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Solid data collection, rigorous analysis and amazing clients — it all adds up to great results.

Strengthen Brands

Frito-Lay sought to step outside its core snack business and explore an adjacent category — Salty Sweet snacks.

Using a two-phase approach that began with Sylver's proprietary Innovation Mapping and Granular Behavioral Analysis™, we first engaged 100 consumers in reporting their snacking moments over a 7-day period. Phase two involved a deep dive into eight opportunity territories defined in phase one.

This research created the foundation for the Salty-Sweet platform of snacks at Frito-Lay. From this work many successful products have been developed. One product concept broke historical BASES scores for the organization.

Strengthen Brands

In the face of a highly complex and competitive market for air travel, Southwest Airlines was seeking to better position itself as offering a differentiated and value-add travel experience for its customers. Rivals attacked previous differentiators and were beating our client on price by unbundling services, then charging for extras. Southwest needed to find it’s new future positioning to set the organization up for continued success.

We conducted a total of six Co-Creation Visioning Workshops in two markets. Each workshop included a mix of consumer travelers and members of Southwest's research and brand teams.

Several positioning platforms emerged from our workshops as viable and rewarding paths to pursue. From this work, the Start with Heart rebranding effort was born. This brand campaign has received eight high industry accolades for SWA, including an Enterprise Rebrand Award, Best Brand Experience Award from DMI, and a Brand Evolution Award from Transform Awards North America. The positioning work of Sylver Consulting found the heart of the 2014 Heart campaign for SWA.

Strengthen Brands

Frito Lay presented three challenges to us:

  • How to balance the multiple sub-lines under the Doritos brand.
  • How to create distinct swim lanes for future portfolio growth.
  • Define what differentiates each sub-line in the minds of consumers.

Symbolics™ methodology supported Doritos in understanding what its brand and sub-lines stand for, both emotionally and functionally. A second phase of this work focused on identifying the visual and textual elements that resonate with the future vision for each Doritos sub-line.

The insights work underpinning the competitive positioning of this product in the market allowed Frito-Lay a successful launch of the new Doritos product line.

Strengthen Brands

The Universal Tortilla Chip (UTC) team at Frito-Lay was being pressured by executive leaders to reduce product SKUs and to consider brand consolidation opportunities across Frito-Lay’s tortilla chip portfolio. The team lacked consumer understanding on the unique value that each of its tortilla chip brands and forms were offering to consumer’s lives today. They also lacked understanding around how each of the Frito-Lay tortilla brands (i.e., Tostitos, Cantina and Santitas) differentiated against key competitive tortilla brands in the category.

A Symbolics study with 2,200 national UTC consumers was conducted. Nine brands/forms of tortilla chips were studied.

Results of this study empowered the UTC team to:

  • Restructure — with confidence — the tortilla chip portfolio of the company.
  • Reduce the number of SKUs across the portfolio (responding to that direct ask of their executive leadership team).
  • Enhance the unique value proposition of each individual brand in their portfolio, thus ensuring Frito-Lay’s sustainable competitive advantage in the UTC category.
Fill Innovation Pipelines

The world's leading maker of household products

Creating a “best-in-class” air freshener spray

2x2 Product Mapping

Our client, the world's leading makers of household products, wanted to gain a greater understanding of how users of air freshener products perceived the category and its different brands in order to develop a “best-in-class” product that would help grow their Air Care business.

Following an online qualitative research phase of study, several immersion ethnographies were conducted across three markets among consumers representing different brand user segments. As part of this interview, 2x2 Product Mapping was conducted to determine which of several prototypes mapped to the ideal product positioning desired by consumers.

The results of this research helped our client design an air freshening experience that received the highest Bases score in the history of the company. Today, as a result of this work, a new premium air freshener line in six fragrances is selling in stores.

Fill Innovation Pipelines

LiftMaster is a maker of commercial grade automatic garage doors. The company wanted to explore new verticals for its product and needed to test the feasibility and desirability of their new prototype, which was intended to be used in commercial spaces, such as warehouses, car dealers, and car shops.

A discovery phase in support of this new product development journey for LiftMaster was commenced. The Function Task Interaction™ matrix was utilized to define the “sweet spot” of feasibility and desirability for this prototype in food warehouses. From there, product visioning and market sizing occurred.

This research was used by LiftMaster to execute a product development and sales strategy that aligned customer needs to the product functionality and resulting value proposition over a 5-year development timeline.

Fill Innovation Pipelines

GE Medical had released its newest anesthesia machine into the marketplace, but users were not happy. Retooling of the entire machine was not an option. GE needed to determine how the machine could be manipulated or supplemented to give the anesthetist the ability to keep attention directed to the patient at all times.

Sylver Consulting captured video of procedures in action and facilitated cognitive walkthroughs with anesthesiologists. We also analyzed eye tracking data to support benchmarking of alternate solutions.

Three viable solutions and a patent emerged from this work.

Fill Innovation Pipelines

Mozilla sought a development partner — a firm that could help them with uncovering rich insights — to support the strategic vision of the Firefox OS device, as well as the development of tactical requirements for versions of that product. Mozilla looked to Sylver as its Latin American partner.

Sylver partnered with Mozilla on three projects in the Firefox OS development cycle: The Middle-Class Consumer Exploration in Brazil, a Usability Study and a Post-Market Launch test in Brazil, and Colombia.

Mozilla successfully launched the Firefox OS device in over 30 countries with a slick branding and marketing campaign. When in market, Mozilla had its strongest partnerships in Latin America, which they attribute to the insights work of Sylver in that region.

