Category Archives: Primary Research

New Moodboards (Drew)


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Trainer Survey Responses Pt 2. (Julia)

Response Summary (Those who were unaware of New Balance before receiving the survey)

 Total Completed Survey: 12

1. Gender answered

  • Male 33.3%  (4)
  • Female 66.7%  (8)

2. Age

  • 18-24 – 50.0%  (6)
  • 25-31 – 16.7%  (2)
  • 31-37 – 8.3% (1)
  • 38-44 – 0.0%  (0)
  • 44+ – 25.0%  (3)

3. What is the main purpose of your trainers?

  • Sport & fitness 90.9%  (10)
  • Lifestyle 18.2%  (2)

4. Where do you buy trainers?

  • Multi-brand shoe retailers (e.g. Schuh, Office) 25.0% (3)
  • Multi-brand sports retailers (e.g JJB, JD Sports) 75.0% (9)
  • Branded stores (e.g. Niketown, The Puma Store) 8.3% (1)
  • Independent stores (e.g. Oi Polloi [Manchester]) 8.3% (1)
  • Online-only retailers (e.g. Hanon, ASOS) 25.0% (3)

5. Have you ever recommended a trainer brand or pair of trainers to a friend? 

  • Yes 58.3% (7)
  • No 41.7%  (5)

6. Would you be more inclined to buy a pair of trainers manufactured in the UK than a pair of trainers that was manufactured abroad?

  • Yes 16.7% (2)
  • No 83.3% (10)

 7. Please select the three most important factors to you when buying trainers answered question 

  • Brand 8.3% (1)
  • Fashionable/On trend 16.7% (2)
  • Comfort 83.3% (10)
  • Technology (e.g lightweight design) 66.7% (8)
  • Price 91.7% (11)
  • Limited edition 0.0% (0)
  • Country of manufacture 0.0% (0)
  • Ethical manufacture 8.3% (1)
  • Celebrity endorsement 0.0% (0)

8. Of the following brands, which would you consider buying trainers from?

  • Asics 41.7% (5)
  • Onitsuka Tiger 8.3% (1)
  • Keds 16.7% (2)
  • Nike 100.0% (120)
  • Adidas 83.3% (10)
  • Reebok 66.7% (8)
  • Vans 16.7% (2)
  • Converse 33.3% (4)
  • New Balance 25.0% (3)
  • Toms 8.3% (1)

9. For the brands you did not select in the question above, please give a brief description of why you would not consider buying trainers from them:

  • Not heard of them, or considered not as good
  • I require sports trainers, specifically for running, gym, circuits and non-astro sports. The brands not ticked I have either never heard of, or know would not really be suitable.
  • Brands unknown. Would buy if shop recommended them and they were comparatively priced.
  • The two ticked are tried and trusted for running and I am very happy with them.
  • No real reason, I’ve just never been interested in them before, and they’ve never appealed. Also, missing from your options in question 7, I buy trainers or footwear because I like them – not because they’re fashionable or anything like that. I just like them.
  • Converse and Vans I see as more casualwear manufacturers. Reebok I just feel isn’t as good as Adidas and Nike, and all the rest I’ve never heard of!
  • Have not heard of them
  • They seem fashion brands and not made for sport or I have not heard of them before i.e. Toms; New Balance
  • They are not renowned sports brands, I would be unsure of their quality.
  • Either not heard of them or I would consider them an unfashionable brand.
  • Brands not known to me but also I buy trainers for sport rather than fashion and the brands to me are fashion brands

10. For the last pair of trainers that you bought, describe briefly why you ended up buying the brand that you did. What influenced your decision? Even the smallest details are of interest to us.

  • Well known brand, comfortable, reasonably priced
  • Comfort – for the high frequency of use, need to be comfortable, and suitable for the particular sports I do frequently. Furthermore, price, as a student, could not spend too much on them. Finally, attractive design and well-known /trusted brand.
  • The trainers were comfortable and made by a brand I associated with quality.
  • All round multi-purpose trainer that was not specifically designed for one sports or leisure purpose and price
  • Bought them before and good for my biomemechanics when running
  • Price. Right now, I’m cycling through cheap pairs that wear quickly so go for price and a high turnover. Then I can bash them about and not worry too much. I like to look a bit scruffy – so spending money on trainers that I want to make look shit doesn’t make sense. P.S. if the smallest details are of interest to you, why ask people to describe their reasons ‘briefly’? Anyway, I hope I’ve given you enough…
  • Just the price, style, technology. Did the trainer look pleasing to the eye..did it look professional and look suitable as a sports shoe. When i tried it on was it comfortable and did it feel like it would support my foot whilst playing high impact sport. I’m not someone who goes for a trainer style because I think it’s the coolest or most fashionable. I play a lot of sport so i need a hard wearing, well made shoe that will not rub, and will assist in my sports playing, not hinder it.
  • they’re huge brands so automatically I  have faith that they’ll be a decent pair of trainers!
  • Adidas running trainer. New technology at a sensible price. Comfort important too.
  • My last trainers were asics, I bought them as I have shinsplints and the assistant in my local sports shop suggested them to me due to their compatibility to my step and style of running.
  • I wasn’t looking for trainers, just clothes shopping in Topman. I saw them on display and liked the look of them, they had my size, so I bought them.
  • ASICs because I had trouble at the time with pulling muscles and they offered an assessment of my jogging

