SIFT Collective: Summer Reflection – Barger Leadership Institute

SIFT Collective: Summer Reflection

The main component of our summer research was our focus group research that was
aimed to address questions regarding consumer lifestyle choices, shopping behaviors, and
preferences based on how they define and perceive sustainability. An insight that did not align
with our expectations was that many consumers rarely considered sustainability while
shopping. If the information is readily available either on the website or tag, sustainability may
play a more determinant factor in the purchasing criteria. However, price and style frequently
trumps sustainability in the decision-making process, generating a general assumption about
sustainable products and apparel.
These insights are important for developing our website and executing successful
marketing campaigns in understanding our value proposition to sustainable shoppers and
sustainable brand partners. We extracted the thematic insights from our focus groups that may
imply a certain desired feature or functionality to the performance of our website, which we
plan to then validate the findings with a larger sample population via an online interactive
survey. Based on the BLI habits, it was really important for us to continue with making small
strides and taking small steps to validate our project concept and idea before we launch an
implementation plan. So, the things we learn from our focus group will influence our design for
the online survey in the fall, which those results will then impact any minor or major shifts in
our final website design and project idea.
Through Barger Leadership Institute, we were not only given the opportunity to scale an
idea into a startup but also provided a support system to develop and refine the idea. Over the
summer, the entire process and journey gave us real-time insight on what running a startup
looks like and striking the balance between a myriad of priorities. One moment we are curating
our sustainability criteria; the next moment we are conducting focus groups. Before we knew it,
by the end of the summer, we contacted over 200+ sustainable brands and a website launched.
The entire experience as a package was a highlight from the summer.

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