Case Study

Finding the Perfect Brand Story with Qualitative Concept Testing


An established food manufacturer was looking to contemporize its strategic brand story to reach a new generation of shoppers, while also appealing to their current core consumers.

C+R developed a two-phase qualitative research program to identify which of two concepts under consideration would most help the client modernize their brand story while also resonating with the widest range of consumers.


Looking to Contemporize

Our client, a manufacturer of frozen prepared foods, was experimenting with different voices/archetypes to contemporize their brand story. They had created two potential directions and wanted to understand which territory performed best at contemporizing the brand for a new generation, while also appealing to current core consumers​.

They approached C+R for help in conducting research that would guide the choice of the strategic territory for further development and testing.


Online Immersive Discussion + Webcam Focus Groups

C+R developed a two-phase qualitative research agenda to test both concepts.

First, 45 grocery shoppers participated in a two-day online immersive discussion. The participants, who were from across the US, were split between users of our client’s brand and non-users/non-rejectors. During the online discussion, they completed a series of activities to help the client understand both the role of frozen meals in their lives, as well as their initial reactions to the two concepts. Activities included a photo and video uploads, projective exercises, and open-ended questions.

Next, a subset of online participants was chosen to participate in webcam focus groups. Participants’ individual responses, as well as aggregate responses from the board, were used as stimulus for the live groups. With this information, we were able to dig deeper into consumers’ perceptions regarding the concepts, including what aspects most resonated and what areas still needed improvements. The client also learned which concept most contemporized the brand story in consumers’ eyes.

The result

Preferred Concept Optimized to Maximize Acquisition and Retention

Participants preferred one strategic direction over the other, giving our client a clear answer about which direction was a better fit for the brand. The chosen concept resonated strongly with these consumers and related to them in a more modern way.

C+R also provided recommendations for the client to consider as they finalized the new direction so it would perform even better at both attracting new consumers and retaining current core consumers.

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