Project Type
UX Research

2 weeks


Yatsy is a unique Korean sock brand founded in 2022. Unlike its successful start, Yatsy’s customer growth has been slower than expected, resulting in flat profit growth. To address this, the company wished to better understand what their customers want in socks. 

The goal of the project was to grasp their target customers’ mindset and ensure that Yatsy’s current brand strategy meets their needs.

Project Background

Yatsy is a small local business whose leadership team was not fully acquainted with business and marketing strategy. Therefore, it was crucial to plan the research in close collaboration with the client, continually discussing the challenges and experiences they faced in the business.

Kick-off Meeting 

The kickoff meeting aimed to fully understand the client's needs to choose the “right problem” to tackle in research. 

We discussed five main areas guided by prepared questions:
  • Business goals
  • Current business status
  • Existing products
  • Target customers
  • Marketing strategies
Key Learnings:

1. Yatsy’s target customers: Women (mid 20s - early 30s) who enjoy shopping and exploring unique fashion brands, designs, and patterns.

2. Main struggle: The client was uncertain about their target customers' preferences for socks, leading to uncertainty about their marketing methods and sock designs aligning with customer needs.

Research Objectives

Explore target customers’ mindsets

  • What attributes do target customers prioritize when selecting a socks brand, and how do factors like price, design, and quality influence their preferences?

  • How do customers describe their decision-making process when purchasing socks, and what factors do they emphasize?

Determine whether Yatsy has proper strategies for the target users

  • In what ways do target customers perceive the brand's current product offerings, and how well do these products meet their needs and expectations?

  • What unique qualities or characteristics of the brand do target customers identify, and how do these aspects compare to competitors?


1. The failure to capture customer attention in products and marketing is due to a lack of understanding of target customer needs.

2. Misalignment in the prioritization of factors such as price, design, and quality may exist.

3. There is a gap between what the brand believes target customers want and what they actually desire.

4. The brand has failed to meet customer needs in terms of pricing.

5. The brand's image is not being effectively communicated to customers.


Market Research

This method was used to understand Korean market trends and the consumption tendencies of the target customer. The goal was to identify market opportunities and customer preferences.

Competitive Analysis

This method was chosen to review how competitors with similar target customers or product designs manage their strategies.

As the client was a new brand, it was important to learn from successful competitors and identify unique strengths that could be leveraged.

Customer Interview

This method was selected to gain deep insights directly from individuals who perfectly fit the brand's target customer profile, as the client currently relies on general quantitative data from the internet.  

Data Collection

1. Market Research

Based on the information gathered during the kick-off meeting regarding Yatsy’s target customers, I recognized the need to understand their consumption tendencies and current trends in the Korean market. This would help uncover what the target customers seek and determine Yatsy’s positioning within the Korean apparel market. 

I analyzed market dynamics, customer behaviors, and emerging trends by reviewing industry reports, market surveys, and relevant publications to gather quantitative and qualitative data, focusing on identifying patterns in consumer behavior, preferences, and potential market opportunities.

2. Competitive Analysis

Based on the competitors discussed during the kick-off meeting and market research, I conducted a thorough review of 5 competitors' product offerings, marketing tactics, and customer engagement methods. This involved examining competitors' websites, marketing materials, and customer reviews to understand their strengths and weaknesses. The goal was to identify best practices and strategies that could be adapted to enhance the client's brand positioning and differentiate it in the market.

*Insight: Strength/Weakness/How-to-Win sections were specifically utilized to form interview questions.

3. Customer Interview

As the project is looking for target customers’ attitudinal insights in buying socks, a user interview was selected as a method to uncover the mindset of target customers. Questions were categorized and formed based on the data collected from meetings with client, market research and competitive analysis.

  • 6 participants 
  • Recruited purposively through the existing user base + Initial Screening
  • Semi-structured interviews around 45 minutes 
  • Conducted both virtual and in-person interviews

* Key revision on the question during the interview:
In the first interview, the participant had difficulty recalling specific sock brand experiences. To address this, I included a question about their experiences with our competitors, aiming to gather direct insights on specific brands they have encountered.


