How Market Research Supports Great Advertising

Consumers Like Advertising Best When It Entertains More Than It Sells

Mad Men Are Mad About These Women in Advertising. Jason Merritt | Entertainment | Getty Images

The Briggs & Riley Travelware division of U.S. Luggage practices differentiation from Tumi, Louis Vitton, Rimowa, and other high-end luggage, such as that sold in Monocle magazine.  Well-heeled travelers happily pay for luxury goods that go beyond status and give good value for price.  Good value in luggage begins with durability.  Accordingly, the new Briggs & Riley campaign theme is:

Engineered for reality. Guaranteed for life. 

The advertising agency for the Briggs & Riley campaign is Marty Weiss and Friends of New York city.   With an increased in its marketing budget to $1.5 million, the company will conduct a comprehensive multichannel campaign.  Kantar Media division of WPP reported that the marketing spend at Briggs & Riley over the past several has been modest, reaching a $40,000 apex in 2009.  Expect to see print, online, and in-store advertising, as well as changes to social media and public relations content.  The campaign will extend to trade show booths, a catalog, and website redesign

With product pricing in the range of $300 to $600, Briggs & Riley is nudging into a crowded space.  The distinguishing theme of the advertising campaign is that this line of luggage can take anything the real world of travel dishes out.  This is the luggage version of the Timex that takes a beating but keeps on ticking advertisement on which Mad Men would have cut their teeth.

Indeed, the soft-sell understated tone of the campaign is reminiscent of the 1960s and 1970s golden age of advertising.

Travelers Get Both Style and Substance in Briggs & Riley Luggage

The ad agency stresses that Briggs & Riley luggage doesn't make consumers choose between style or substance.  The overarching design distinction in Briggs & Riley luggage is the articulation of style in a substantial form that relieves travelers of concerns about whether their luggage will make it through the travails of the trip without giving them heartburn.


How the Market Research Was Conducted

Briggs & Riley considered every feature of the new luggage, measuring the current attributes of the bag against the demands of modern travel.  The Briggs & Riley bag needed to be designed for the harried traveler who must engage in last-minute elbowing to find space for their bag in the overhead bins.  It was essentially that the bag would glide smoothly down the narrow aisles of packed planes during onboarding.  With baggage loaders making a sport of tossing passengers bags from heights that would impress Michael Jordan, extreme sturdiness is non-negotiable.

A headline of one Briggs & Riley advertisement notes:

"To make a little more room, we did the unthinkable. We made a little more room."

The advertised additional capacity of the Briggs & Riley travel bag was created by mounting the handle on the outside of the bag.  And to carry that additional weight with ease, the wheels were redesigned.  The ad content reads:

"Most companies don't see the need to reinvent the wheel.  We beg to differ."

A key driver of the Briggs & Riley campaign has been customer feedback.  Fans of the luggage brand are a devoted and loyal lot, and they have let the company know which features they like, and what features they would like to see in the line of luggage.

Briggs & Riley focuses on developing life-long relationships with their discerning customers

The company manifesto of Briggs & Riley consists of a list of belief statements, one of which sums up the company purpose: 

"Travel is stressful enough.  Luggage shouldn't add to it."

In keeping with this objective, Briggs & Riley eschews the lifestyle statements of their competitors. Weiss says of his agency's campaign that the brand is taking a "smart, intelligent" approach by "throwing in a little wit" so as not to be seen as a brand that is "full of itself."  The advertisement shows Briggs & Riley luggage fans singing "Down on the Corner, Out on the Street" to their luggage. 


Elliott, St. (2014, May 27). Luggage brand unpacks new theme and ads. Campaign Spotlight. The New York Times.