A Single Platform to Drive Product Feedback, Innovation, and Speed-to-Market

The Challenge:

Elevating Product Testing at L.L.Bean to Accommodate More Complex Assortments, Ongoing Innovation, and Faster Speed to Market

Popular outdoor gear and apparel brand L.L.Bean had long been applying customer feedback to build better products. Over time, however, striking changes in eCommerce solutions and materials and manufacturing processes, as well as the widespread use of social media, required a more mature approach to collecting and applying consumer insights to shape product development in ever-tightening timeframes.


“Once you have MESH01 up and running, consider starting with updating a core product to get familiar with the platform and generate the biggest impact on the top and bottom line.”

David Findlay

Former SVP and GMM of Men’s Apparel, Footwear,
Outdoor Sports & Travel divisions at L.L.Bean

The MESH01 Solution:

Providing a Single-Platform Product Testing Solution With a Modern Approach to Customer Feedback

At the time of our engagement with L.L.Bean, we had already advanced product testing capabilities for brands through the MESH01 platform. We realized that distributing random surveys and compiling fragmented consumer feedback data was inefficient and a drag on ever-increasing product development timelines. To help brands maximize the product testing phase, the MESH01 platform provides a single solution for testing and feedback collection from target users, as well as easy cross-departmental distribution of results. We enable faster speed to market with a vetted, high-quality product.

Seeking a New Approach to a Century-Old Product Testing Process

Product testing has been an integral part of L.L.Bean’s product development process for more than 100 years. Products would be sent out to field testers with detailed questionnaires, and the results would have to be summarized and applied to the overall process to make changes and improve the product line.

Over time, manufacturing processes, eCommerce solutions, new materials, and how brands engage with consumers have changed significantly. One constant, however, has been the value of listening to customers and using their feedback to build better products.

As business began to move more rapidly, L.L.Bean needed a way to evolve its product testing process to meet the changing landscape while continuing to collect and apply rich customer feedback. The company simply did not have time to continue distributing random surveys and collecting and analyzing fragmented feedback.

The challenge L.L.Bean was facing when they came to MESH01 was how they could make product testing work with more complex product assortments, ongoing innovation, and faster speed to market.

L.L.Bean needed a way to evolve its product testing process to meet the changing landscape while continuing to collect and apply rich customer feedback.

Delivering Three Valuable Solutions for Product Testings Success

At the time L.L.Bean came to MESH01, we had already developed a platform that brought the type of innovation to product testing that L.L.Bean was looking for. Right out of the gate, L.L.Bean knew they would be able to accomplish three of the most important steps toward product testing success through the MESH01 platform:

  • Utilizing an intuitive and easy-to-adopt platform
  • Engaging the right testers to generate actionable customer insights
  • Reinventing top products first to make a big initial impact

Plus, the MESH01 platform enables brands like L.L.Bean to tackle those steps seamlessly and on tight product development timelines.

L.L.Bean knew they would be able to accomplish three of the most important steps toward product testing success through the MESH01 platform.

Providing an Intuitive and Easy-to-Adopt Platform

For L.L.Bean’s developers and designers, the MESH01 platform is easy to engage with and use right away. We were able to help their team dramatically shorten the time spent facilitating customer surveys, aggregating feedback, and applying those insights across the product development process.

The MESH01 platform features a dashboard that makes it easy to generate survey questions, select the right testers from a large, qualified community of target customers, view feedback in real-time, and quickly summarize the results.

One significant improvement to L.L.Bean’s product testing process offered by the MESH01 platform was the ability to connect with a community of more than 40,000 product testers around the world who are identified by lifestyle, activities, and bio-attributes.

L.L.Bean is able to engage with the testers that most closely align with their product and market to ensure they get relevant feedback that is reflective of their actual target customers.

We helped the company build its ideal community of testers to fit the brand’s apparel, footwear, and outerwear products and sporting goods, and made it easy for L.L.Bean’s field testing coordinators to interact with the testers and facilitate feedback.

Through the MESH01 platform, L.L.Bean received multi-channel feedback including detailed, digital surveys, performance zone heat mapping, image, and video uploads, and activity logs. The platform also allows L.L.Bean’s team to continue engaging with the testers over time, delivering additional efficiencies to the product development process.

Reinventing a Multi-million Dollar Rain Jacket

Access to a vast community of product testers isn’t just beneficial for new products, but for existing ones as well. L.L.Bean had a rain jacket that had been widely successful but was entering the decline stage of its product lifecycle. Using the MESH01 platform, the team engaged product testers and generated valuable feedback that resulted in five key item updates – including trim detail changes, material changes, and a fit update – that would ultimately revitalize the jacket for the market again.

With the help of MESH01, L.L.Bean avoided a sales decline and increased customer satisfaction.

For many brands, a high percentage of revenue comes from a few top products, making it all the most important to keep those products fresh and up-to-date before they reach their maturity and begin to decline.

Discover innovative product testing on even the tightest development timelines with the Mesh01 platform

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