Outdoor Research unveils Lab Rat 2.0, encouraging feedback via community-based web application

New Lab Rat program aims to both inform new OR product development and provide consumers info for purchasing decisions.

SEATTLE, Wash. - Outdoor Research has always sought out feedback from the ultimate source - the customers who buy its products and put them through the wringer every day. Now, with this month's launch of the Lab Rat 2.0 program, Outdoor Research takes consumer feedback to the next level by letting consumer posts reviews of all its products - and ask questions - directly on the product pages on its web site.

"Encouraging useful, direct and honest feedback from customers is deeply rooted in OR's culture, and we've always made that a part of the internal feedback loop that informs the next generation of our products. Constantly improving our gear based on experience from the field is what the original Lab Rat Program was all about," said Jordan Wand, VP of product and marketing at Outdoor Research. "Now, with Lab Rat 2.0, we're taking that program to the next level."

The new Lab Rat program includes a number of components. Consumers can post reviews or questions directly to the pages showing individual products at OutdoorResearch.com. Under each product, there is a `Lab Rat Reviews' tab and an `Ask a Lab Rat' tab, allowing consumers to review a product or ask a question, and they can also answer questions on OR's web site. In addition, Outdoor Research's brand ambassadors and employees will also actively answer questions posted to the site. Employees and ambassadors are badged and identified on the site when they answer questions.

Along with providing a transparent source of product feedback and reviews to other consumers, Outdoor Research will use the information posted about individual products to help improve products and develop new ones in successive product development cycles.

"At OR, we've always felt that being approachable and open to consumer feedback has helped us really build strong ties with our customers and helped ensure our products are as reliable, durable and functional as possible," Wand said. "Now, that same feedback from consumers we've gotten behind the scenes will be available publically to help consumers make more informed purchasing decisions, choose the best product for whatever activity they may be doing, and ultimately continue to help build community around the OR brand. We're proud of our products, and proud that people feel strongly enough about the OR brand to share their opinions with us."

About Outdoor Research

Based in Seattle, Wash., Outdoor Research designs and manufactures functional solutions for human-powered adventure. Outdoor Research offers technically innovative and superior apparel, headwear, handwear, gaiters, storage and shelter systems. Product testing and high-quality construction is backed up with OR's Infinite Guaranteer. Outdoor Research enthusiastically supports the outstanding conservation, access, and educational efforts of a variety of organizations and encourages our customers to do the same. Outdoor Research - Designed by Adventurer.