Understanding the Marketplace

  • Where's the White Space for My Brand?
  • Ensuring Brand Loyalty by Strengthening Brand Equity
  • The Great Recession's Impact on Attitudes Toward Financial Services
  • Mapping the Shopper Journey to Optimize Merchandising Strategies
  • Understanding SMB's Needs and Concerns in the Wake of New Legislation
  • Identifying Consumers' Unmet Needs to Fuel Product Innovation
  • Understanding & Combating New Competitive Threats
  • Leveraging Ongoing Shopper Insights to Drive Brand Adoption
  • Using Occasion Segmentation to Develop a Retail Strategy
  • Driving Kid Retail Strategy with Shopper Segmentation
  • Turning Around the Decline in Hair Care Appliance Purchasing at Mass Merchandisers
  • Building a Segmented Model for Beverage Shoppers Path to Purchase
  • Cooking Up a Seasoning Strategy Tailored to Hispanic Segments
  • Deep Diving into Multicultural Teenage Lives
  • Building Empathy Through Cultural Immersion
  • Uncovering and Eliminating Barriers in the Home Cleaning Category
  • WHERE'S THE WHITE SPACE FOR MY BRAND?

    SITUATION

    A major food manufacturer, needed to revitalize one of their brands, and was seeking to identify new space for the brand to occupy in the market place.

    OUTCOME

    Using a combination of attitudinal and occasion segmentations, we were able to uncover the limitations of the brand in its current competitive landscape, as well as identify and prioritize white space opportunities to pursue.

    brand whitespace

  • Ensuring brand loyalty by strengthening brand equity

    Situation

    A leading media company was facing new competition and needed to understand and define the new competitive landscape in terms of brand equity and consumer loyalty.

    Outcome

    Two-phases of qualitative were used: online communities and in-person focus groups. We used several creative projective techniques to bring brand perceptions to life. We also uncovered consumers' category needs and wants, helping to provide a roadmap to secure brand loyalty.

    brand loyalty

  • The Great Recession's Impact on Attitudes Toward Financial Services

    Situation

    In order to most effectively promote their services, an insurance and financial services company needed to understand how the recession affected affluent consumers in terms of their financial goals, attitudes towards financial products, and relationships with financial advisors.

    Outcome

    The results showed discrepancies between affluent consumers' priorities and their actual behaviors. We also highlighted key product and marketing opportunities based on their shifting priorities, decision making habits, and perceptions of financial professionals - which the client used to develop more compelling services and messaging.

  • Mapping the shopper journey to optimize merchandising strategies

    Situation

    A major food manufacturer, needed to identify opportunities and unmet needs of category consumers to drive in-store strategies and product innovations.

    Outcome

    Using a combination of online qualitative and quantitative research, we were able to identify how consumers shop the category. We identified key influence points along the shopping journey and how they varied by different shopper types. This ShopperEyes research provided clear direction on how new products should be merchandised in store.

    mapping the shopper journey

  • Understanding SMB's Needs and Concerns in the Wake of New Legislation

    Situation

    Our client, a top health insurance carrier, needed to understand how employers with fewer than 100 employees planned to react to changing legislation about health insurance provisions for their employees.

    Outcome

    Using an online survey of over 1,000 small and medium sized employers across the country, we informed our client of the health insurance needs of these employers and how to target these needs by company size. The findings guided direct marketing efforts which addressed the needs of prospective group policy members.

    small business health care

  • Identifying Consumers' Unmet Needs to Fuel Product Innovation

    Situation

    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.

    Outcome

    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.

    fuel product innovation

  • Understanding & Combating New Competitive Threats

    Situation

    One of the largest North American brewers was under pressure and losing share to the craft beer explosion. They needed to better understand the consumer perspective, how the category was evolving, and how they could leverage their current and developing brands to offset the encroachment.

    Outcome

    Using qualitative, quantitative, and mobile research, C+R determined that past perceptions of the Craft beer market no longer applied. Rather, brand proliferation and an increasing sophistication of the American palate was driving this change. These revelations provided our client with perspective on how future brands, styles, flavors , and the role of food pairings can be leveraged to battle this market trend.