Market Research

Competitive Analysis
I identified 5 competitors through market research. After collecting data, I reorganized the key data of competitive analysis around 4 key areas: strengths, weaknesses, strategies for success, and reasons why customers choose Yatsy over competitors.

* Competitive Analysis organized on Figma

Customer Interview Findings

01. Customer Mindset 

Target customers generally enjoy casual and simple looks with standout sock fashion as a focal point. Therefore, some hesitated to purchase fun socks because they found them challenging to incorporate into their wardrobe.

5 of 6 interviewees mentioned paying more attention to socks when dressing casually. They described socks as accessories that can make or break an outfit."When dressing casually, I like to add some standout elements.”"I pay quite a bit of attention to socks. If they're visible in my outfit, I think about them a lot. I also focus more on socks when dressing casually."

View Customer Persona Detail

02. Website Design

While the brand story itself may not significantly impact purchases, aligning it with the website design effectively boosts purchase intent.  

"Even from the homepage, if the design feels intriguing, it makes me curious to explore further.""I don't like flashy, low-quality thumbnails or busy designs; I prefer something clean and straightforward. Since I believe a website's design reflects the style of the clothes, it's essential to me that the web design is on point.""When a website appears outdated, it makes me think of the brand ‘mediocre’ even if I was previously think high on brand and design. Also, when the website seems cheap, it raise doubts about the quality of the products being offered."

03. Model Shots

Offering model or product shots demonstrating how to incorporate unique designs in different settings helps customers visualize applying the sock designs, ultimately enhancing their purchase decision.

Majority of interviewees see model shots as guiding look book even though it has few photos."The most important thing for me when buying socks is the model's outfit in the photoshoot. If the clothes the model is wearing are similar to what I already own, it's much easier for me to imagine how to style them.""If the model dresses similarly to my usual style, I tend to revisit that brand. It feels like a brand that fits me well."

04. Advertisement

Target customers particularly favor clothing brands or shops with a distinct vibe shown on Instagram and sometimes use online editor shops for their high trustworthiness.

"I utilize Instagram a lot, especially to discover new designs.""On Instagram and TikTok, I follow people with styles I like and draw inspiration from them.""I trust editor shops because they offer many favorite brands. It instills confidence when I enter their shops."

05. Price

Socks are considered accessories, so customers prefer not to spend too much. Prices above $10,000 are perceived as expensive.

Despite their high interest in socks, 67% of participants still regard them as accessories, leading to specific budget limitations."Unique details in accessories, like keychains or bags, are seen as investments. However, even if a keychain is attractive, I won't buy it unless I believe it complements my bag and is reasonably priced.”"The sweet spot seems to be around 8,000 won. Prices above 10,000 won feel expensive, and around 13,000 won feels too pricey for socks except I'd want to give as gifts."


01: Model shots with casual looks

Yatsy's customers like casual, simple styles. Show model shots with these looks to help them see how they can easily apply Yatsy's unique socks design in their daily life.

02: New Branding for the Website

Develop a consistent branding strategy for the website using mood boards and style guides to ensure cohesive visuals and messaging across online platforms.

03: Marketing focusing on Instagram

With limited budget on marketing, prioritize marketing efforts on Instagram for effective audience reach. Consider partnering with editorial shops as the brand expands to increase visibility.

04: Consider gift package for price increase

Current product price seems proper. But, explore offering curated gift packages to justify potential price increases and enhance perceived value, aligning with customers' preference for using apparel as gifts.


New Brand Identity

Yatsy did not have clear branding guidelines like mood boards or style guides. So, based on the research data, they created a brand mood board! I joined the mood board session for consulting and this guided the team in redesigning the website, model shots, and product images.

Increased Customer Engagement

By understanding customer purchasing needs and refining the brand strategy, the project led to enhanced customer engagement, measured by a 10% increase in daily active users.