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Reinventing a commodity product to achieve growth

Goodyear needed to reassert its heritage within the high performance automotive parts segment and turned to gravitytank for help. The company had not differentiated a product in over a decade since the successful release of the Aquatread product line, and they were looking for their next big win. gravitytank successfully applied design innovation methods to solve the challenge of how to differentiate a round, black, piece of rubber into a winning brand.


The Goodyear team came to gravitytank having already identified a potentially large, emerging consumer segment and the opportunity to maintain their position as the car enthusiast's tire brand. gravitytank used design research techniques to identify consumer tension around the desire to have a top of the line set of tires that didn’t sacrifice performance. By talking with drivers, shop owners and engineers, we helped Goodyear identify and define their performance ‘sweet spot.’


Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company



Featured Outcomes

Research insights on a core consumer segment
Product innovation
Marketing and
communication collateral

During research, gravitytank conducted drive-along interviews with ten consumers. These individuals showed us their own cars and tires, and let us experience their personal driving styles. Primary research helped the team uncover key motivations and behaviors among Goodyear’s key consumer segment.


Our research findings were delivered to the Goodyear design team to inform the new product’s packaging, features and benefits, and we worked with their engineers to refine the product through extensive rounds of concept development and prototyping. Our team helped Goodyear bring a new tire to market that combined a smooth ride with excellent traction, achieved through an innovative new application of carbon fiber technology. It was still round and black, but now meaningfully different.


Upon release, this tire was the world’s first carbon-fiber tire to deliver sports car handling with a smooth luxury car ride, resulting in Goodyear’s largest dealer wholesale purchase in their 100 year history to date. Despite the fact that Goodyear’s business rarely engages in this type of product innovation work, gravitytank has since worked with them on several engagements on topics ranging from brand positioning to retail buying experiences and business model innovation around their service provider certification program.

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