  • Leveraging Ongoing Shopper Insights to Drive Brand Adoption

    Situation

    Client was looking to better understand a channel's shoppers and establish itself as key channel partner in order to grow channel trip frequency and expand the client's brand offerings in the channel.

    Outcome

    A four month on-line community was created for ready access to channel shoppers. We utilized diverse research tools including on-line journaling, mobile missions, videos, quick polls, forums, and quantitative surveys to obtain a complete picture of this channel shopper's world.

    We designed and delivered a series of sales ready materials (Newlsletters and Infographics) to share insights with both our client and their retail partners. Results influenced actions on conversion, merchandising, and digital communication.

    Through this program of research, the client established itself as a thought leader and critical business partner to its channel partner.

    shopper insights

  • Using Occasion Segmentation to Develop a Retail Strategy

    Situation

    As a Category Captain of the in-store bakery products of a leading club store, a food manufacturer wanted to help the club store identify strategies and tactics to grow the bakery section overall. To accomplish this, the manufacturer wanted to develop an integrated understanding of all in-store bakery products, by understanding different purchase occasions

    Outcome

    A two-phase study was conducted to identify and understand segments of bakery shoppers - including a quantitative occasion-based segmentation study, followed by in-depth one-on-one interviews with target segments. Armed with the in-depth category knowledge and a deep understanding of bakery purchase segments, the food manufacturer was able to help the club store create marketing tactics to reach specific types of shoppers.

  • Driving Kid Retail Strategy with Shopper Segmentation

    Situation

    A large children's apparel retailer wanted to bring focus to its marketing, product mix, communications and digital presence, in order to gain a higher share of voice and sales. The research needed to account for many complex dynamics including whom to target (parents, gift-givers, kids), as well as how to compete in an array of channels and brands.

    Outcome

    With the aid of online qualitative exploration followed by large-scale category segmentation, insights drove recommendations on:

    • Kid-friendly Communication: Employ touchpoint tactics to increase familiarity and leverage kid-acceptance
    • Targeted Marketing: Broader focus on gift-giving occasion; leverage large database of past shoppers
    • Marketing Calendar: Pulsing of sales events to align with key customers' common purchase patterns
    • Conversion Strategy: Target shoppers of specialty retailers and compete on "fashion-forward" platform
    driving kid retail
  • Turning Around the Decline in Hair Care Appliance Purchasing at Mass Merchandisers

    Situation

    A leading hair appliance manufacturer was observing a decline in purchases of women's hair care appliances from mass retailers, and wanted to understand what was driving the trend in order to reverse it.

    Outcome

    Through a ShopperEyes survey, we identified important differences between how consumers shop for hair appliances at mass vs. other retailers. With a new and thorough understanding of shoppers' path to purchase, we helped the client educate buyers on the current state of the market, inform business strategy to shorten the purchase cycle, and redirect sales to Mass Retailers.

  • Building a Segmented Model for Beverage Shoppers Path to Purchase

    Situation

    A major beverage manufacturer was developing new marketing strategies to expand flavored soda brand consumption occasions and "win at shelf." To help develop this strategy, they needed to understand shopper behavior and drivers for purchase.

    Outcome

    Using a mix of online qualitative research, ethnographies (in-home and shop alongs), and quantitative segmentation research, we were able to identify the household decision-maker for new products/flavors, the drivers of shopper behavior, as well as the triggers to purchase in the category. The results guided the development of marketing strategies both in-store and before the point of purchase.

    path to purchase

  • Cooking Up a Seasoning Strategy Tailored to Hispanic Segments

    Situation

    While a major seasoning and flavors brand developed its strategies and tactics for the General Population (via a comprehensive segmentation study), it needed to identify marketable cultural differences and similarities among the Hispanic marketplace.

    Outcome

    C+R's LatinoEyes team adapted the existing Gen Pop segmentation study for a Hispanic audience. The study revealed that Hispanics' approach to meal planning, shopping, preparation, inspiration, flavoring/seasoning and brands doesn't really align with the Gen Pop. These difference are most prevalent among Unacculturated and Bicultural Hispanics, providing the marketing team with guidance for tailored and targeted messaging strategies.

