Dine Discoveries

Codename Darwin

The secrets of men… they are more complex than you might think!


Can a male-oriented retailer with a strong track record and tried-and-true merchandizing look beyond the obvious to discover men’s unmet needs and emotional purchase drivers? Canadian Tire undertook this initiative to uncover consumer motivation using a multi-method approach to peer into the heart and mind of the male shopper. They asked their two research partners, Dine Discoveries and Head’s Up, to partner on this ambitious initiative.


First, we probed qualitatively for clues to male consumer motivations using life-role roundtable discussions, in-store workshops about retail ideals, day-in-the-life ethnographic observations, and online 360-degree bulletin boards.

Then, a male-centric online segmentation survey was crafted to validate these subtle and sensitive insights through the use of apolitical language, engagement exercises and carefully crafted emotional attributes in “man-speak.” Participants described it as “the best survey I’ve ever completed.”

Spouses and children were included to help in identifying spots where gaps in the men’s perceptions and attitudes lurked.


Research discovered the significance of providing recognition for the efforts men feel they make in connecting with their families and making life for themselves and their families more comfortable.


Canadian Tire now employs a “Darwin Lens” in evaluating corporate initiatives to ensure the deep-seated needs of their male customers are being served.

Canadian Tire’s CEO, Stephen Wetmore, shared his enthusiasm for the insights with Amanda Lang in her book, The Power of Why, which states, “Project Darwin fundamentally changed the way Canadian Tire thinks about and markets itself to men.”

Being honoured by Canada’s Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA) with a Best in Class award for this probative work in male motivation was the icing on the cake!