The volatility of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis has impacted business across all consumer-facing industries. Consumer attitudes and behaviors have shifted for at least the near future and most likely years to come.
Because this decision-making has been in a constant state of evolution, market research is more valuable than ever for consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands.
In this blog post, Drive Research will discuss three effective options for helping those working in the CPG industry to stay one step ahead of the always-changing expectations and specifications of consumers.
There are several market research options that CPG brands can leverage to navigate and succeed through the constant evolution of consumer behavior. Here are 3.
First, what are the benefits of CPG market research?
Top consumer goods brands like Nestle or PepsiCo have access to dedicated teams responsible for their in-house market research.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to share the same budget of top consumer packaged goods companies to reap the same benefits of data-driven decisions.
A CPG market research company, like Drive Research, can easily navigate your brand through consumer’s everchanging desires, expectations, and needs.
Having a partner who specializes in insights and consumer behavior analysis means your team quickly adjusts to market trends, while still focusing on your everyday tasks.
CPG market research provides the consumer insights you need to stay competitive and win the battle of shelf space within grocery stores and homes across America.
Why hire a third-party market research firm? Here are five benefits that will sell you on a research partner.
What market research options do I have as a consumer packaged goods company?
The three methodologies our CPG market research firm suggest below are a little more in-depth and focus on new research trends.
Of course, these are not your only options, and which you may move forward with is dependent on your main goals and objectives for conducting research.
Let’s dive in!
1. Brand Equity Surveys Among the General Public
An online survey can be a powerful tool for consumer packaged goods brands to obtain a pulse on the general public with respect to their company.
A brand equity study specifically addresses topics like brand awareness, perception, associations, and the most important factors when considering a brand.
A major advantage of a brand equity survey is using the initial survey results as CPG benchmarks to understand how the dial moves for awareness, perception, factors of importance, and other metrics.
This longitudinal study allows a CPG company to know how internal changes impact awareness and perception, as well as measuring awareness and perception changes for competitors.
In this short video, Drive Research shares 4 important questions to include when conducting a brand equity study to help get you started!
2. Mobile Ethnography Among Customers
Another market research methodology worth consideration is mobile ethnography. Some of the biggest challenges in the CPG industry are low brand loyalty and the abundance of competitors in the market.
To overcome these barriers, CPG companies need to understand the decision-making that goes into selecting a product.
To achieve this goal, some brands will choose to conduct in-person shop alongs. This methodology involves an interviewer walking side-by-side with a shopper as the grocery shop.
If in-person shop-alongs are not possible, a mobile ethnography study is another great option!
What is mobile ethnography?
Mobile ethnography is a compelling solution for online consumer behavior research.
It allows CPG brands to learn from consumers via their own words and actions.
With a smartphone as the medium, consumers can complete activities like submitting video or photoresponses that offer multiple layers of insights.
Here are a few examples of how a consumer goods company may utilize this market research methodology.
An egg producer would like to understand top factors of choice when consumers purchase eggs.
To measure this, a research participant must go to their local grocery store and video log themselves finding the dairy aisle and choosing a brand of eggs.
The shopper must answer why they chose this brand of eggs over the others.
- Is it because of the price?
- Is it because they saw an advertisement for the egg brand?
- Is it because they had a coupon?
- Is it because the eggs were not cracked?
- Is it because the eggs were healthier?
The video documentation will give a real-life look into their normal shopping habits and how the egg producer can remarket themselves as the top choice.
A mobile ethnography study is not just limited to in-store purchases. Video recording and mobile diaries can take place in the participant’s home while the product is in-use.
This approach offers a great perspective on how consumers are utilizing a product, food, or beverage in their most natural environments.
CPG companies can also observe valuable behaviors such as:
- What time of day it is used
- What rooms is it used in
- Who in the household uses it
- How they feel while using it
The results from this kind of study may have direct implications for your R&D or marketing strategies.
Remember, we are people selling to people. Market research can help find the marketing and advertising message that is most relatable to your target audience.
3. User Experience Interviews for a Website or App
What if your online platform is a major component of the consumer experience for your CPG brand?
User Experience (UX) research dives deep into how participants use a platform and what their thoughts are in real-time.
In a typical UX interview, a consumer is asked to navigate and complete tasks on a website or application while being recorded. You will get the most out of this research if both the participant’s screen and device camera are recording the interview.
Findings from web interviews will shed light on the ease of use of a platform better than any other form of research. You can identify issues regarding descriptions, titles, navigation tabs, images, links, and buttons that are often too specific to be mentioned in a survey or focus group.
This research is critical for CPG companies that prioritize online customer engagement and e-commerce. You do not want to have any doubt that your platform functions and meets consumer needs as intended.
Drive Research is a U.S. market research company headquartered in Syracuse, NY. We work with a variety of industries and clients coast-to-coast, including consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands.
Contact us to design a custom market research study with consumers to obtain all of these insights and benchmarks for your team.
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