Understanding the Impact of Color on Supplements

Understanding the Impact of Color on Supplements

The Challenge

Our client is working towards the removal of artificial colors from a healthcare supplement product line, with the goal of creating a more ‘natural’ product.
1.  Obtain feedback on an initial production line with more natural colors
2.  Understand potential issues that may arise with these changes in colors

Our Approach

We conducted a Central Location Test to evaluate six different variants, including the Current. Aside from standard hedonics, we included just-about-right measures, so we could conduct Penalty Analysis to determine where to optimize in terms of color and size, if need be.

Following the product evaluation, peel-off In-Depth Interviews were conducted to obtain additional understanding around the colors.

What We Learned

Purchase Decision Factors (in Priority Order) are:
Brand – Trust is key
Efficacy – Should do what it says it does, particularly if gender or age specific
Size – Should both look easy to swallow and be easy to swallow
Color is not necessarily important. Most consumers could not recall what the color of
their supplement was.  Still if encouraged to choose, consumers had some color preferences:

Insights to Action

Current consumers strongly believe in the brand’s reputation and efficacy. So while the brand is “internally” pressured to make this change, a change “within reason” will not deter brand usage – as
trust in the brand overrides the color of the tablets.

Further, current consumers already believe the tablets to be natural, so while the company desires to state this on the package as a benefit, it may cause consumer concern and lead consumers to question their prior experience with the product.

Overall, there is not much concern in making this switch, but there are some issues around specific colors, which came out in the qualitative interviews…

Want more?  View the case study.

How to introduce a new food into the U.S. market

How to introduce a new food into the U.S. market

The Challenge

Our client has a highly-popular international food item (a non-meat Turkish street fare) which they would like to introduce into the U.S. food market.
– Explore how consumers might use the product
– Determine how to position the product in the U.S.
– Identify any product adjustments to better fit the U.S. palate

Our Approach

Conduct qualitative focus group discussions with potential consumers who are open to the idea of a popular Turkish street food fare. We offered a buffet to allow sampling and pairings and looked for consumers who were “adventurous eaters” – those who have tried other international foods, such as Falafel, Gyros, Hummus, Tabbouleh, and Tar-tar.

What We Learned

Overall, the product was well-liked and generated excitement as a new flavor experience with multiple usage occasions.

Product

Because we did not define how this food product should be consumed, we were able to explore what was interesting/desirable to US consumers, versus setting expectations as to how it is typically consumed (in other countries).
– The expected form – a dry mix – wasn’t perceived as highly desirable, but once consumers were allowed to “play with the product” new ideas were uncovered.
– Consumers also identified additional usage occasions, aside from the typical “street fare”.

Marketing

The Turkish roots of the product were a highly appealing feature.  And, anchoring to other established international products offers familiarity yet a sense of adventure.  However – while meatless – the product should not be marketed as vegan as that label is too restrictive.

Want more? View the case study.

What’s in a name? Healthy versus wholesome.

What’s in a name? Healthy versus wholesome.

The Challenge

As marketers and market researchers, we know that words are pretty important. We have to understand what a word means to consumers and what they really want when they say that word. We explored this dichotomy as it relates to snacks in our Healthy versus Wholesome poster for The Society of Sensory Professionals.

Our Approach

Explore the differences and desired product attributes for healthy and wholesome snacks.

Phase 1: The Snack App
Consumers log their snacks for 24 hours and answer questions about their snacks.
We use the data to inform our lines of questioning and stimuli for focus groups.

Phase 2: The Focus Groups
Consumers complete pre-work assignments prior to meeting in the groups. Work includes journaling about snacks and uploading photos.
Consumers participate in different focus groups – one discusses the meaning of wholesome snacking, while the other discusses what healthy snacking is.

Insights to Action

While the occasions for healthy and wholesome snacks are the same, there are differences in the sensory attributes and emotional benefits of each. In developing a snack bite with “healthy” or “wholesome” positioning, Product Developers should focus on the prioritized sensory cues in order to create an aligned and satisfying experience.

Want more? (View the poster.)

Creating Differentiation in a Cluttered Category

Creating Differentiation in a Cluttered Category

The Challenge

How should we talk about our new-to-the-world product offering in order to position it against other offerings in the dairy aisle?

Our Approach

Gather consumer-generated sensory language in a focus group setting to describe the product’s taste and texture attributes.

Explore usage occasions and comparison to products in adjacent categories.

Insights to Action

While the product was very well-liked, consumers were not likely to use it to replace their current product.

Positioning the product against other offerings in the dairy aisle was less appealing than calling out new usage occasions based on the taste and textural attributes.

Marketing was guided to develop a positioning around the most appealing attributes rather than pitting the product against current offerings.

How to Extend the Product Platform through New Occasions

How to Extend the Product Platform through New Occasions

The Challenge

As part of a strategic growth initiative for a line of sweet baked goods, our client wanted to explore new occasions, mainly breakfast. Our client had four platform ideas, which would extend them deeper into the category, as well as provide new occasions.

Our Approach

Co-Create in an iterative process with Category Prime Prospects to first determine unmet needs and then generate product ideas around those needs (funneled approach).

Explore a range of stimuli to provide appropriate language and product cues to take forward to concept and product development.

Insights to Action

If extending into the morning occasion, any products would have to reinforce convenience and deliver value.

The need for convenience eliminated one of the platforms, because consumers found it would not deliver this benefit.

Another platform was eliminated, because consumers could not recognize the value it brought.

This guidance was critical in helping our client narrow down and focus their efforts.