Brands including Ralph Lauren, Sperry, Lucky Brand, MM LaFleur and True Religion are turning to a predictive analytics platform called Makersights to help inform their product design and development. Think of a traditional focus group where learnings are high, but costly and slow, and then tip it into the digital, mobile or indeed machine learning age and you’re on the right page. This is a business that pulls information at scale from customer insights, then applies actual sales data and machine learning to that feedback. They call it "actionable product intelligence". According to the team, the aim is to help brand partners develop more accurate sales plans, de-risk new product introductions and measure how customers respond to product attributes like fabrics, colors and price. It’s already seeing a 2-4% gross margin lift for its partners based on minimizing markdowns and doubling down on big winners.