AAU Informs Portfolio Architecture and Innovation Opportunities to Drive Growth - Persuadable Research Corporation


In 2015, Carma Laboratories was seeking to accelerate growth for the Carmex lip care brand and had key questions related to: Which consumers should they target? And, what products would attract them? Rather than guessing, they pursued answers.

That summer, Carma Laboratories commissioned an Attitudes, Awareness & Usage study with Persuadable Research. The results helped leadership craft a revised portfolio architecture, innovate against identified new product opportunities and establish focus on new consumer segments. The AA&U continues to serve as a foundational brand asset for the brand, guiding strategic decisions and helping the brand team articulate its growth strategy to key retail partners.


The strategy was driven by two critical analyses gleaned from the AA&U.

  • A Perceptual Map showed Carmex’s position in the lip care category. They were not surprised at where they were, but the distance from, and the polarization of, two other distinct factions in the lip balm category suggested an opportunity to compete in a new arena. Understanding where they weren’t was as revealing as knowing where they were. The perceptual map was critical to gaining these new category insights.
  • Segmentation of the consumer population revealed distinct segments where Carmex had opportunities. Segmentation helped drive the plan for targeting these pockets of consumers with new products formulated just for them.


  • The AA&U gave Carmex a clear understanding of how consumers perceived their brand relative to their key competitors and helped the brand team identify new opportunities for growth.
  • This new understanding helped reshape the brand strategy, becoming a key cornerstone for brand revitalization and a major restage effort.
  • Carma Laboratories leveraged the research to inform new product development. In 2016 the company launched the Carmex Comfort Care natural lip balm line and in 2017 launched Carmex Daily Care flavored lip balms with SPF 15.
  • The brand has sales momentum in market, driven by both core items and new items. Carmex dollar sales are up 13.1% vs year ago and outpacing category growth by 6.9% (IRI data thru 4.22.18).

June, 2018

“Three years in, this research continues to serve as a valuable brand asset. There is a broad depth of learning within this research that the brand continues to mine for new opportunities.”

Jona Mancuso

Vice President of Marketing[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]