    LatinoEyes

  • Deep Diving into Multicultural Teenage Lives

    Situation

    Given the shifting demographics of U.S. teenagers - more ethnically diverse - a global company wanted to better understand the teenage audience, with an emphasis on demystifying multicultural teenagers. Specifically, we needed to uncover how Hispanic, African-American and Asian-American teens view themselves as part of the larger teenage group.

    Outcome

    A three-phased approach was used: an educational immersion (secondary research on the lives of teenagers), in-person qualitative immersion (in-culture groups discussions + in-home interviews), and online qualitative exploration (interactive online community). We found that even though teenage years have common threads, there are still several layers of nuances when it comes to cultural segments. The results led our client to a combination marketing initiatives: overall for all teens, and culture-specific efforts to appeal and stay relevant across culturally different groups.

    multicultural teens

  • Building Empathy Through Cultural Immersion

    Situation

    Our client wanted to understand the Hispanic consumer from a purely cultural perspective; this foundational understanding of this audience intended to educate the marketing team, with the intentions of more thoughtful, relevant advertising geared toward the Hispanic audience.

    Outcome

    Our immersion was multi-faceted, including: an educational cultural immersion session, a Hispanic consumer panel discuss, on-the-ground community exploration, in-home interviews, and a curated tour of cultural and artistic expressions. The various immersions were invaluable to the marketing team, arming them with relevant, contextual knowledge of the U.S. Hispanic consumer to guide their marketing strategies.

    hispanic immursion

  • Uncovering and Eliminating Barriers in the Home Cleaning Category

    Situation

    A leading supplier of home cleaning products witnessed a decline across category and brand sales. With a goal of growing household penetration, our client wanted to better understand consumer attitudes, competitive drivers and brand barriers that impact purchase decisions. In addition, our client wanted to delve into current product usage and opportunity areas that would improve brand sales.

    Outcome

    Through a qualitative online community, we were able to explore the specific usage, attitudes and needs across brand users, as well as competitive product users.

    Creative activities and in-depth conversation enabled us to uncover key delights, frustrations, and motivations around product usage and recent changes in usage. Our results identified why people were using the product less, and crucial barriers to overcome. The findings were used to guide creative development of our client's new advertising campaign, addressing the barriers to using the product.

    home cleaning category

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Launching a New Product

  • Developing New Product Ideas to Fill Innovation Pipeline
  • Optimizing Features to Drive New Product Adoption
  • Optimizing Campaign Concepts for Tweens
  • Will Consumers Accept a Re-Formulation of an Existing Product?
  • Identifying the Optimal Product Bundle and Price
  • Launching a Culturally-Anchored Flavored Beverage to Hispanics
  • Developing New Product Ideas to Fill Innovation Pipeline

    Situation

    Our client previously based innovation in this food category on technology advancements, but they wanted to drive growth by developing innovative new products that address consumers' emotional needs.

    Outcome

    Using a multi-modal approach of online qual, mobile journaling, and in-person ethnography, we first gained a deep understanding of consumers' behaviors, motivations, and unmet needs. We then led the client team in a day-long strategy workshop to identify the richest opportunity areas. Through facilitated ideation sessions, we developed over 100 new ideas to fill the client's innovation pipeline, and turned 12 of them into full concepts ready for additional testing. One of the ideas is set to hit store shelves in 2015.

    ideation

  • Optimizing Features to Drive New Product Adoption

    Situation

    A major cable company needed consumer insight to help develop and market a new product to their Internet customers to maximize adoption rate.

    Outcome

    Using Max-Diff scaling in an online survey, we were able to inform our client of the most compelling features and "situations" for using the product to maximize adoption, as well as the Prime Prospects to target. The findings guided product development and marketing communication priorities, in which emotional end benefits and values drove the messaging and tonality.

  • Optimizing Campaign Concepts for Tweens

    Situation

    An advertising agency needed to better understand who and what influences/motivates tweens, as well as gain preliminary feedback and optimize concepts for their new campaign.

