Stoked is a design consultancy. We use design to wake people up.

How Might We surprise and delight female outlet shoppers?



Women’s Outlet generates 49% of Coach’s annual revenue. It’s a vital piece of the business that is rarely our primary focus. Outlets are ripe for disruption; therefore, half of the Design Thinking cohort was charged with focusing on this business unit. More specifically, leadership tasked us with creating products that would surprise and delight female outlet shoppers while also meeting their daily needs.

Here were some of the themes we uncovered after connecting with consumers:

They don’t want their daily bag to feel precious.

They wear multiple hats throughout the day, and want products that can change with them.

They currently hack their bags to fit their daily needs and hide scars.

They use bag gifting and sharing as a means of bonding, yet the gifts often miss the mark.

While these themes inspired several prototypes, we were also compelled by the intersection of perception and product.

If you like a product, will you buy it if you don’t love the brand?

What if you think outlet malls aren’t worth the trip? Do you miss a deal you’d otherwise utilize?

Perception > Product

While new product can increase sales in the short-term, the North American consumer is looking for something more. The team began to wonder, is new product for our existing customers enough to grow this business? What other lenses should we explore? As the team connected with more lapsed and non-customers, their beliefs, behaviors, and perceptions pointed the cohort in a slightly different direction.

Here are some of the points of tension between product opportunities and consumer perceptions:

Several young women said they aren’t interested in heavily-branded bags,

Deal finders love to feel like they found the very best price on a quality bag,

Younger women either lean into trends or invest in craft, custom, or novel products,

Coach has made a strong and often negative imprint on millennials. A once aspirational brand now feels like a fashion faux paux,

yet they want others to know what they buy and to feel proud that the brand stands for something.

yet shared that they often believe the best deals are yet to come or can only be found online.

they associated outlet malls with mass market (and sometimes defective) products.

yet some millennial women recognized that Coach product has evolved and they like some of the newer styles.


After over 60 interactions with current customers, lapsed customers, and non-customers, the team focused on these four areas as a launchpad for business transformation and growth.



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