Toro® Evolution™ Irrigation Controller

With sales of over $2 Billion USD, the Toro Company is a global leader in turf and landscape maintenance products and services. Toro has a substantial presence in the global turf and landscape irrigation industry with their Toro, Irritrol and Pope branded products and services.

The “brain” of an in-ground irrigation system is the controller, which detects and organizes sensor inputs, then automates the irrigation process to produce optimal results using the least amount of water. In the homeowner and light commercial sectors, irrigation system controllers are installed by irrigation system installation contractors for their homeowner and light commercial property customers.

Toro detected, through their multiple market-listening channels, anecdotal indications of growing dissatisfaction with the current generation of analog-style controllers common in the industry.

Guided by Toro’s commitment as a market-driven organization, they commissioned an extensive multi-segment, multi-platform research effort that included in-person and online focus groups, in-depth Interviews and surveys, all designed and conducted by KNOW Market Research & Consulting.

The structured market input obtained, was used to inform business case development as well as concept, prototype and product development and evaluation. Finally, marketing research was used to help guide the development of a go-to-market strategy that maximized pull and push marketing elements to create new business opportunities for the irrigation installation contractors, by helping them create newly-enabled, high value services for their homeowner and light-commercial customers.

The resulting product, the Toro® Evolution™ Irrigation Controller, defines the next-generation of irrigation controllers with advanced touch-interface design, a smart-upgrade path and modular expansion capabilities not offered by other products.

The Toro® Evolution™ Controller earned Best New Product at the Irrigation Show in November, 2013, and is a highly successful product for Toro.

The Evolution™ introduction video can be seen HERE (Opens in a New Tab)

With sales of over $14 billion USD, WestRock is a global leader in the development and marketing of packaging and dispensing solutions across multiple product categories and market sectors. WestRock has a strong presence in the trigger sprayer product category in the health & beauty, lawn & garden, automotive aftermarket and home cleaning/disinfecting markets. WestRock supplies millions of trigger sprayers for the best known global brands such as ArmorAll™, Windex™, Lysol™, Resolve™, Mr. Muscle™, Febreze™ and many others around the world.

WestRock, which manufactures their trigger sprayers in the US and EU, was experiencing pricing pressure as Asian manufacturers gained distribution in the US and Europe. Ongoing clients began asking sales reps for substantial discounts based on, what seemed to be, a re-setting of pricing in this product category. WestRock found itself in a price war, even though their products had superior performance, reliability and value.

WestRock wanted to climb the value chain and evolve from a packaging component supplier, to a value-added packaging resource.

KNOW Market Research & Consulting joined forces with The Green Edge, Inc., a B2B marketing agency, and became their marketing research “department”. KMRC designed and implemented a global marketing research effort that included multiple in-person focus groups with consumers and multiple quantitative survey projects and in-home tests throughout the U.S., UK, and continental Europe. Through these efforts, KMRC was able to arm WestRock with the definitive global view of the value of superior packaging and dispensing, to consumers. In addition, KMRC estimated the differential value of WestRock’s competitively advantaged line of trigger sprayers. This research allowed The Green Edge, Inc. and WestRock to prepare a series of data-driven presentations that compared the value of different trigger sprayer specifications to consumers of various brands of products.

As a result of this research, WestRock became, and remains, the expert in determining the consumer value of superior packaging and dispensing in various product sectors and consumer segments, globally. By commissioning marketing research that looks all the way through to their customers’ customers, WestRock has become the go-to resource for adding packaging and dispensing value for leading global brands. This has enabled WestRock to successfully move from trying to defend its trigger sprayer pricing to purchasing agents, to engaging C-level executives in discussions regarding how to add value to their products.

WestRock’s homepage is HERE  (Opens in a New Tab)

Saint Gobain is a €39 billion French multinational specializing in precision components for the shipping, automotive and aerospace industries, as well as sustainable building materials for construction and renovation. Saint Gobain was founded in 1665 (yes fellow North Americans, you read that correctly).

Saint Gobain is a leader in the design and production of mechanical seals for use in hostile operating environments such as inside jet engines, rocket engines, nuclear power equipment, drilling and mining equipment, and many other challenging applications. They have invested heavily in the development of a core competency of measuring and understanding very extreme operating environments, then leveraging their material sciences, engineering and mechanical expertise in the development of very high performing seals for those environments.

Saint Gobain wanted to monetize this substantial investment over a broader range of industries, product categories and applications.

KNOW Market Research & Consulting designed and completed a two-phase exploration of opportunities. The first phase obtained structured input from regional sales management and marketing management personnel responsible for this business in 64 countries. KMRC designed and led a series of sessions, over two-days, to obtain, challenge, and prioritize new ways and opportunities to apply this core competency.

As part of presenting to upper management, a finite number of opportunities were identified for further market research.

KMRC then used a combination of primary and secondary marketing research to benchmark each of these opportunities, globally, as input for subsequent strategic decisions regarding growth of this part of Saint Gobain’s business.

Saint Gobain’s homepage is HERE (Opens in a New Tab)