When it comes to home care products, brands face a difficult challenge of understanding true consumer usage and behavior that happens after the product leaves the shelf. A multi-national home care goods company needed a deeper understanding of the role their air care product, played in the marketplace and consumers' homes and lives.
They needed to understand which product features were most important to consumers. They were also looking to uncover how the product was used and perceived to determine if the consumers' needs and the products' solutions were truly aligned.
The research team developed a qualitative home immersion and quantitative need-state approach to uncover deep consumer insights and innovation opportunity for the home care brand.
A major consumer goods company wanted to understand the role of a specific air care product with the goal of uncovering opportunity areas for product innovation.
A major consumer goods company needs to understand the role of a specific air care product with the goal of uncovering opportunity areas for product innovation. The air care segment is crowded with many brands and product types available, and consumer usage and attitudes about fragrance in the home can vary widely depending on many factors.
In addition, the brand needed to understand consumers' attitudes and emotions associated with fragrance their homes. The brand's ultimate goal was to identify and organize customer segments.
The company needed to evaluate the relevance of the brand and product category in relation to consumers' needs and wants. The company also sought a comprehensive study of the air care fragrance category, including attitudes toward the specific product segment and the motivators, usage, attitudes, demographic, psychographic and lifestyle information of new target audiences.
The goal of the project was to confirm or debunk consumer behavior assumptions to better meet market needs.
The research team discovered that this product is a gateway to fragrance in the home, but that awareness of the product segment was lower than expected among home care fragrance users. Research showed that many who use other types of home fragrance products were not aware of this product option for their homes. Additionally, the team discovered that those who use this product as their mode of home fragrance are very engaged users. This finding provided opportunity for the company to improve awareness and ignite customer engagement.
Brand specific research discovered that consumers did not feel differentiation between the brand and its competitors. This meant buyers chose between brands based on monetary value and not other attributes or brand loyalty. We recommended the consumer goods company show more emotional and functional differentiations for the product from other key competitors.
One key finding was that home fragrance users are looking for more fragrance options within a product category over wanting more home fragrance product types.
Another major finding was the opportunity to improve awareness among new audiences, specifically a Hispanic market. Our team used qualitative home immersion research to understand how the product line was used in the home of untapped markets and found unmet needs in this market segment. Research indicated the demographic group had great potential value for the brand, but current communications were not meeting the needs of the segment.
Based on the findings and recommendations, the client planned to launch communications that touted the benefits of the product and increased awareness of electric scented oil to home fragrance users. They also planned to develop specific demographic-centric communications to reach new audiences in a highly targeted way. The company also planned to enact plans to bring innovation to their product line in relation to fragrance options that would both appeal to customers and build the foundation for a long-term brand differentiation strategy.
This research brought to light the importance of the following: improving awareness to home care fragrance consumers, introducing the product line to new users, and increasing the variety of the product available.
The team began with developing hypotheses and categorizing what is known and unknown in the product category. This was followed by analysis of data on distribution and buying patterns of multi-cultural demographic groups. Research questions were developed and analyzed, leading to deep dive into a specific demographic audience that showed the most potential value for the brand, the Hispanic population.
A qualitative home immersion strategy was developed to test the hypotheses. This involved several immersion techniques including online immersion, in-home visits, in-home observations and tours of key areas for the target market.
The immersion approach was followed by a large online survey employing a quantitative need state study. The study focused on attitudes, emotions, category usage, brand awareness, brand usage, brand perceptions, purchase patterns and barriers to product purchase. The online survey was nationwide and insights from survey results were determined from iterative analytic work sessions by the team.
Data gathered was developed and evaluated using a combination of purpose-driven segmentation research, qualitative immersion, and advanced analytics. These elements allowed the team to uncover the most profitable opportunities for the brand for differentiation and innovation.
The results have helped the brand to innovate in the home care fragrance segment and set itself apart from competitors in consumer's minds.
Through a benefits hierarchy study we uncovered that while brand is important, a focus on fragrance should come first; putting in place a fragrance innovation strategy. We also learned that the client's brand lacked emotional and functional differentiation from the key competitor, which lead to a re-vamped messaging strategy, focusing on a long-term sustainable point of differentiation.