Case Studies

TEENAGERS PERCEPTIONS, ASSOCIATIONS, MEDIA

What are the needs and perceptions of teenagers audience, what is the definition of “cool” and which are the relevant media channels for communication?

The Challenge: Our client planned to launch a conceptually new product, appropriate for a wide range of occasions, but still for a very specific and quite “difficult” target group: teenagers between 16 and 18 years old. The company had developed three advertising concepts and three different pack designs.
The question was whether – and to what extent – the current concepts and packages fit to the teenagers perceptions and associations and what are the possible means for their further improvements (if such appear necessary). The entire set of survey objectives covered also a detailed exploration and understanding of the needs and perceptions of this audience, their definition of “cool” and the related media consumption.

The Approach: We designed and executed a two stage qualitative survey, including:

A. Initial In-Depth Interviews, to define and explore in detail what constitutes the perceptions of “modern”, “trendy” and “cool” for the specific target, to evaluate the concepts and pack designs and to understand how they can be improved, if at all. We used this initial approach to eliminate the “show-off” effect, typical for this target and threatening the validity and reliability of the provided information and definitions;

B. Following Focus Group Discussions, to check the concepts after the final adjustments – in a more dynamic context – and to ensure that they fit the teenagers most relevant attributes, symbols and associations.

The Outcome: Our exploration rejected one of the three tested concepts on a very early stage of the survey.

Тhe further exploration revealed a parity between the two remaining concepts.
Yet, one of them still accumulated certain negative perceptions and associations, while the other stood out with its message and was recommended as the more relevant platform.

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Taking advantage of the typical group discussions dynamics, our moderators managed to provide further insights and ideas for fine-tuning of the communication to support the successful launch of our client’s new product.

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WHICH SHELF LAYOUT TO CHOOSE?

Product placement in retail stores is about so much more than just what looks nice where, or what may fit the best in different areas of the store.

The Challenge: Our client wanted to examine customers browsing behavior at the store. The company implemented an experimental shelf layout to test how an alternative type of shelf arrangement will be perceived by the shoppers. The question was which layout (the standard or the new one) had better potential to satisfy customers with easy, quick and convenient orientation and to increase their interest in the brand.

Our Approach: We used a qualitative method – “shop-alongs” – in order to:

  • explore the customers’ “positioning and orientation” criteria at the store;
  • examine the customers’ actual reactions and behaviour with both shelf layouts;
  • understand which arrangement was preferred and why.

 

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The Outcome:
Our analysis revealed the inferiority of the alternative design. It was perceived as illogical, irrelevant, chaotic and difficult to orientate. Using real shopping situations, our approach helped the client to understand better his customers’ path to the “moment of truth”. Our client company got a deeper understanding about what is important for improving the customers’ shelf orientation and what can be done in this direction in order to trigger and facilitate the purchasing act.

 

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NATIONAL or INTERNATIONAL?

What to choose: NATIONAL concept with product design towards national values and nostalgia or INTERNATIONAL branding and communication?

The Challenge: Our client wanted to introduce a new product in a FMCG food category and had developed two alternative conceptual platforms to introduce it: a “classic” (traditional) (with local name, locally produced, local origin of ingredients, communication towards nationalism and nostalgia) and “international” one (global origin in the receipt, global branding, communication towards internationalism). The question was which concept had the better potential to increase the market share of the parent brand?

The Approach: We designed and ran a two-stage survey:
I. A qualitative one (Focus Group Discussions), to explore in detail the relevance of both concepts to the category in general, to the brand in particular and to check whether any of the concepts expands (better than the other) the frame of the typical category consumption occasions. The reactions of the consumers here were also to provide additional insights about the possible ways to improve the conceptual platforms themselves;
II. A quantitative survey (Concept Test), to measure the attractiveness of the concepts among users and non-users of the parent brand, to measure the expected cannibalization and to compare the overall potential of the two alternative concepts;

The Outcome: The qualitative exploration proved both concepts to be relevant for the audience, provided a base for their further improvement / fine tuning and suggested that the “international” concept bears better potential compared to the “traditional” one. The results of the quantitative survey proved undoubtedly that the “international” concept is the better choice. It showed a 20% better volume potential, mainly due to the significantly better purchase interest, combined with lower levels of cannibalization.

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Yet, the survey revealed that even the winning concept lacks distinctiveness and (especially) credibility, does not expand the frame of consumption occasions and its overall liking and purchase intent scores are below the 70th percentile in our database, which made the product launch risky in terms of profitability. Our recommendation was to hold the product launch and elaborate further on the winning concept before going to the market.

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The results of the survey are related to a FMCG food category with specific target group and usage. In other category the outcome could be opposite depending on product characteristics and communication strategy fueled by the nostalgic charge.
Regardless the category specifics the chosen approach will support the decision making of selecting the wining concept with potential for higher brand profitability and growth.

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