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Trainer Survey Results Pt. 1 (Julia)

Response Summary (Those who had heard of New Balance before being sent the survey)

Total Completed Survey: 30

1. Gender:

  • Male – 66.7% (20)
  • Female  – 33.3% (10)

2. Age 

  • 18-24 – 13.3% (4)
  • 25-31 – 50.0% (15)
  • 31-37 – 10.0% (3)
  • 38-44 – 13.3% (4)
  • 44+ – 13.3% (4)

3. What is the main purpose of your trainers? 

  • Sport & fitness 76.7% (23)
  • Lifestyle 33.3% (10) 

4. Have you ever recommended a trainer brand or pair of trainers to a friend? 

  • Yes 50.0% (15)
  • No 50.0% (15)

5. Where do you buy trainers?

  • Multi-brand shoe retailers (e.g. Schuh, Office) 26.7%  (8)
  • Multi-brand sports retailers (e.g JJB, JD Sports) 50.0%  (15)
  • Branded stores (e.g. Niketown, The Puma Store) 13.3%  (4)
  • Independent stores (e.g. Oi Polloi [Manchester]) 36.7%  (11)
  • Online-only retailers (e.g. Hanon, ASOS) 23.3%  (7)

6. Please select the three most important factors of those below to you when buying trainers:

  • Brand 23.3%  (7)
  • Fashionable/On trend 26.7% (8)
  • Comfort 86.7%  (26)
  • Technology-enhancing design (e.g light weight design) 50.0%  (15)
  • Price 70.0%  (21)
  • Limited edition 6.7%  (2)
  • Country of manufacture 6.7%  (2)
  • Ethical manufacture 6.7%  (2)
  • Celebrity endorsement 0.0%  (0)

7. How did you first become aware of New Balance?

  • Advert for New Balance 13.3%  (4)
  • Retailer (e.g. saw whilst shopping for trainers) 56.7%  (17)
  • Search engine 0.0%  (0)
  • Recommendation 6.7%  (2)
  • Other (please state) 23.3%  (7)

8. Please briefly state your impression of the New Balance brand:

  • Serious running trainers
  • They have a good variety of shoes for various purposes. This survey just mede me have another peek to their website, as I do not usually buy New Balance, but they seem to also be quite nicely designed and the prices seem to be quite varied.
  • average, run of the mill shoes.
  • Only for serious runners. Expensive.
  • A decent sports brand. I haven’t tried a pair that fit me as well as some other brands.
  • I like them, I have a pair, and they correct my gait.
  • Very good – always buy the same NB running shoes
  • good for running.
  • It is just another brand of running shoe. I have never been compelled to buy at any stage (I don’t think I have ever even tried on a pair) as I tend to stick with Asics from previous good experience.
  • they seem ok, pretty much the same as any other trainer brand
  • I’ve always seen it as a fitness shoe rather than a fashion shoe
  • Good for general running but not so for race specific, high end racing shoes
  • I have been happy with teh shoes i Have run in and would look at them in the future.
  • Solid running shoe brand that is “up there” with ASICS, Nike, Muzuno etc. I see a lot of NB running shoes at marathons etc, fewer at triathlons where they seem to prefer other brands.
  • Retro, good quality, marathon trainers
  • Best trainers i’ve owned, tried other brands but never seem to be quite as good
  • Quality brand, but did not suit my needs. Purchased a pair of shoes that were advertised as a stability shoe, but they did not offer sufficient support in the upper which caused me lower leg injuries.
  • robust sturdy great shoes
  • Very good. My wife had a pair and has been delighted with them
  • Quite expensive but well made and occasionally good looking
  • Not so conscious about the look of their trainers, price themselves cheaper as a result. Gives me an impression that the quality is lower based on lower price.
  • Slightly contrived – became aware through Julie. Have never seen their products or advertising, so no idea about the brand whatsoever. From the name sounds like it might be some sort of innovative design, like those MTB (?) shoes?

