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Posted in: Fashion, Product/Service Development/Viability, Retail


Challenge: Polartec® brand not only spurred the growth of a $3 billion outerwear market with its Polar fleece brand, it also solidified the fabric line as a high-end, respected brand. Yet, as Malden Mills looked to the future of Polartec fabrics, concerns arose that Polartec’s connections with “fleece” would limit perceptions of the company’s products, potentially hindering prospective growth.

Objective: To explore the perceived value of the Polartec brand and how to leverage its equity across new fabric introductions.

Solution: Plan-it worked with “hard core” and “enthusiast” sports participants and Polartec retailers to develop an in-depth understanding of their attitudes and behavior, with respect to performance outerwear. Plan-it evaluated key benefits sought in performance outerwear that would drive purchases and assessed reactions to actual product samples to understand behavior and performance.

Result: Plan-it provided Malden Mills with recommendations for new product opportunities and enhancements. Polartec/Malden Mills successfully launched two new fabrics, including HEAT, a technological advancement in body temperature maintenance. Plan-it’s work also resulted in the development of a new naming system for its current fabric lines that encompassed the brand’s full range of products.