A Seamless Brand
Ask anyone in China and they’ll tell you that JACK is the most beloved sewing machine brand on store shelves. High quality yet low cost workhorses, the swift sewing machines had steadily gained market share since their launch in 2003, reaching the number one market position in Asia within a decade. But being the most well-liked sewing machine in Asia also made the brand something of a target.
A Strategy to set JACK apart
In the last several years, up-and-coming competitors started to jostle the scene, introducing products with strikingly similar features and even the same style of block-letter logo. Looking at a store shelf, users were starting to have a hard time differentiating JACK from the other dead ringers sitting next to it.
To counter this trend, we created a two-pronged approach: innovating the machines to add more differentiation in Asia’s saturated market, while at the same time moving the company into the ranks of globally recognized brands.
Getting to the bottom of the stitch
For three months, our UX experts and designers visited factories, tested machines, and uncovered insights at all levels of the business by talking to marketing, engineering, dealers, and buyers.
With their feedback, our team pointed to a strategy to modernize JACK – moving the brand away from its more traditional approach and giving it the opportunity to ride the Industry 4.0 wave – an approach to the digitization of manufacturing that incorporates big data, advanced analytics, and automation.
An Integrated Design Approach
Together with Jack, we laid the groundwork for an integrated design approach that would boost the brand and move it towards its goal – starting with the machines and moving all the way through JACK’s services, spaces, communication, and digital experiences.
With this method, we could introduce the brand back into the market at a 3D/4D level. For users, that meant that any contact with JACK– whether customer service, digital experiences, in-store music, or retail environments – would leave the users with a unified experience, regardless of the where and when.
Reinventing the machine and its product language
"During those months of research, we observed that people tended to forge an emotional connection with their machine, seeing it not entirely as a tool, but as a small helper or companion," said Wang Ying, senior user experience designer.
To play into that bond, we began to incorporate animal-like features that would help further enhance the user’s connection to the machine’s personality and the experience of working with it. In JACK’s case, we selected eagle-like attributes — including quickness, strength, and dexterity — as the kind of features that would aid in developing a closer bond with the JACK brand.
We also developed an angled display so that users could sit more comfortably when reading the operation panel — an essential optimization for the posture of users working long hours. We simplified the buttons to only the main features that would promote JACK’s simply and clean, new designs. To further add to the experience, we included a USB port to charge mobile devices as well as depth adjustment for better ergonomics. The major adjustments were centered on meeting the user’s unmet needs — intensifying their emotional connection with the brand.
A significant takeaway from watching users with the machines was the obvious fear of pushing the wrong button or — for first-time users — getting started for the first time. After some discussion, our team had the idea to incorporate a speaking feature into the machine, which would give verbal feedback every time a button is pushed and aid in helping users find their way.
An Luo, president of TEAMS Asia Pacific, talked about the significance of the speaking feature: “This all circled back to creating a more human-centered machine, tightening that bond with each user that JACK comes in contact with.”
To complete the brand relaunch, JACK’s logo would get a younger, fresher look. Its deep blue color had gained significant market traction in China, but was starting to feel outdated among the brand’s younger generation of users.
Our team helped JACK move away from the more serious, darker blue to a lighter, peppier blue inspired by characteristics such as the flow of moving water, high speed, and reliability.
A 360-Degree Brand Experience Launches
With a refreshed product and brand, we had all of the right ingredients to design a more inviting retail environment. Keeping the focus on the high-quality machines was priority for the brand relaunch. A key idea was to set up a space similar to a supermarket and let users slowly peruse the store to find what they are looking for. Working on the logic that less is more, we reduced the front space’s accents to the simple logo with large and inviting windows to evoke interest in curious onlookers.
Keeping the new brand goals in mind, we also designed a new responsive website, factory maps, templates, and entire visual identity down to the company uniforms in preparation for a flawless launch.