9. Would you consider buying a pair of New Balance trainers in the future?

  • Yes 90.0%  (27)
  • No 10.0%  (3)

10.For the last pair of trainers that you bought, describe briefly why you ended up buying the brand that you got. What influenced your decision? Even the smallest details are of interest to us.

  • Asics 1150 – bestselling running trainer, good for running
  • A friend recommended that brand and that particular brand to me, so I went to have a look. They were extremely comfortable and suitable for the purpose and looked all right. When a friendly shop assistant was reassuring me, that others have been very satisfied with this pair, I went for it, as they also were reduced and it was a very good price for that type.
  • Price, reviews on websites (primarily on Amazon), availability, delivery times
  • Converse. Fashionable, functional, versitile.
  • Sale price and on line reviews of a particular shoe. The brand is not improtant to me.
  • I needed a pair of trail trainers, so was looking for very light weight, with tread. I also liked the luminous green
  • My NB 850’s have been proven to suit my style of running and are very comfortable. Whilst using them I have suffered fewer injuries and the latest versions feel lighter than other shoes I have used. I stick to what I know works for me and think the shoes are good VFM.
  • I only use my trainers for running. I took my old pair in with me to sweatshop (where I bought my last pair from – I found them to be extremely helpful). I was happy with my previous trainers they were just worn out. So the shop assistant gave me the updated version of my old trainers (asics), a newer version of my old trainers, a nike pair and a new balance pair. The nike ones were too roomy – my feet are quite narrow. The pretty red new balance ones were also a bit too roomy especially across the toe bendy bit. I then spent ages trying on the two ascis pairs – not a huge difference between the two – both felt very comfy. In the end I decided on the new improved model – mainly because they were in the sale (last seasons colour) and so about £40 cheaper than they should’ve been which made them the same price as the old model. I felt like I was getting more for my money but really there was little to choose between the two shoes.
  • I got them reduced as being last pair in a range. I am a size 11 so this is quite easy to do at running specific stores. They were Asics though…
  • tried them on a running machine with the gait analysis going and they were the most comfy and helped my running style the most (they were nike)
  • It was based on the correct shoe following gait analysis conducted in store, brand was not so much a factor, it was more about the right shoe for the job
  • Comfort whilst being lightweight and good for racing in aswell as training. price was also an issue – went for the mid range price on the selction i was trying on.
  • I bought Newtons. I love the forefoot design and they are very comfy. I tried lots on, read reviews and the Newtons suited me perfectly – light, fast, forefoot tech, improved stride and running style and less soreness as a result.
  • I have been wearing ASICS gel nimbus for the last 5 years or so and been pretty happy with them. I have a sore foot at present (plantar fasciitis) and NB are currently running an ad along the lines of “when cushioning is the only thing that matters”. I thought that given my injury it had to be worth a try so I bought a pair from Sweatshop (because you can return shoes there if they aren’t right for you, I usually buy online). Have to say I really dislike the colour (bright red) compared to my lovely ASICS gel nimbus (a feminine white and pink) but honestly right now cushioning is the most important thing for me. Function above looks!
  • Tried 7 different trainers on treadmill, video assesment by experienced shop owener New Balance was one of the brands but for my feet/running style the Nike shoe led to a smooth stride.
  • recomendation of shop, wish i’d stuck with NB though
  • Tried and tested shoe (Adidas Supernova Sequence) been wearing the same model shoe for the last 5 years.
  • technology, comfort, style, and good recomendations from other athletes
  • Recommended by the sports retailer as being suitable for me. Also comfortable fit
  • They were very cheap and still fairly fashionable.
  • I bought my trainers to play football and tennis in. I knew I’d get good use out of them so decided to invest in a decent quality pair. Prices were higher than I had anticipated but had a look in sports retail shops at the selection. Picked a couple of pairs out based on how they looked, tried them on. I was happy with the comfort they provided but was sure I could get them cheaper, went home and purchased the same pair online for roughly £10-15 cheaper inc postage. I wasn’t consciously making my decision based on the brand they were but I did end up buying top brand, I’d still say my decision was based heavily on their look.
  • Nikes. The design just grabbed me straight away in the shop window. Not garish, but several patches of bright bold colour used together well. I knew people would look twice and think ‘oh, cool trainers’. I am in no way a show-off or trendy dandy but I just hate plain-looking shoes and trainers, there has to be something special about them, but relatively understated (I wouldn’t buy those awful massive blinged-up trainers you see)
  • I already owned a pair of saucony race shoes and after a gait analysis saucony and mizuno shoes were the only ones suited to me so I chose saucony because I’m already used to the style of shoe.
  • I’m training for the marathon, so I went into a specialist running shop and bought it on the recommendation of the sales people.
  • I wear trainers a lot and only wear puma. I like the style and look. My gym trainers are new balance and I like them for the gym (my previous gym trainers were also new balance) but I would never wear them out and about with jeans. Last trainers I bought were puma, I just like the style, whenever I need a new pair I just go to the puma store and buy the ones that are a decent price as I would wear any of them
  • Cheap pair of trainers within a budget, that looked good to me.
  • I bought them for fashion wear. The style were on trend, and the fact they were an off-white so wouldn’t get ‘dirty’ easily.
  • I picked them because they had lots of bright colours and looked different to the other trainers in the shop, I didnt like how the sole was a different colour to the laces but bought them anyway since they were comfortable and not too expensive.
  • the comfort and look

