Case Study

Niagara Conservation

Path-to-action insights guide marketing strategy.


Niagara Conservation uses everyday ingenuity to conserve water in its high-efficiency toilets, shower heads and aerators. And, as a challenger brand, it needed a compelling way to break through to buyers. The growing business turned to SMS Research Advisors to understand how best to tell the story of its innovative products and mission.


We worked to identify potential audiences who would respond to Niagara’s brand purpose. Our researchers conducted online surveys of homeowners and property managers, identifying current market perceptions and value drivers. Surveys also identified prospects’ path-to-action, helping Niagara tailor and focus its channels, messaging and strategy – and make more meaningful connections with buyers.


Our insights revealed a strong opportunity to use Niagara’s website as a communication channel. It showed good potential for direct sales and e-commerce. To succeed, though, the site would need to change its SEO strategy. Buyers weren’t using internet search to discover brands, but to evaluate them, using qualifying keywords such as “best of,” “most” and “highest efficiency.”

Attitudes around water conservation were also telling – and nuanced – with important implications for messaging content. Buyers had foundational expectations relating to not using too much water and considered actively using less water a secondary value-add.

Prospective customers were driven more by the idea of not wasting water, versus actively saving water. These insights helped Niagara pivot its positioning – including the water conservation message as part of its mission – and focus on new standards for high-efficiency toilets.