    Outcome

    With a 3-day online qualitative discussion, including the use of a video app, we were able to give our client insight into tweens everyday lives, including hobbies, passions, and future aspirations. These learnings provided direction to reach tweens with their new campaign, as well as how to make the campaign as compelling and motivating as possible to this audience.

    tweens

  • Will Consumers Accept a Re-Formulation of an Existing Product?

    Situation

    A leading food and beverage manufacturer needed to understand consumer acceptance of, and potential ways to optimize, a formula change to an existing product prior to launching.

    Outcome

    As part of a multi-phase research plan, a central location test of three different flavors was conducted using strict adherence to product preparation guidelines. The research indicated two of the new formulas tested met key decision criteria to move forward in the product development process.

    product reformulation

  • Identifying the Optimal Product Bundle and Price

    Situation

    A major player in the travel industry was seeking new ways to improve its customers' experience by introducing a new suite of service offerings. The company needed direction on what features to include, and an acceptable price to charge to maximize revenue.

    Outcome

    Using a Discrete Choice methodology we were able to identify which service areas were most important to customers, and which bundle of products best met their needs. Our research enabled our clients to evaluate numerous "what if" scenarios to determine price elasticity of common travel scenarios.

  • Launching a Culturally-Anchored Flavored Beverage to Hispanics

    Situation

    A beverage company with national distribution of foreign brands wanted to develop a traditionally Hispanic beverage cocktail to target to Hispanic consumers. The client needed to understand how to best market a pre-packaged cocktail that has strong roots in the Mexican community, and maintain its flavor authenticity.

    Outcome

    Our research design included two phases: qualitative: focus groups with male Hispanic consumers and a large-scale online quantitative survey. In the qualitative phase, key product attributes were discovered and helped identify messaging priorities to help distinguish the new product from competitors. Packaging design changes took into account that the product has a strong brand halo, making the brand more prominent for easy recognition on shelf.

    hispanic cocktail

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Communicating Effectively

  • Positioning a Re-Designed Product in a Growing Category
  • Evaluating Multiple Positionings for a New 'All Natural' Snack
  • Effectively Communicating a New Product to Doctors and Office Staff
  • Optimizing Messaging to Drive Website Visitation
  • Leveraging Digital Communication to C‑Store Beer Shoppers
  • Optimizing Advertising Prior to Final Production
  • Optimizing Mobile Digital Advertising
  • Disaster Checking: Making Sure New Advertising Doesn't Alienate Consumers
  • Positioning a Re-Designed Product in a Growing Category

    Situation

    A leading automobile manufacturer needed to explore how consumers perceived its redesigned vehicle in order to better position it in an increasing crowded landscape.

    Outcome

    Using focus groups conducted across the US and in different languages, we were able to provide a framework for how the re-designed vehicle can be positioned to overcome barriers to attract new buyers, without alienating its current customer base. We also identified nuances among Hispanic, Asian, and Gen Pop audiences to inform a targeted marketing strategy.

  • Evaluating Multiple Positionings for a New "All Natural" Snack

    Situation

    One of our food clients set out to reformulate and reposition a line of better-for-you snacks to capitalize on a trend towards "real" food and simplified ingredient statements. One of the challenges was to determine how to evolve brand communications with just the right spin and nuance so that the messaging would be appealing, authentic and believable.

    Outcome

    We used our positioning evaluation framework, Compass™, to quantitatively test four positioning statements. Our approach included an interactive concept highlighting exercise to get granular diagnostics of the specific words and phrases that drove appeal and differentiation. With this approach we identified a clear winner along with three fact-based RTBs (reasons to believe) which produced strong positive reactions.

    all natural snack

  • Effectively Communicating a New Product to Doctors and Office Staff

    Situation

    A large regional bank was partnering with an IT company to provide an integrated financial and technological suite of tools for small private practices. They wanted to know how to describe this new product suite, and what to name it, in order to appeal to both doctors and their office staff.