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That’s Cool – Vanessa Gill Brown’s DVC lecture (Toni)

  • ‘Cool’ is quiet a teenage word – but has now been passed into common use to mean good
  • How we define cool = trying too hard – fashionable
  • Cool is everywhere
  • Now n0-one wants to be good but cool
  • How do cool relate to consumer culture
    Its people’s opinion – i.e. Kurt Cobain – cigarettes, sunglasses
  • Cool can be subjective –
    ‘It’s not about what things are, but what values they represent to a given group at a given time’
  • The dandy – rival aristocracy – manors, style and wit – unshakable nerves
  • Hedonism, narcissism, irony – David Lachapellle – 1990’s – lots of drugs = cool
  • Irony – saying something other than what you mean – look of desire to play by the proper rules
  • Avant Guard – ‘before the rest’ associated with cool – before everyone else, ahead of the game, cutting edge – not a slave to fashion
  • Reason for the spread of cool – cool tactics
    ‘Could be equally useful for anyone who had lost respect for their society is dominate value system under pressure of war, persecution or corruption’ Poutain and Robins, 2000
  • Trends are like viruses – what is cool can be determined globally by a small group of influential (cool people)

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The Coolest Uncool: Text & Facebook Responses (Julia)

  • Tweed blazers
  • Tweed farmer hats
  • Frosty Jacks/White Lightening
  • STIs
  • Peter Pan collars
  • Every single edition of the Blue Peter annual
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Pokemon
  • Tamagotchies
  • Fishfinger sandwiches
  • Purple wellies + a purple watering can
  • Bright pink chopping board with sides that fold up

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The Coolest Uncool: Jo’s Answer (Julia)

As to the questions below….
it’s funny – but i have a real problem with the word ‘cool’ – speaking as a 41 year old, it makes me think of people my age trying to be cool & I’m rather cringey about that. It sounds too try-hard! I confess it’s not really a word/term I use myself
1. cool – i have 2 definitions – firstly a social/cultural generalisation – it’s something that is fashionable, but not to a mass audience – a kind of niche thing for a hip crowd; secondly, a more personal definition – i suppose a cool thing is something that’s neat or handy – that solves a particular problem. I realise as I write that I probably think of objects/gadgets as cool – more so than ideas or music or whatever

2. uncool – well, again there’s the idea of it not being fashionable to a hip crowd – but i think also the idea that a behaviour might be uncool (say, someone being intolerant -& one might say ‘that’s not cool’ to them, or ‘i’m not cool with that’) – which is a bit strange upon reflection given that cool seems to be a thing & uncool an idea! This is curiously contradictory.

3. coolest uncool thing – There is certainly the idea that uncool can often be cool – a kind of geek chic thing, I guess. As a fine art person, I reckon I’ve usually been most interested in ideas that are uncool – i start to worry if something i like is in danger of becoming cool – it’s a bit like it being colonised. (perhaps it’s a bit like the Groucho Marx quote ‘I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.’ )

Coolest uncool thing i own – well I guess it’s all the clutter in my flat – pic attached of one set of shelves. clutter isn’t very ‘design’ or 21st century – but just looking at all these books, and prints and toys and objects makes me very happy indeed.

hope this is of some help/interest – as a terminally uncool person i’m probably not yr demographic!?

PS i like very much the fact that predictive text suggests ‘book’ when people type ‘cool’ on their phones 🙂

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Gray Items Unedited (Drew)

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