Using human-centered design to freeze Igloo as a top cooler brand

How a human-centered design mindset helped identify white space opportunities that fuelled the innovation pipeline for the next five years.

A person holding a boom box
A person holding a boom box

How it started

While Igloo remains the top cooler brand in the U.S., the competitive landscape has been changing as new brands are emerging. Igloo knew it needed to approach consumers with ideas that directly addressed evolving consumer lifestyles.


How we inspired change

To understand the right target customer and their daily use scenarios and potential needs for the future, we applied a human-centered design mindset.

  • Insight Development: Virtual diaries allowed for immersive exploration of both functional and emotional needs. Through these activities, Igloo could identify then empathize with the challenges their audiences faced. Experiential one-on-one interviews deepened this empathy, where the team could visualise the role Igloo’s products played in the lives of their consumers.
  • Insight Validation: Surveying 2,000 customers validated the preliminary findings. The survey provided additional color into how consumers were reacting to the impact of COVID as well as generating new ideas of areas where Igloo could focus in the future.


How it lives on

Igloo’s core brand ethos centers on reliable products that are built to last, American design, and building products that support having fun with family and friends.

This work allows the brand to leverage its promise while finding avenues to modernize and innovate. Specifically, the project identified white space opportunities that fuelled the innovation pipeline for the next five years. These new opportunities inspired new product development, improved messaging to consumers, and bolstered channel relationship by optimising retailer shelf-space.

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