A European player entering the wetsuit market

The surfing market is dominated by brands from the United States and Australia. But now, a Portuguese brand is aiming to join the ranks of the big players with their online-focused proposition. To achieve this, they approached us to help them understand their customers better. We had two objectives in this project: 

  1. Analyze and find ways to improve the current digital customer journey
  2. Support Deeply’s international expansion to Spain and France by uncovering the needs and opportunities in these markets.

In this project we worked internationally (in three languages), in two very different markets of wetsuits and regular clothing, and we all worked remotely as a result of self-isolation measures. We love the outcome and process of this project, and are very excited to share it with you.

Aiming for global goals together.

Deeply’s outlook on products and services is partly based on their value of sustainability. At Koos, we are even prouder of the work we do that incorporates this value. We’ve supported Deeply to find concepts that both support the user needs and support the efforts for a more resilient and conscious future.

Interviewing surfers across the board.

To find the answers for Deeply’s challenges, we set out to do Design Research through interviews in Portugal as well as Spain and France. We worked together with Deeply and as recruitment agencies to find the target users, and teamed up with a partner agency to do the interviews in Spanish and French. The reason we did the interviews in the native languages rather than in English, which would be directly accessible to us. We opted for this approach so that respondents could speak more genuinely about their experience because it is easier for people to express themselves in their native language.

Interviews were done remotely from the start, to avoid long distances of travel. We made remote homework material for the participants. These exercises formed the basis of the interviews and prepared our interviewees to provide insight for the Digital Customer Journey, as well as Value Propositions for Spanish and French markets. 

Riding the wave remotely.

We hear you thinking, working remotely? How does that affect the results? Well, we were doing the project partly remotely already before COVID measures hit, and we amped up the effort soon after. We moved from working in our office to working at home in the blink of an eye. And the interesting thing is that this hardly affected the quality of our research.

We were doing remote interviews, 25 of them, going through filled-out homework exercises on a shared screen. We used Miro to analyze our findings and to create the Digital Customer Journey as well as the VPCs for the markets in Spain and France. This way we could use a much bigger “wall” than our physical one at the office, providing a digital overview of all the parts. 

Because we were all working remotely, we could get together with the Deeply team and have some very efficient meetings. We were able to co-create all together, without anyone getting behind or losing their voice in this new digital setting, with interactive and participatory activities, where all participants contributed with their input. We presented our findings in a myriad of living rooms and turned kitchen tables into tools for idea generation. Hardly missing a beat in the pace of the project.

From swell to break.

When it was time to deliver, the Miro boards were translated to clear overviews of the Customer Journey and VPCs. Using these in a session gave birth to a Desired Customer Journey and a range of interesting concepts. We took the team along for the ride throughout the process and used their input to sharpen the deliverables even further, making them a collaborative output. 

Among the results were concepts for the circular economy, wetsuit repair and transparency in the value chain. It is these concepts that give purpose to the strategic work in these projects. 

For Koos it’s important to work alongside the client, transforming the process to a mutual owned project. This way, everybody was able to contribute their expertise, whether it is in surf gear, marketing or the service design process. In that way, we were able to get valuable opportunities for Deeply to strategise for the future ahead.

Time to hit the water.

As cliche as it sounds, it is true, the ending is only the beginning. It is now time to start experimenting and testing with the concepts that were cooked up. Their validity is based on research, but that does not mean they have been validated with users yet. It is now time to build prototypes and test to see what works. 

Even though it was not part of the project description, we left Deeply with a first step towards defining what and how to prototype for a test. We’re excited to see what points the user tests will confirm, and which things we can learn from even further.

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