Connecting with consumers - how do we do it?
Today’s consumers want options but can be overwhelmed with too many choices. They look for uniqueness but not something that’s too different. They want premium quality products but prefer to buy value. New product development is not getting any easier!
Creating and delivering innovative products in a fast-paced market with conflicting consumer demands is not easy. Which is why our approaches to rapidly understanding the consumer have become critical.
Developing the optimal product
We’ve developed approaches to suit the needs of clients and the challenges they face. Our rapid, lean and agile practices generate fast, actionable and accurate information to guide product development and innovation teams to understand consumer needs, develop a product idea, finalise a product design and sustain product interest.
Understanding your consumers
Who are your consumers and what do they want? Our consumer and sensory science team deploys a range of powerful tools to help you:
- develop an in-depth understanding of consumer requirements - what is really wanted in a product category? For example, we’ve successfully used consumer co-creation sessions to identify winning novel ingredient concepts for a leading fruit juice manufacturer.
- identify your target market - we can characterise the consumer segment that has the greatest return on investment for your product. Using advanced segmentation tools, we’ve identified groups of consumers in an overseas market that were most receptive to our client’s dairy product range to help with further product development and market positioning.
- understand the competition - we can identify those who compete most directly. For example, we’ve recently created a competitor landscape based on sensory product profiles for a global confectionery client and linked these profiles to consumer segments.
- formulate the value proposition - we can identify how your product differs from competitors’ and which attributes your product must have, which attributes really delight your consumers and which are the ‘niceto- haves’. Working with a cheese producer, we identified the ‘ideal’ sensory attribute profile that would optimise their product’s appeal to the consumer.
- understand the product experience - does the product live up to its intended market positioning? Does the brand, packaging and product align to create a coherent user experience? To help with packaging redesign we’ve recently identified the impact that packaging has on product appeal for a range of tea products.
Every year we help members to develop and evaluate thousands of concepts, prototypes and products using a wide range of established and emerging qualitative and quantitative consumer and sensory science methods. Our approaches have supported project teams throughout the supply chain and in numerous sectors including bakery, confectionery, dairy, ambient, produce, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and even in non-food areas.
Research: claims and consumer insights
A new member-funded research project focuses on the impact of sensory claims on consumers’ purchase decisions. It will provide members with insights into if/why sensory claims are seen as credible, meaningful and valuable and their impact on consumer behaviour. It will help our members answer questions such as “What impact will my claim have on the consumer’s prepurchase decision making?” Come to our sensory and consumer MIG meeting to get the latest on this project.
Improve your product development
We actively help members improve their processes through training. Whether you need an introductory session to new product development, a ‘deep dive’ into specific approaches, or advice and guidance, we provide scheduled and tailored training to help enhance new and existing product development initiatives.
Contact us if you would like to visit one of our test centres, or to find out more about what we can do for you.