Case Study

Strategy Activation & Socialization


To be successful in today’s marketplace, brands must know their consumers intimately.

A CPG client came to C+R with hopes of revamping out-of-date consumer profiles. The client wanted to inspire their product development and marketing teams via deep insights about the brand’s buyers. Through a mixed methods approach, C+R’s researchers delivered not just deep insights, but a new “north star.”


Updating Out-of-Touch Consumer Profiles

In the early 2000s, one of C+R’s CPG clients developed detailed profiles of their brand’s buyers. The profiles were widely used and helped guide product development and assortment, inspire merchandising and messaging, and strengthen retail partnerships. 

But, as time passed and technology advanced, the profiles became outdated. For example, a profile describing how one particular buyer uses their PDA has little relevance in today’s smartphone and social media saturated world.

The company needed to update their profiles to not only reflect today’s societal norms but also to take into consideration the unique needs of Millennials, who had fully entered adulthood since the initial study was commissioned. A renewed understanding of their buyers’ needs, attitudes, lifestyles, and technology and media usage would help move the team forward.


Multi-Phase Research Designed to Dig Deep

To refresh our client’s understanding of their consumers, C+R designed a multi-phase approach starting with a large-scale quantitative survey to profile brand buyers across various demographic segments. Consumer motivations and brand relationship were explored via qualitative elements in the survey – including video responses for select open-ends and metaphor elicitation using imagery.

A subset of consumers was then targeted for deep-dive interviews using an immersive ethnographic approach. To get a more nuanced understanding of the target and how they connect with others, C+R followed respondents on social media (across platforms) throughout the fieldwork period. 

In the final stage, C+R hosted a Strategy Activation Workshop wherein the client team was immersed in key findings (using video segments, social media profiles, and more) and led through creative exercises to generate actionable strategies based on insights.

In one exercise, facilitators divided the large group into smaller groups and assigned each group a segment to study. The small groups re-watched “their” segment video and studied the associated social media profile. Teams were then tasked with extrapolating what they’d learned to further imagine their target. From there, the groups generated segment-specific strategies ranging from new product ideas to shopping and communication tactics. At the end of the session, we reconvened as a larger group to share initial ideas and spark new ones.

The result

Finding a New North Star

To help socialize the learnings, C+R’s team of Storyologists produced unique deliverables. We crafted video vignettes on each segment and developed one-page social media profiles using imagery captured in the research to present the insights in a compelling and memorable way. The video was so powerful that one quote has since become the mantra for the brand team and the consumer who said it, their “north star.”

The client received so much value from the research and workshop that they commissioned a long-term community of brand enthusiasts (including the “north star” consumer) to continually drive inspiration.

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