    Outcome

    We conducted 25 in-depth interviews with office managers and physicians across a variety of practice sizes, specialties and locations. As a result, we were able to determine which product features and benefits resonated most across the broadest range of the target audience, along with the most relevant name for the services.

    communicating to doctors

  • Optimizing Messaging to Drive Website Visitation

    Situation

    An automotive classified website wanted to understand which messages would lead consumers to the site, best differentiate them from competitors, and complement each other to create the strongest campaign.

    Outcome

    Using Max-Diff scaling and TURF analysis, we were able to inform our client which messages consumers found most compelling and the mix of features that would maximize unique visitors to the site. We incorporated brand equity learnings to provide clear recommendations on which messages the client should continue to highlight, which should be de-emphasized, and which new messages should be included in their upcoming campaign.

    increase website visits

  • Leveraging Digital Communication to C‑Store Beer Shoppers

    SITUATION

    As a result of the growing sales of beer in the c-store channel, a leading alcoholic beverage company wanted to understand the purchase journey of the c-store beer shopper. Specifically, to identify digital communication opportunities to grow conversion and increase penetration & basket size.

    OUTCOME

    We developed a comprehensive research plan that included an online survey to quantify specific behaviors, an in-the-moment mobile diary to capture & validate in-store behaviors, and an online qualitative discussion to add depth to the findings. The results enabled us to identify digital engagement opportunities at each phase of the shopper journey and recommend features to incorporate in their digital strategy.

    LEVERAGING DIGITAL COMMUNICATION TO C-STORE BEER SHOPPERS

  • Optimizing Advertising Prior to Final Production

    Situation

    A major wine and spirits company developed a new campaign to drive reconsideration of one of its brands. Prior to final production of the ads, the brand team wanted to gauge how well the campaign motivated and resonated with its target consumer.

    Outcome

    Using C+R's Copy IQ, a real-time qual-quant communications test, we were able to dig deep and gain immediate clarity about the future look and messaging of the ads. Specifically, this helped the client identify how to modify key scenes in the ads in order to better communicate the brand's essence.

    optimizing advertising

  • Optimizing Mobile Digital Advertising

    Situation

    An entertainment company needed to test the relevance and appeal of a new email campaign, including the usability on mobile devices.

    Outcome

    We provided a set of Android & iOS smartphones and tablets so participants could view emails on a mobile device that most closely matched their own. We captured natural behaviors and interactions directly from the device via remote video, allowing us to hone in on attention-grabbing elements, observe behaviors (e.g., finger swipes, clicks, reactions to load times, etc.), which allowed us to optimize the content and layout for mobile delivery of the campaign.

    Optimizing Mobile Advertising

  • Disaster Checking: Making Sure New Advertising Doesn't Alienate Consumers

    Situation

    A leading beverage company needed a "disaster check" prior to launching a new advertising campaign to determine if the ads targeted for men would alienate women, and therefore, negatively impact future purchase interest.

    Outcome

    Using a 1-day "flash qual" design we were able to provide our client with a quick understanding of female perception of the ads. Additionally, we provided detailed optimizations to the ads to better reach a broader audience, all while meeting urgent timing requirements.

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Maintaining Strong Brands

  • How to Determine Brand Equity with a 6 Year Old
  • Keeping Up with Brand Equity in a Portfolio of Brand Categories
  • Mapping a Growth Plan for a Portfolio of Brands
  • Ensuring Brand Loyalty in Expanding Competitive Environment
  • How Does My Brand Reverse a Decline in Penetration?
  • How Can I Increase My Product Margin, Without Alienating Customers?
  • Which Brand Lineup Will Maximize Revenue?
  • Optimizing Seasonal Beer Portfolio Strategy
  • How to Determine Brand Equity with a 6 Year Old

    Situation

    A consumer packaged goods client was interested in teasing out brand equity for itself and several key competitors--among children as young as 6. The notion of brand equity can complex and difficult to articulate, even for adults.

