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Last summer we hosted 19 product designers, merchandisers, and category managers from Levi Strauss in San Francisco and showed them Colorado. We toured them through our backyard and put together 3 days of trending, biking, focus groups, partying, and kart racing.
Levis came to us because they wanted to get their finger on the pulse of the fixed gear and commuter bike movement in an authentic way that couldn’t be done with traditional consumer research. They chose Denver and Boulder (as opposed to NYC, San Fran, or LA) because the scene is still young and developing organically in Colorado.
The fruits of the research have finally hit the market. Utility waistband for U-lock, stretch fabric, reinforced fabrics, sanitized brand technology, 3m reflectivity and nanosphere technology. Find out what all that means here.
While this isn’t the kind of project we work on every day it is something that falls perfectly into our scope and calls upon our core principles as a creative company. The Public Works was founded on the idea of integrated involvement with designers, consumers, and professional athletes to create a better product. If we’re developing a DJ booth for Red Bull for example we get together with DJ’s, bar owners, bar tenders, etc. to call upon the knowledge of the experts and those that will be using the product to develop something truly custom and designed to the needs of the end user.
The week started with a bike tour of some of our partners and friends around Denver. We started at the Curtis Hotel in Denver and hopped on Denver’s public B-Cycle bikes and cruised to Yespleasemore a pop up store featuring the work of local artists, then we rolled down the street to DVLP Clothing and Omerica. DVLP is a local clothing brand that is collaborating with local artists and Omerica is an amazing wood jewelry company designing and producing all their product in Denver. Then we headed down the street to the Taxi live/work development. after spending some time touring the work spaces we cruised through the skate park and headed to the Platte street area to visit our good friends at Jiberish Clothing, Emage skate shop and Salvagettis Bike shop.
Omerica repping Xrocksthespot
That evening was an “industry insiders” dinner/party. The Public Works reached out to a large network of shop owners, event organizers, and influencers involved in the fixed gear bicycle culture. A steady flow of tapas and cocktails kept the evening fun and easy going while connections were made and info was exchanged.
The next morning the Levi’s crew headed over to Salvagettis to meet up with 20 consumers selected as a representative sample of the key demographic. They broke into groups based on predetermined consumer types and spent 2 hours in small groups talking culture, trends, and product. The group then headed to Boulder to meet with 20 more consumers and do a short trending walk through the famous Pearl Street walking mall.
On the last day the crew headed to The Track at Centennial for debriefing meetings, action planning, and some serious burning of rubber. The Track is some of the most fun possible on 4 wheels with a fleet of carts that clock out at over 54mph on almost a mile of snaking concrete with 21 turns. The Levi’s team left full of adrenaline and information and ready to charge confidently into a new market.
It was amazing watching the good folks at Levis engaging and connecting with consumers and developing a go forward plan.