company Vision Critical Communications Inc., an online Insight Community was launched and it would forever change how they develop and design their products.
© Millbrath, S., Vision Critical Communications Inc. Retrieved from Vision Critical Blog on Oct. 17, 2016
As illustrated in this image, the Insight functionality is applied in 4 key research areas: Exploratory, Evaluative, Performance, Messaging & Communication. (Millbrath, S., Oct. 2016). Several instances of how DeWalt’s own Insight Community has helped accomplish its research objectives are outlined in the testimonial video below. In short, DeWalt gets the information that they need from their customers faster. And, according to Shannon Chenoweth, DeWalt’s Market Research Manager, “the speed at which we get responses back from our Insights Community has been essential and one of the best things about using Vision Critical.”
Because insight communities are built on long-term, meaningful relationships between brands and customers, companies know with whom they’re interacting. Customer feedback through an insight community is created in a context that makes it instantly meaningful. And since customers develop longlasting relationships with companies, they’re invested in the company’s long-term success and have an incentive to offer the kind of high-quality feedback that leads to actionable insight. (Vision Critical, 2016).
DeWALT sends out “about 5-7 surveys per week” according to Alexis Martino and “using the panel we get a very high response rate and excellent answers.” Collaboration of shared survey results between departments adds further value for their management team. Surveys can be done before, during and after the launch of a product. Information from customers on what matters to them about their products is collected. DeWALT is able to design better products and get them to market faster using these resources. “You need a fast and accurate assessment tool to be more reactive in the marketplace. Before the insight community trying to get large quantitative data was next to impossible.” (Ward Smith, 2016)
There are now “approximately 12,000 members in the DEWALT Insights Panel…8,000 of them are professional tradespeople and 4,000 are DIY product users. With this knowledge, (DeWALT) can target the general contractor or the Millennial, for instance, who works in commercial construction in a particular region and owns a hammer drill.” (Millbrath, S., 2016).
And, because the target of the research is more focused the results are vastly improved. This has certainly contributed to financial success for DeWALT.
“We looked at the activities that we did last year in our insight community and found that would have spent the equivalent of $5 million if we engaged a vendor to do those research studies for us. Considering the investment we’ve made in our insight community, we’re saving millions of dollars for the company.” (Chenoweth, S., 2016).
Lessons for Others
DeWALT has been able to improve and develop new products by streamlining their product development processes and at measureable cost-savings throughout their organization. By embracing their online customer forum they have improved communications and trust between themselves and their customers. They have been able to get products to market faster, with features and packaging preferred by their customers, improved the quality of their products and thereby strengthened their brand. Social media has proven to be another great tool for this company.
Industry: Manufacturing, Power Tools
Name of Organization Contact: Shannon Chenoweth, Market Research Manager. See Resources for additional contacts
Authored by: Michelle Brady
If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.
Chenoweth, Shannon. Market Research Manager. April 26, 2016. [Vision Critical Blog] How authentic engagement leads to millions of dollars in cost savings. Retrieved on October 17, 2016 from https://www.visioncritical.com/customer-engagement-leads-to-millions-of-cost-savings/
Chenoweth, Shannon. Market Research Manager. Oct 11, 2016. [Vision Critical Blog] Product testing best practices from DEWALT and Wolverine Worldwide. Retrieved on October 17, 2016 from https://www.visioncritical.com/product-testing-best-practices-from-dewalt-and-wolverine-worldwide/
Chenoweth, Shannon., Market Research Manager, DeWalt Inc. [Vision Critical Corporate Website] Retrieved on October 17, 2016 from https://www.visioncritical.com/customer-stories/dewalt/
DeWalt Inc., 2016. [Corporate Facebook page] Retrieved on October 11, 2016 from https://www.facebook.com/DEWALT/
DeWalt Inc. 2016. [Corporate Website] http://www.dewalt.com
Hutton, Ellie. (April 26, 2016). How authentic engagement leads to millions of dollars in cost savings. [Vision Critical blog] Retrieved on October 17, 2016 from https://www.visioncritical.com/customer-engagement-leads-to-millions-of-cost-savings/
Martino, Alexis., Senior Market Research Analyst, DeWalt Inc. [Vision Critical Corporate Website] Retrieved on October 17, 2016 from https://www.visioncritical.com/customer-stories/dewalt/
Milbrath, Sam. (Oct. 11, 2016). Product testing best practices from DEWALT and Wolverine Worldwide. [Vision Critical blog] Retrieved on October 17, 2016 from https://www.visioncritical.com/product-testing-best-practices-from-dewalt-and-wolverine-worldwide/
Smith, Ward., Group Product Manager, DeWalt Inc. [Vision Critical Corporate Website] Retrieved on October 17, 2016 from: https://www.visioncritical.com/customer-stories/dewalt/
Vision Critical (Oct 27, 2015). Vision Critical Customer Story featuring DEWALT [YouTube video] Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJSn4ax-LGk
Vision Critical Communications Inc., 2016. Corporate Website: https://www.visioncritical.com
Wikipedia, 2016. Retrieved from [online] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeWalt