Faherty is a family-run lifestyle and apparel brand dedicated to lessening environmental harm and helping consumers become better stewards of the planet. Founded in 2013, Faherty’s high-quality, sustainably-minded clothing is sold directly online and in stores, as well as through leading retailers including Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom.
Despite its recognizable name and notable success, Faherty is just eight years old. As a young brand, most of the company’s merchandising decisions were based on founder intuition and factory minimums. While the team often consulted historical sales information, they were hungry for real-time consumer demand data to more effectively evaluate newness, craft high-performing assortments, and optimize buy-depths. “We knew we were overproducing and that it was a growing pain,” recalls Caitlin McGilvery, Director of Merchandising for Faherty’s men’s line.
Today, Faherty uses MakerSight’s Voice of Consumer testing to capture direct, detailed consumer feedback that helps guide decisions at various stages throughout the brand’s product creation and line review process:
Rather than depending solely on gut instincts and opinions, Faherty relies on MakerSights to tap into and analyze consumer sentiment when evaluating which styles and product details to introduce. Target audiences can rate CAD drawings of men’s shirt patterns and colorways, as well as provide free-form commentary. The brand also conducts bucket and head-to-head analyses within MakerSights to determine design details, like pocket, belt loop, and logo placement, to name a few.
Faherty leverages MakerSights to help balance assortments and decide which styles to adopt and drop each season. Interactive consumer sentiment visualizations and demand analytics enable the team to quickly and objectively identify hero styles and cut the long tail, effectively preventing cannibalization and maximizing the productivity of each SKU.
Once an assortment has been finalized, MakerSights provides demand insights from Faherty’s target audience to recommend how much budget to allocate to each SKU. Faherty considers this information to help right-size investment depths and avoid overproduction while still meeting sales goals.
Faherty also uses MakerSights to create custom audience segments that shop at their retail partners’ stores, like Nordstrom. After testing seasonal assortments and gauging product sentiment among these consumers, the sales team leverages this data to maximize sell-in and secure shelf space during meetings with wholesale partners.
As Faherty continues to mature into a highly successful and sustainable brand, MakerSights is able to help the team overcome many of its growing pains. Having access to consumer sentiment and demand data via analytics and interactive visualizations that were purpose-built for retail brands has streamlined the team’s once emotionally-charged milestone meetings by allowing them to have more focused and objective discussions.
“We are now able to create, tweak, adopt, and drop styles based on what we know consumers want, versus what we think they want,” says Caitlin. “MakerSights enables us to take more calculated creative risks, and we’ve seen considerable growth from making consumer-led decisions, like adding belt loops to some of our men’s shorts and decreasing the length of men’s shorts.”
While Faherty’s assortments typically start with around 300 items, MakerSights helps the brand identify and drop between 50 and 100 cannibalizing or under-performing SKUs per season. The ability to accurately gauge consumer preferences and purchase intent has also played an important role in minimizing the brand’s environmental footprint. Over the last three years, Faherty has successfully reduced overproduction by 50%!
Finally, pinpointing products target consumers will love and right-sizing channel investment depths has doubled Faherty’s sell-through rate, which minimizes markdowns, boosts brand integrity, and ultimately contributes to their mission of minimizing waste.
“I feel much more confident going into milestone meetings armed with MakerSights’ Voice of the Consumer data. The insights it provides enable me to objectively validate costly and impactful merchandising decisions. MakerSights helps me sleep at night.”