Client
Deliverable
Research Report, Brand and Product Recommendations
Year
2017

Tens

Building a nuanced understanding of a sunglasses company’s existing customer base
Client
Deliverable
Design Principles
Manifesto
Year
2016
Client details
Open Experience (OX) is the Royal Bank of Scotland’s innovation lab, based in Edinburgh and London, and established in 2016. They address challenges from across all parts of the bank, while championing a human-centered and collaborative attitude to innovation through design thinking approaches. 
CLIENT DETAILS

Tens is sunglasses company, first imagined by three friends during a road trip across the Scottish Highlands. Since their launch on Indiegogo in 2014 they have gone from strength to strength, from securing investment from Richard Branson, and launching several successful lines of sunglasses, to building a global online retail business. 
THE CHALLENGE
Tens was facing several critical decision points around brand positioning, manufacturing materials and price points. They approached us to help them gain an understanding of their customers and identify which parts of their brand and product offering were most valuable.
Project links
OUR APPROACH
We initially used Tens’ mailing list to conduct a surface-level survey with around 2000 of their customers, giving us some initial insight into our research questions. The survey also helped us source a pool of participants for further research. Using the data collected, we segmented their customer base into groups and recruited 14 participants across these groups for semi-structured remote interviews. 

Based on our conversations with their customers, we created a series of ‘tribes,’ which outlined different groups of Tens customers and the different forms of value that each of these groups derived from buying Tens’ sunglasses. Corresponding to each of the tribes, we created a ‘chief’ which, similar to a persona, served as an example of an individual who was an archetypal member of the tribe. 

Based on our learnings, we delivered a series of strategy recommendations around their product, brand and marketing strategy.

Results

REPOSITIONING THE TENS BRAND

In line with our recommendations, Tens have differentiated their brand from luxury sunglasses companies (e.g. Prada, Gucci, DKNY) and have established a more homegrown, story-driven narrative which places more emphasis on the small team, the Scottish origins, and the founders’ journeys.

A REFINED PRODUCT STRATEGY

Also in line with our recommendations, Tens have simplified their product range, doing away with season-based collections, and have started making their frames out of renewable plant-based acetate, instead of more harmful plastics.

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