Product Development Research Case Study

Coats & Clark

Finds the Pattern for SUCCESS

Business Objective:

Coats & Clark is one of the oldest and largest names in sewing and needlecraft products.  In addition to yarns, threads and needlecraft tools and accessories, the company publishes a number of books, pattern leaflets, interactive CDs and project kits for crafters.  In 2005, Coats & Clark decided to expand its publication offering to include a periodical to support and promote its products.  Even though several major magazines already served a similar market, Coats & Clark believed that there was an opportunity in the underserved segment of that market and they wanted to target the magazine to those consumers.

Research Objective:

Coats & Clark turned to Research Inc. to design a research study that would help them gain a clearer understanding of the market and refine the focus of the magazine.  Coats & Clark's goal was to publish a magazine that would be fresh enough to young crafters, but not so much that the older more experienced segment would be turned off.


Research Inc. hosted six focus groups - two in upstate New York, two in Greenville, South Carolina and two in Utah.  All age groups and skill levels were represented.

The Result:

The research findings coincided with 80% of Coats & Clark's assumptions about the market.  The remaining 20% was new insight that really helped differentiate the magazine and its features from other publications.  For example, crocheters wanted a single page with thumbnail photos of all the projects made in each issue and voiced their annoyance at project instructions that were spread throughout the magazine.  Making the publication easier to work with and easy to reference have proven sure ways to make it stand out in its market niche.  CrochetToday publishes 100,000 magazines every other month.