Research Insights Inform the Go-To-Market Strategy of the Q-Collar

Market Research Case Study for Sports Sector
Client: Q30 Innovations
Category: Sporting Goods
(New product/category exploration)

The Business Issue

The Q-Collar, developed by Q30 Innovations, is a science-backed injury prevention wearable device that reduces traumatic brain injury among contact sport athletes. An early pilot program had determined that consumers were falling off the conversion cycle, with some ultimately purchasing, and others not. The Q30 team partnered with Stitch Marketing Research to establish a sustainable connection between the product and the consumer, and ultimately redefine Q30’s Go-To-Market strategy

The Techniques

Stitch used a hybrid qualitative and quantitative research approach with teenage athletes in North America, along with their coaches and parents. A follow up survey was also conducted with online purchasers of the Q-Collar. The framework for this approach included:

  • Reveal root causes of skepticism and/or confusion about Q-Collar, including details of all barriers to purchase

  • Identify the hierarchy of potential avenues for education and consumer acceptance

  • Identify the purchase influences and drivers for early adopters

  • Outline the media and marketing (positioning) strategy that will be most effective for driving awareness, interest, trial, purchase and recommendation

The Recommendations


  • Current target market consists of multiple buyers – Adjusting marketing communication and understanding the pyramid of influence will help define a methodology and an architecture to target content and media efforts. For example, players rank their peers (teammates, etc.) as very strong influences, even above professional athletes, and nearly as influential as doctors. Importantly, players rank coaches as more influential than parents.
  • The Q-Collar is well received by buyers and has market potential. However, potential buyers/adopters point to some clear questions they need answered. Is it safe? What is the science behind it and how does it work? Is it FDA approved? Are there elite athletes using the product? Consumers need a way to to believe in and trust this product – address the consumer journey/funnel with a punch of marketing communication that is fast, clear, strong and inarguable.
  • Seek to develop different influencing factors that cover all the necessary categories of authority, trust, and credibility in consumers’ minds. Research-savvy households with a history of concussions are most easily converted, but there are fewer of those consumers in the market. Referrals also act as a fantastic customer acquisition tool. Customers are bound to trust people that they know more than the brand itself

The Results


The research clearly revealed that purchasing a Q-Collar was a relationship purchase – or one that relies heavily on education, credibility, and trust. By showcasing the buyer journey, our research helped Q30 understand key motivators, identify barriers to entry, and inform a customer-centric value proposition. For instance, the methodologies showed that 50% of sales were from referrals which drove testimonials and efficacy. The insights also enabled Q30 to redefine their Go-to-Market strategy and to best position the product to all audiences including elite level athletes.

Client Commentary:

“Working with Stitch brought strategic awareness to our project. Our expectations of the research were exceeded, especially due to the excellent and comprehensive preparation of the results. We were able to gain extremely
valuable insights for us that significantly influenced our strategic decisions.”

Q30 Innovations