A Study on Soups

A study was conducted by the foods category of a MNC in April 2007 to understand reactions towards the various soup options developed by its R&D team. The study was conducted in various stages involving one-on-one interviews and group discussions among children & youth using the technique of N-Light© ChronoTest.

Soup options were evaluated to understand preferences towards the base soup and also understand responses and preferences of various ingredients & inclusions that could be included in the soups. The focus of the study was to understand various product attributes like appearance, aesthetics, colour, taste and consistency and its influence on preferences.

The findings provided direction to the development and marketing team in narrowing the options for base soup and ingredient/ inclusions.

Study of Tooth Brush

An MNC with an existing brand of toothbrush looked at rejuvenating the brand in a bid to attract new consumers by repositioning it. Towards this end, a concept and a series of positioning statements that were developed were to be exposed to consumers such that the best could be selected as the way forward. The study was conducted in April 2007.

Lumière used its technique, the N-Light© ChronoTest to ascertain consumer reaction to five different concepts, and to possible names that could be selected in the course of re-branding. Exposure and reactions to concepts in terms of the positive and negatives, ease of comprehension, credibility, relevance and trial intent were determined.

Reactions to the brand name options were also obtained with an eye on the suitability or fit with the brand, and the ease and eagerness with which consumers took to it.

Ethnography: Oral Care

Recently a large MNC commissioned a project to understand evolving/ new age toothbrush designs and elements that play a critical role in the selection of a toothbrush.

The IIT Design team along with Lumière conducted the study in two metros and two Class B towns in India to understand elements of design that are critical while selecting a toothbrush and in use while brushing.

Key elements researched included functionality, aesthetics, and inclusion of
special design value adds on toothbrushes.

A combination of Lumière tools viz., N-Light©Connect and N-Light© Watch was adopted. Methodology adopted for the research was an ethnographic observation of the brushing process in home, followed by a depth interview to seek responses to three asimilar toothbrushes placed in home for an adequate in-use period.

The research helped identify the critical elements of toothbrush design in terms of bristle profiles, size and shape of head and handle dimensions. These findings would strengthen the consumer understanding on the category and help the IIT Design team to evolve new and different toothbrush designs.

Cooking Ethnography in the Indian Kitchen

A study initiated by a MNC involved a peek into the Indian kitchen across the four metros to capture the going ons’ a daily functional kitchen. The commonalities and cultural differences across zonal kitchens were captured along with the changing mindset of women [housewives & working women, young & old, nuclear & joint families] and the openness to accept modern day conveniences.

A combination of N-Light© Watch and N-Light© Connect techniques were used to understand the process, role and unearth possible white spaces for intervention on a commercial basis to simplify Indian cooking.

Mobile Telephony – Impact of the Sub-brand

We conducted the India leg of a global qualitative research for a mobile phone company. The client is a UK based brand consultancy, Brandsmiths. Our participation in the strategic exercise has been an annual phenomenon with the current study being the 3rd global study for the same client in the past 2 years. The study was conducted among profiles of technology users defined interestingly as technology stylists, technology leaders, life builders and style leaders.

Critical for the success of this research was smart and good quality recruitment to meet the layered and difficult criteria. A series of appropriate techniques and multiple stimuli were used for the qualitative research. Technology was leveraged for seamless communication resulting in a very loyal client.

The brand continues to score as highly popular, familiar and an inclusive brand. Its ability to create a highly successful, distinct and premium sub-brand range with straddling a wide price and features range is particularly noteworthy. Its ability to straddle across masses to classes provides depth to the branding. The research provided answers on the manner in which the Indian consumer has responded to the new range and the rub off on the mother brand. TV advertising
was tested using the N-Light© AdScreen research tool.

Oral Care Brand Launch Program

This was part of a global study for a leading multinational. We conducted inhome visits among toothpaste consumers in the middle and upper SECs in October 2006 using our proprietary research tool, N-Light© Connect. The research was a two stage process, where initially, the consumers were exposed to a concept to gauge their understanding and need for cosmetic teeth whitening products. At the next stage, on-site experience with the sample helped in understanding the pre-use and post use experience, concerns and apprehensions to using the test product.

Changing the Oral Care Habit

A study conducted in September and December 2006, using the methodology of paired depth interviews among mother and child using the N-Light© ChronoTest. It was used to understand gap between perceived and actual brushing time amongst consumers. An iterative process of product assessment is used to narrow down the winning toothpaste formulations. These are expected to make a real difference to consumers’ lives by attempting to change consumer behaviour for improved oral health.

The Notion Of Romance Through A Woman’s Life Stage

Lumière conducted a strategic study for a global FMCG brand in October 2006 to decode contemporary connotations for ‘romance’ amongst Indian women in the metros. It aims to understand the role, relevance, and expressions of romance in the life of today’s women. It explores the aspiration for romance and the feelings and emotions attached. It attempts to understand the similarity and differences by age group and by marital status.