Fill Innovation Pipelines

In response to the demands of the “always on” travel consumer, Marriott needed to better understand the mobile-based technology needs and behaviors of its consumer target within the context of travel in order to create cutting-edge, uniquely differentiating mobile offerings.

Two phases of qualitative research were conducted (Travel Diaries combined with Asynchronous, Online Qual. Interviews) in the US with mobile sophisticated to high frequency travelers. Focus of the research was to understand how consumers’ mobile device usage and need states currently supports and/or hinders their travel journey.

Marriott was named The World’s 2018 Most Innovative Company by Fast Company and Forbes 2017 World’s Most Innovative Companies for creating user-friendly tech-centric experiences in their hotels. We did the foundational research that has fed the innovation pipeline for these new experiences. A “Travel and Mobile Needs Framework” was developed from our GBA-based Innovation Mapping approach. This framework identified multiple opportunity categories and innovation territories. This insight empowered the Marriott team to evaluate and redesign existing mobile offerings and design, build and introduce a suite of personalized mobile app experiences, including Mobile Check-in, Mobile Requests and Mobile Key.

Align Growth Plans

Paslode needed to define what their next generation cordless trim tool should become. Previous customer satisfaction surveys had shown positive results, but the company’s engineers had made some improvements which needed to be tested before market launch.

We facilitated a series of Co-Creation Workshops designed to identify the "best of class" and "worst of class" attributes of current trim tools available on the market.

From this research, Paslode gained clear directives on how their cordless trim product should evolve and explicit knowledge on what needed to change in their marketing strategies to yield growth sought in the category.

Align Growth Plans

NASA ISS planners had a proprietary collaboration platform built to support their work. Once finished, no one used it and their team was questioning where and how to move forward.

Using ethnographic research, we studied the ISS planning groups, within the U.S. and across borders, to understand how each of these groups work together.

Recommendations regarding how the planners should focus their future resources on tool development were defined. Once adopted, these recommendations served as a continual reference for the ISS planners and their development partners.

Align Growth Plans

A new innovation function was formed at our client, a dental insurance and administrative claims provider, for the purpose of creating an enterprise-aligned innovation/impact program. To succeed, the leader of this new function knew he needed help in engaging and aligning the organization’s executive leadership to inspire them to actively support the program.

An Innovation Immersion was conducted with cross-functional executives. Prior to this session, qualitative interviews were conducted with each executive for the purpose of understanding individual perspectives on the innovation needs and challenges of the organization.

The results of this Innovation Immersion yielded three tangible positive outcomes:

  • First steps for creating an enterprise process for considering and structuring innovation initiatives.
  • Progress on an enterprise-wide review and prioritization of innovation initiatives and their value to the organization.
  • Beginnings of an action plan to develop two innovative ideas into fully developed business plans within a 6-month time frame.
Align Growth Plans

The Innovation Team of our client had a lot of historical obstacles preventing them from realizing their full potential as a team. They reached out asking for clarity and focus around their mission and vision as a team.

We supported their team with a 3-session branding program called Inside-Out Team Brand Transformation™.

This resulted in an Aligned Action Plan outlining “who” they are and how they are best positioned to serve the broader organization. The Innovation Team now has an articulated vision that is unique and distinctive compared to the New Product Development and Advance Engineering groups.

Align Growth Plans

A Well Respected Cosmetics Company

A Next Gen skin care system

Combined Methods

The company’s largest selling SKU, launched 14 years ago, needed an update to remain competitive in the marketplace. Internal and external pressures made the updated design and formulation of this pillar product a necessary and immediate need. The client needed to ensure that its Sales Force was supportive of any changes made to the product.

We conducted two rounds of in-person fieldwork (Mystery Shops and Focus Groups) with their top selling consultants in the U.S., Spain, Russia, Brazil, and Mexico.

Insights from the fieldwork helped create design requirements for the future composition of the product system and next generation strategy. This new product formulation was introduced in 2018, and has generated great excitement among the Sales Force and its customers.

Align Growth Plans

Despite the challenges, Brazil is a major world supplier of raw materials and agricultural goods, and has the potential to reap new opportunities in other industries. The Brazilian Agency for Industrial Development asked Sylver to explore the future of select industrial sectors and define strategic recommendations on how Brazil could compete in the global economy.

We used foresight methodologies (trend analysis, expert and stakeholder panels, brainstorming, SWOT, patent analysis, visioning, scenario planning, technology roadmapping, and more) to guide policy-making. 4000+ people were reached through 40+ workshops and dozens of online surveys.

Fifteen competitive foresight studies on industries as diverse as automotive, urban mobility, nanotechnology, electronics, cosmetics, medical devices, aviation and furniture changed the perceptions and motivated stakeholders to proactively implement recommendations.

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Need to transform your brand, product, service, company or team? We can bring clarity and focus to that process.

Reach out to set up a free discovery call. On this call, we’ll get clear on your scope of work to be tackled, how your initiative ladders to a broader business goal of your organization, and assess — without attachment — if Sylver Consulting is a “best fit partner” to support you in your scope of work.

Today at Sylver Consulting, we celebrate the power of CIVIC INNOVATION!

Last year, Brianna Sylver worked as an Innovation Coach for three of the 35 Champion Cities selected by Bloomberg for the 2018 Mayor’s Challenge. These cities made such impressive strides ...

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In this LinkedIn article, Brianna shares the number one obstacle to business growth that she sees with her clients.

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Brianna is the featured guest on the latest episode of the Aurelius Podcast!

Listen now to hear her talk with Zack Naylor about the differences between Market Research and User Research.

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