How does a manufacturer with a new-to-market appliance best discover how Multicultural consumers will actually use the device in their daily lives? How can the brand capture in-the-moment usage and consumer thoughts over a period of time when they can't shadow the consumer 24/7?
This was the question faced by our client, a haircare appliance manufacturer. They had created a new device for Multicultural consumers with multi-textured, wavy, and curly hair and approached C+R to help them discover how consumers would use the device and what feedback they would offer for improvements.
We conducted an in-home usage test (IHUT) with an online community component to capture Multicultural consumers' in-the-moment use and feedback on the new device. Using video and other online activities, we helped our client to obtain much-needed use cases and recommendations to further improve their offering.
Our client, a manufacturer of hair care appliances, had recently launched a new device aimed toward Multicultural consumers with type 3 and 4 hair (multi-textured, wavy, coily, curly in the natural state). They desired to understand haircare needs and behaviors of these consumers more broadly, as well as how they used the device. Regarding using the device, the client wanted to identify how well consumers felt the device worked, as well as any potential issues or recommendations for improvement.
Our client learned more about the unique needs of Multicultural consumers with type 3 and 4 hair, including these consumers' desire to experiment with more natural hairstyles. They also discovered these consumers' attitudes toward their new haircare appliance and received suggestions for product improvements. C+R also provided the client with strategic implications to consider when making improvements to the device.
To elicit consumer feedback about our client's new haircare device, C+R conducted a qualitative in-home usage test (IHUT). Twenty-five Multicultural participants, including Black/African American, Hispanic and Asian, with type 3 or 4 hair (hair that was multitextured, wavy, curly, and/or coily) were sent the client's product to use for a period of six weeks. Using an online community, consumers kept a usage journal and completed other activities to deep dive into their haircare needs and routines.
At the start of the trial, consumers completed an online activity so the client could get to know them and their overall haircare goals. They also filmed unboxing videos to capture first impressions upon receiving the device.
Midway through the six-week trial, participants completed a check-in activity online that allowed the client and C+R teams to understand consumer experiences up to then using the device.
At the end of the trial, consumers completed wrap-up activities to summarize their experience with the device, as well as desires for improvements. Additionally, webcam interviews were held with a select number of participants to dig deeper into their haircare needs and experiences with the client's product.
Via the usage journal, which consumers filmed and uploaded throughout the six-week trial, the client was able to see real-life experiences of consumers using their appliance. Specifically, each consumer filmed two usage occasions where they styled their hair from start to finish, as well as two-to-three 'touch-up' occasions.