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  • Gullistan

    GULISTAN: Using Consumer Research to Define and Expand the Product Line

    This company had been part of the J.P. Stevens textile company, and, in 1988 became the Carpet Division of JPS Textile Inc.

    According to CEO Mike Rooney, in 1995, there was a management buy-out of the carpet Division from JPS Textile. Following that move, the company name was changed to Gulistan, a signature entity in the early 1920s, which had been owned by J.P. Stevens since the early 1960s.

    The new company proceeded to bring out a series of new carpet styles with some success, but management was not satisfied.

    Britt Beemer was retained to recommend how to improve styling and encourage greater customer sampling on a new collection of Gulistan products designed for retail sales.

    According to Rooney, "We were a bit concerned about using a consultant because so many of them feed back to their clients what they want to hear.

    "That was anything but the truth with Britt, who would bluntly tell us later on that so many of our favorite ideas for the collection would not work in practice."

    There were several objectives in the assignment, for which one key goal was to produce an analysis of the business climate that would enable the company to compete effectively against the established leaders in the industry.

    When the research for the new collection was completed, Beemer translated it into a program of action including specific price points; recommendations for providing features that the consumer expected; and specific suggestions for getting the new product line off the ground.

    Britt outlined a series of improvements that needed to be made, which were extremely successful and set a new standard in the industry.

    He said Gulistan needed a certain magic number of products if the collection was to be successful, and, based on his research, made recommendations on colors and designs, sizes and textures.

    "We experimented with approaches other than his only to learn that he was right on target," Rooney says.
    The new product launch, which took place in 1995, was, in the opinion of many, the most successful in the history of the industry. Results continue to come in, and the business continues to grow.

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