How can consumer insight accelerate your brand in the world of fashion & beauty


20th June 2024

Hannah Reed & Iona Gillies

How can consumer insight accelerate your brand in the world of fashion & beauty

At Walnut, we know how fast-paced the world of fashion is.

With new micro trends continually bubbling up on social media, and subcultures ever evolving, it can be hard for brands to keep up with the zeitgeist. For example, ‘Cowboy Core’ has been exploding across fashion and music, as we see the rise of western inspired outfits spanning the retail sector from luxury to high-street.

However, in order to speed up, you often have to slow down, and we have also seen the migration towards a more meaningful shift towards sustainability from retailers and consumers. From growing appetites for sustainable materials, to easier access to circularity, helping push for more mindful consumption is also key for long term sustainable growth.

Being able to stay on top of shifting attitudes and behaviours (and adapting your strategy in response) is therefore crucial to remain competitive and ensure long-term success in the world of retail.

The most successful brands are already delving deep into consumer behaviour, market trends, and competitor strategies, to uncover invaluable insights that inform product development, marketing strategies, and overall brand positioning. Gathering these insights is crucial to navigate this ever-changing landscape with confidence, and being able to be proactive when it comes to new trends, rather than reactive.

Consumer insight is at the heart of decision making for many fashion & beauty brands and retailers – and we’d love to tell you more about how our human understanding can help you get closer to your customers.

How can Walnut help?

We have a bespoke team of retail and fashion specialist researchers ready to tackle anything. Whether you want to understand more about the category landscape, activating customers, or homing in on product optimisation, we can offer a tailored solution to drive powerful commercial strategies.

This can look like:

  • Ensuring that new launches are fit for purpose and easy for customers to understand and adopt through product and concept testing – this could be a new fashion line, a loyalty scheme, a TikTok campaign.. the options are limitless!
  • Unpicking the implicit biases at play across touchpoints and optimising communications accordingly through the expertise of our applied Behavioural Science audits – this could be anything from optimising your regular customer communications, to futureproofing your long-term store set up and design.
  • Future-proofing the retail environment by exploring store of the future concepts through a consumer lens – this is particularly important as experiential retail is ever-growing in the fashion and beauty world.
  • Optimising packaging – the most visible aspect of a product at point of purchase – through our range of pack testing approaches
  • Understanding decision-making hierarchies through contextual conjoint testing by our advanced analytics specialists – critical for helping more consumers choose your brand


Our work

Creating a closer connection with customers

We worked with an international womenswear brand who were looking to better understand their core customer needs, as well as the next generation’s needs. Through instore focus groups with their target market, we were able to uncover motivations and barriers at shopping with the brand, and ways to create an even better store environment for these consumers.

Supporting with a successful rebrand

Our client was a large high street retailer looking to rebrand its identity and shift perceptions towards being seen as high quality, premium, timeless, and trendy. The store transformation featured a curated range of merchandise, integrated technology such as smart mirrors, and a much more modern aesthetic. We spoke to target and lapsed customers to see if and how the rebrand impacted their perceptions. We were able to uncover deeper emotional associations around the brand, and give strategic recommendations as to what elements were conflicting with the new brand image.

Understanding attitudes towards sustainability

This client wanted to hone in on repair, reuse, recycle, re-sell and re-fill initiatives particularly for the clothing category. Grounded in Behavioural Science, we spoke to those who were both making changes and those who were resistant to understand the differences in attitudes. Our research enabled the team to re-think their initiatives surrounding the clothing category knowing that recycling and re-selling seemed the easiest for consumers to adopt.

We truly believe that research is the foundation upon which successful fashion brands are built. By harnessing the power of data-driven insights, brands can make informed decisions that drive innovation, foster brand loyalty, and ultimately, propel them towards sustained growth and success in the highly competitive fashion market.

Contact the Authors:

For inquiries or questions, feel free to reach out to one of our authors here:

Hannah Reed –

Iona Gillies –

Written by Hannah Reed & Iona Gillies Email Hannah Reed & Iona Gillies

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