    Outcome

    C+R developed a series of "emotion flashcards" with illustrations of key, relevant elements of equity (togetherness, grown-up, excited, etc.). We placed brand logos around a room and children placed each flashcard next to the logo that "most" made them feel the emotion, then discussed why the emotions landed where they did. The client was able to understand their strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities among even their youngest consumers.

    brand equity with six year old

  • Keeping Up with Brand Equity in a Portfolio of Brand Categories

    Situation

    A large CPG manufacturer who competes in many categories needed an easy-to-understand vehicle for their brand managers to stay informed of each brand's health and equity.

    Outcome

    C+R's Advanced Analytics team took something as complicated as brand equity and made it into an easy to understand metric by creating a brand health score. The score was based on seven variables, and three overarching indicators (strength, affinity, and substitutability), and provided an at-a-glance snapshot of our client's brand strengths across all categories.

  • Mapping a Growth Plan for a Portfolio of Brands

    Situation

    Our client offers an extensive portfolio of private brands, with products in over 30 categories. Their brands needed a strategic growth plan to help them face increased competition, innovation and differentiation in the private brand space.

    Outcome

    C+R worked with our retail and wholesale client to gain an understanding of their brands' overall brand health, points of difference, equities, and potential opportunities for extension. C+R's Equity Scope provided the foundation for learning and the marketing teams walked away with a road map for brand planning, including input on evolution of the brand architecture, strategic levers, consumer target opportunities, and category expansion possibilities.

  • Ensuring Brand Loyalty in Expanding Competitive Environment

    Situation

    Facing intense competition from streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, a major cable company needed to insure that customers remained loyal and continued subscribing to their services, especially cable TV.

    Outcome

    Using an ongoing, continuous tracking survey, we identified areas of vulnerability for the cable provider, as well as the aspects of its cable TV service that drive customers to be satisfied and loyal. Strategies and tactics were developed by region, including both operational and marketing messaging to help solidify loyalty. We also worked with customer call center reps to help build messaging for "save tactics" - for those customers calling to cancel their TV service.

    ensuring brand loyalty in a competitive environment

  • How Does My Brand Reverse a Decline in Penetration?

    Situation

    A pest control brand noticed a decline in household penetration. In support of the brand's goal to grow penetration, there was a desire to understand why consumers are migrating away from the category and, more importantly, from the brand.

    Outcome

    We utilized a two-phased approach: online qualitative followed by online quantitative. We learned that the most people are completely leaving the category, rather than the brand, as the current products are perceived to be harmful. These findings helped our client recognize the importance of offering a safer alternative and will fuel new product development.

    reverse penetration decline

  • How Can I Increase My Product Margin, Without Alienating Customers?

    Situation

    C+R recently worked with a client whose flagship brand operates in a highly price competitive, low margin environment. Brand managers were challenged to deliver better margin while maintaining user satisfaction and loyalty.

    Outcome

    Ingredient changes are inherently very risky. To help manage and navigate such risk, we utilize analysis based on bootstrap resampling - a technique that simulates tens of thousands of possible statistical outcomes from the same data set. We applied this technique with great success to direct our clients' decisions on how to reformulate their product without risking consumer defection. To learn more, please contact our head of advanced analytics.

  • Which Brand Lineup Will Maximize Revenue?

    Situation

    A leading manufacturer of frozen foods needed to understand how to optimize its product line so they can improve margins while maintaining their share within the category.

    Outcome

    Using an experimentally-designed quantitative Scenario Test that was calibrated with the client's volume and cost per unit data, we were able to identify what product mix optimized revenue while maintaining volume. The research provided clear guidance to remove an underperforming product and replace it with a new one in order to optimize the brand portfolio.

  • Optimizing Seasonal Beer Portfolio Strategy

    Situation

    A leading alcoholic beverage company needed to inform their seasonal beer portfolio strategy moving forward, to ensure offerings were differentiated enough to entice and retain seasonal drinkers. They worried the current portfolio was failing to fulfill consumers' desire for exploration and underperforming vs. the competition.

    Outcome

    The findings guided product development by revealing consumers' nuanced flavor preferences in each season, as well as their desire for new flavors vs. old favorites. The research also informed marketing priorities by highlighting key functional and emotional drivers to leverage in messaging, and distinct seasonal opportunities to win share from the leading competitor.

    optimizing portfolio strategy

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