Back to top

Intimately knowing who is buying your brand is essential. How else will you know what products they need and how to engage with them so that they remain loyal?

One CPG client came to us with a request to update their consumer profiles – to uncover and deeply understand who is buying their brand to inspire the team for future product developments and marketing.  

Problem

In the early 2000s, our CPG client developed detailed profiles of their brand buyers. The profiles were used widely and offered a range of benefits – from guiding product development and assortment to inspiring merchandising, messaging, and strengthening retail partnerships.  However, due to technology advancements and cultural shifts, the profiles had become outdated. For example, talking about how one segment uses her PDA has little relevance in today’s smartphone and social-media-saturated world. They needed to update the profiles to not only reflect today’s societal norms but also to take into consideration the unique needs of Millennials, who fully entered adulthood since the initial study was commissioned.

Revising the profiles would help move the team forward by better understanding their buyer’s needs attitudes, lifestyle, and technology and media usage.

Result

The client came out of the research not only with a deep understanding of each target, but they also left with actionable strategizes to guide them for years to come.

We achieved this with a Strategy Activation Workshop on the back-end of the research.  The project culminated in a day-long work session where we presented the integrated learnings from across all touchpoints of the research.  To make the presentation engaging, we gamified it through quizzes for the audience.

To further help socialize the learnings, our team of Storyologists produced unique deliverables. We crafted video vignettes on each segment and 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 from a consumer has since become the mantra for the brand team and the person who said it, their “north star.” In addition, we led the team through creative exercises to generate actionable strategies stemming from the insights.

For one exercise, we divvied up the segments among breakout groups. Each group re-watched the segment video and studied “their” social media profile to immerse themselves into the world of their segment. Then they extrapolated to further imagine who their target is, tapping into the people we met in the ethnographies. From there, they came up with segment-specific strategies ranging from ideas for new products, shopping strategies, communications, etc. We reconvened as a larger group to share out what was produced to see what else could be sparked from the initial ideas.

In another activity, we looked outside the category for ideas and inspiration. Here, the team created mindmaps (spiderwebs of associations) against each segment’s favorite brands, pulling from across categories identified in the qualitative and the quantitative research. Then we used that output as a catalyst for thinking of new strategies and ways to engage each target.

The client received so much value from the research and workshop, that they wanted to continue to keep their pulse on their consumers. They have since commissioned a long-term community of brand enthusiasts (including the “north star” consumer we found in the ethnographies) to have high-touch access to consumers to continually drive inspiration.

Solution

We designed a multi-phase approach, starting with a large-scale quant survey to profile the brand buyers across various demographic segments. To gather more depth on their motivations and relationship with the brand, we incorporated qualitative elements into the survey – capturing video responses for select open-ends, and metaphor elicitation through the use of imagery.

We used the data to target consumers to interview through an immersive ethnography. This allowed up to deep dive into their lifestyle and values.  To get a more nuanced understanding of the target and how they connect with others, we followed these consumers on social media (across platforms) throughout the fieldwork period. 

We delivered an integrated report where we could bring the robust numbers from quant to life with texture from the qual, incorporating consumer quotes and imagery (including photos of their home and social media posts) throughout. We used the qual to also produce video reels and social media profiles to humanize the key takeaways identified in the quant. 

Finally, we facilitated a Strategy Activation Workshop at the conclusion of the project to not only immerse the team into the key learnings but also help brainstorm strategies, ideas and actions that flowed from the research.