The study threw up interesting and insightful findings on the aspect of romance which were used in creating brand communication. Whether expressed as playfulness and sensuous behaviour, romance has overtones of casual physical intimacy for the younger woman. There is a strong desire to be treated as an equal by their partner. The mobile phone plays a significant role in facilitating romance and its expression.

The older woman believes she has experienced a loss of romance in her marriage, and attributes it to a busier husband or her own neglect owing to an involvement with mundane activities of managing their children and household. There is acknowledgment that attention from the opposite sex is desirable, and it is not uncommon to succumb to these attentions from time to time.

The Impact of a Nutrition Supplement in Health & Wellness

A unique range of health care supplements were launched by a leading FMCG MNC in the recent past using the network marketing distribution channel. The objective of the study was to understanding the consumption pattern, triggers and barriers of nutrition supplements amongst children and adults.

The study conducted in December 2006, using a combination of face to face and telephonic depth interviews, reveals the product to have a highly positive impact on health and fitness. Users and consultants of the product related the triggers for trial and the benefits accrued to them. The role of the product in the positive as well as the preventive healthcare and wellness space in the users’ life has significant testimonial value and is being used in communication development.

Readiness for a Skin Care Range

A tactical research was conducted to test concepts for a proposed skin care range by a leading skin care brand. Focus group discussions were conducted in December 2006. The business objective was to launch an evolved range of skin care regime products for the ‘mass prestige’ segment using the Lumière tool NLight ChronoTest®. The aim of the research was to qualitatively test concepts to further refine them. It also aimed to understand level of comprehension for higher order benefits and the potential and stretch available in each concept. Nomenclature and ingredient options tested provided direction to the marketing team for communication development.

Study on the role of ‘Fresh Breath’ in physical proximity in relationships

A study was conducted in June 2006 among male and female youth, both singles and those newly married. The in-depth study used exploratory and projective techniques aimed at delving into the psyche of the youth to understand the motif of fresh breath in platonic, romantic and sexual relationships. There is a degree of experimentation and tentative exploration of the opposite sexes in early dating and mating games. The study provided insights on the concerns of bad breath and the role of ‘good breath’ in achieving overall physical proximity, inhibitions and social taboos surrounding bad breath. The study helped arrive at a laundry list of situational concerns of bad breath and helped in developing insights for communication ideas on the client brand.

Study to understand the goalposts of Indian feminine ‘Beauty’

A study was conducted in June 2006 among young married and unmarried women to understand the need and justification for beautification among Indian women. There exist deep unexpressed socio-cultural boundaries demarcating
situations and circumstances where feminine beautification is expected, encouraged and permitted. Similarly there are taboos and mores on situations where feminine beauty is repressed and inhibited. The study intended to gain insights on situations of beauty expression in order to develop communication. Some of these insightful situations were recommended for portrayal in brand communication.

Qualitative Understanding of ‘Health’, ‘Wellness’ and ‘Immunity’

A study was conducted in May 2006 among consumers [pediatric and geriatric] and doctors of various specialties to understand their views on wellness and determinants of immunity. The study has provided interesting positive correlation with sociological and psychological variables with proactive measures undertaken by the subject to promote wellness and health. The study findings have been used to input into a Quality of Life questionnaire for wellness which will be used for quantitative clinical testing. The study has provided valuable insights into wellness, and hypotheses. The study will test a new nutritional supplement designed to promote health and immunity targeted to all ages, especially those who are immunity challenged viz., children and persons in the geriatric age group.

Reaching the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) consumer for insights into innovative, low cost product

Lumière had conducted this ethnographic study,N-Light© Watch, in one of the biggest slums in Asia, Dharavi. The objective of the study was to observe consumers at the Bottom of Pyramid (BOP) in order gain insights into their life and life concerns. The study helped the client to build sensitivity for “deep listening” with similar audiences around Asia and Africa. These studies will provide insights and inputs to designing products that innovatively address the specific category needs of the consumer at the BOP.
An Emerging Consumer study

Lumière undertook an interesting study to understand the aspirations of consumers at the lower end of the socio-economic strata in urban and rural India and map changes in these. It focused on understanding the phenomena of “emergence”, changes in lifestyles and the impact of media on shopping behaviour amongst rural and urban low income or daily wage earners.

The study culminated in mapping shifts in the mindset of new rural consumers, their sensitivity to price, trial intent and usage pattern of products in terms of low unit price items (small packs/sachets) vis-à-vis large packs. It also covered the social aspects of rural India, viz., the rise in education amongst women and children, agro-developments, need gaps and
infrastructural changes. The study involved Consumer Home Visits and expert Depth Interviews in addition to intensive data mining.

Deepa Soman

Posted by Deepa Soman

Spiritual seeker, people and idea collector and connector, life-long learner and sharer. Founder CEO Lumiere Business Solutions, a marketing research & consulting firm. She designed a business model innovation to enable women professionals to get back to work.

Website: http://www.lumieresolutions.com

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