Joe Castagna | Case Knives

Case Knives

Creative Sprint / Retargeting

The Gist

Case knives manufacture some of the most sought after and legendary pocket knives made in America. For a creative sprint, assigned by McGarrah Jessee, we were tasked with finding out who may not be carrying a pocket knife but would find use out of one. We found that a considerable amount of women are interested in carrying a pocket knife, but don’t. We outlined what Case Knives can do to turn the knife curious female problem solvers into a Case Knife owners.

What I worked on

  • Brand Positioning
  • Qualitative Research
  • Market Analysis
  • Target Persona

The Ask

A knife is one of the most practical tools in human history, yet it seems less and less people are carrying them in their pockets. Who may not be using pocket knives but would?

The Problem

Some people view a pocket knife as a weapon rather than a versatile everyday tool. As a result, there is some stigma around women who carry pocket knives.

The Opportunity

Although 72% of women do not carry a pocket knife, 45% of women are interested in carrying one.

When we thought about the people we know who carry a pocket knife we realized that they were all men.

That made us wonder, how many women
carry a pocket knives?

What we did to find out

Social Listening

What are women saying online about knife ownership

Qualitative Survey

How women feel about carrying pocket knives

Purse Dives

Where do pocket knives fit into women's lives


Of Women Don't Carry
a Pocket Knife

Many think of it as a weapon, others found carrying one to be a burden, or found no use for having one them every day.


Women Who Don't Own a Pocket Knife but Ask to Use a Man's

Out of the women who don’t carry a knife, a majority find themselves asking a friend or loved one who does to use their knife. 


women who don't own a knife but are interested

A considerable amount of women are interested in knife ownership but for various reasons they have not bought one.

What they said

Our Approach

Encourage women
 take matters into their own hands

We found that a considerable amount of women are interested in pocket knives and even those who are not, are often asking to use a man’s knife when they need one. Case should encourage women to—as their current tag says—keep their hands sharp, by taking matters into their own hands. Case can take away many of the stigmas of female knife ownership by positioning their knives as tools for the everyday problem solver, and the women who do it for themselves.

Meet Morgan, She's Knife Curious

Character traits
Problem Solver
Thrill Seeker

Demanding job
Big Online Shopper

Free time
Exploring Her City
Competitive Cycling
watching Queer Eye

“I just haven’t bought [a knife] yet…
I do have a steak knife in my glovebox though.”

– Actual Quote

What's Holding Her Back

Barriers to Purchase

How to Safely Use a Pocket Knife

Where to Keep a Pocket Knife

Why It Would Come In So Handy

What’s the Best Knife for Her

What Case Can Do

Prove the Simplicity of Knife Safety

Show Exactly Where A Knife Fit’s into her life

Show Everyday and Novel Uses

Encourage Her to Start Simple and Small

To find out where a knife could fit
We dove into women's bags

To understand exactly where a pocket knife could fit into women’s lives, We dug deep into their purses and their pockets to find out what we were competing with and where a knife could live. We found out a lot about the everyday items a variety of women carried around and what kinds of bags they carry. We also learned about the women who carry these bags and what problems they have that a pocket knife might be able to solve. 

What we learned

Different Bags for Different Occasions

Switching bags based on the occasion is not uncommon. So a knife needs to be easy to grab and move to another bag

Must-haves: Keys, Wallet, Phone, Chapstick

These are the essential items that most women carry and are what we’re competing for space with, some are about the size of a small pocket knife. 

Pockets Are Not a Viable Option

Most women’s clothing does not have pockets and if they do, they are small. We found that they still are big enough to fit a knife but, many women said they still don’t like putting objects in their pockets because it negatively affects the fit of the garment. 

Our Suggestion

Go for the Secret Purse Pocket

We found that many women’s purses contain a “secret pocket” that is on one of the inner walls of their bags. These pockets are perfect for smaller items that need to be found quickly and kept separate from other items — the perfect place for a pocket knife.  

The Right Tool

Case offers a full range of knives that can create a clear buying path for women.  There is no need to create a completely different product line designed specifically for her. We found that some would fit into women’s lives better than others based on comfort level.

We suggested starting with a small blade that can fit easily into the purse pocket. It’s inexpensive, small and is great for opening boxes. Eventually, she’ll find that having a knife is extremely useful and may want to upgrade to a larger blade. She may even invest in one of the many beautiful knives that case has to offer that could be passed down to her daughter. 

The Team

Strategist – Joe Castagna
Strategist – Catie Frech