Vision. Duct Tape. Breakthrough!BOLTGROUP helped to extend the Hunter Fan brand into the construction market by gaining insights through research and a keen eye for human behavior.
What We Did
New Product Idea Generation
User + Consumer Insights Research
Hunter Fan asked BOLTGROUP to help extend the powerful Hunter brand into the construction market. We leveraged some hard-earned skills to do so. Gaining insights is often about learning how to see. A keen eye for human behavior to spot needs that have been overlooked. Immersion within a user group to discover little annoyances that suggest product innovation opportunities. Through many hours on job sites—observing, recording, and interviewing, as well as research with builders and homeowners, BOLTGROUP understands builders and consumers like few others.
We have developed a number of ways to observe tradesmen and discover what they need. One elementary method is still a good bet—looking for duct tape. Duct tape wrapped around a tool handle signals the need for a more ergonomic design, and duct tape used to bind two tools together is a red flag for a new product.
Temperatures inside job sites can make the most seasoned contractor fade. Fans can help, but on the job sites we observed, these beacons signaled opportunity:
- Large construction teams relied on a single fan.
- Flimsy box fans were common, often repaired with duct tape.
- Fans doubled as tables by adding plywood platforms—with duct tape.
- Job sites were covered with extension cords for power tools and for fans.
BOLTGROUP grabbed that research and ran with it. We generated a variety of designs from which two hero products emerged.
The Twin Turbo Fan is encased in a rugged protective cage, has wheels for easy maneuvering and has a built-in power strip. The Sherpa Cart Fan cleverly combines a tool cart, a floodlight, and a powerful fan all in an adjustable frame. Both fans epitomize the strong character of the Hunter brand and address tangible needs on the construction site.
Through BOLTGROUP’s ethnographic research we developed a compelling list of benefits for contractors…the resulting product was selected for national rollout with a large DIY chain, and touted as the most innovative fan product at the annual line review.— Jim Barrett, SVP Marketing & Product Development, Hunter Fan