We thrive on harnessing our talent and passion to partner with like-minded clients and move the bottom line on global brands.
Here are just a few of our success stories.
Co-Creating Brand Positioning with Consumers
In an increasingly fragmented market that continues to trend toward tighter profit margins, a major cheese brand wanted to reposition itself and make a stronger connection with its core consumers. The company had defined market segments and eating occasions for their existing brands; however, their traditional marketing messages were failing to deepen brand loyalty and differentiate from competitive sets. How could this brand emotionally connect with core consumers to carve out the white space necessary to increase profits?
Rather than continuing to ask core consumers the same marketing questions in the same way, SIVO Insights developed a customized methodology designed to dive deeper. In-home ethnographies with core consumers provided a framework on who these people were and what they cared about most. SIVO Insights then used this information to develop several hypotheses that linked the consumer’s perceived emotional benefits to unique brand assets.
In phase two, SIVO Insights conducted focus groups with core consumers to build creative boards of the imagery, words and phrases that surround each of the emotional positioning territories uncovered in the ethnographies. The consumers also identified which territory rang most true for the brand and which most differentiated from its competitive set. Finally, SIVO Insights developed a robust consumer profile and built an authentic brand house using consumer language captured in the focus group discussions.
By creating brand positioning elements that use the core consumers’ own language when talking about unique brand assets, SIVO Insights paved the way for a richer, deeper marketing campaign that resonates emotionally with its core consumers and carves out a unique, ownable brand space in a highly competitive market.
Ethnographies and Friend Groups that Find Consumer Target Commonalities
A leading pizza brand recently had enormous success breaking through to a new consumer group. The success was in part due to a strong campaign with a message that spoke directly to this new audience, but whose demographic profile differed significantly from the brand’s established consumer base. Perhaps there were opportunities to move beyond stereotypical messaging and connect with both of these consumer groups on a more human level?
SIVO Insights customized a research plan centered around Ethnographic Friend Groups. Three host respondents from each target audience were identified and asked to invite two friends from the same target group to participate in a facilitated, in-home discussion. This intimate conversation, in a friendly and familiar setting, revealed key verbal and behavioral clues to authentic feelings, values and barriers surrounding primary eating occasion opportunities.
SIVO Insights used the robust and detailed learning from the Friend Groups to develop consumer profiles for each group and then analyze and identify areas of convergence and differentiation. Each consumer group was brought to life through a video that captured key Friend Group moments. Ultimately, this information was used in a cross-functional application session that identified key crossover messages relevant to both target audiences. The new, enhanced marketing campaign is soon to launch.
Dimensionalizing the Hard-Copy Media Hold Out
Despite the growing digital trend, DVDs, Blue Rays and CDs represented significant but declining sales for a national electronics retailer and entertainment industry giants. Physical movie and music media departments also commonly worked as a gateway into other retail offerings. So who are these hard-core, hard-copy hold outs? Understanding them and what type of shopping experience they are looking for, in-store and online, could hold the keys to bucking sales trends and opening new revenue streams.
SIVO Insights coordinated consumer shop-alongs with pre-recruited physical media buyers and intercepted in-store shoppers in 4 distinct markets across the US. This work uncovered the relative benefits that committed these shoppers to buying physical media and detailed the mindset, emotional ties, values and personalities that fueled their distinct shopping behaviors and preferences. At the same time, SIVO Insights also discovered that although these consumers were proud to showcase their media libraries, they were not unplugged luddites who shied away from all things digital.
SIVO Insights brought the physical media buyer to life by formulating key findings into a live-action, movie trailer which was released to rave reviews. “A 5-star knock out!” said one entertainment executive. “A must-see for years to come!” said a retail big-wig. But SIVO Insights didn’t stop there. The trailer premier included an ideation session that ultimately answered two important questions: How can current company assets be leveraged to provide unique benefits to the hard-copy media buyer and where is the door open for physical and digital media crossover? Ideas from this session now form merchandising, value-proposition bundling and signage in both the retail and entertainment industries.
Innovating Snack Food Concepts for the Frozen Sector
America has an appetite for snacks with sales expected to grow by $35 billion over the next 5 years, and a national food and beverage manufacturer with a strong brand and loyal customer base wanted nothing more than to satiate America’s cravings. But how do you generate new frozen food ideas that are innovative and compelling to today’s consumer?
SIVO Insights’ first step was to curate an ideation team that included experts in the food and beverage industry and capable of generating a creative spark among the in-house product development team. Through targeted exercises and guided facilitation, SIVO Insights set the creative energy in motion by tapping into the group’s emotional ties and strong memories of food. The emotional space seeded ideas. Seed ideas grew into robust ideas. Skeletons were outlined and then brought to life with richly detailed, visual concepts by SIVO. Each concept was then rapidly refined using the key drivers, biases, and barriers carefully uncovered during repeated consumer testing that crossed into multiple demographic segments.
In two different category platforms, SIVO Insights’ Ideation generated 243 new ideas and advanced 44 concepts. SIVO Insights’ Rapid Refinement Optimization moved the best 20 concepts into quantifiable testing in which 3 emerged with yellow lights and a whopping 5 were green lit! The project is now in the Feasibility and Development Phases and launch dates are set for the next fiscal year.
Ensuring a New Face Stands Out in a Crowd of Chaos
General Mills was in the final stages of product development and had arrived at their moment of truth. Could shoppers find Tiny Toast in the hurried, highly-competitive cereal aisle and easily identify it as an all-family cereal?
It was time to put Tiny Toast on the shelf and get direct consumer feedback. SIVO Insights set up in-store tests at grocery, conducting interviews with both pre-recruited target consumers and intercepted shoppers. The consumer message was clear: Tiny Toast was not ready for launch. Shoppers did not “see” the product on the shelf, nor did they understand that it was a cereal the whole family would enjoy. SIVO Insights dove deeper into these shoppers’ habits, loyalties, mindsets, biases and drivers to formulate strategic packaging recommendations to grab consumer attention and better communicate all-family appeal. After incorporating several recommendations into a redesigned package, SIVO Insights was back again for another round of consumer tests and feedback
for final optimization.
General Mills successfully launched their first new cereal brand in 15 years. Look for Tiny Toast in your cereal aisle.
Creating Consumer Empathy to Build Common Ground in Crucial Conversations
It was time for a crucial conversation. A vitamin manufacturer wanted to have an All-In Meeting with a health and wellness retail buyer on how to reverse declining sales. Consumer voices needed to be front and center. At this critical meeting, how could the vitamin manufacturer build common ground with the retail buyer?
SIVO Insights’ brought the consumers to the meeting using live video chat. During the meeting, SIVO Insights streamed live interviews with loyal retail shoppers who purchased their vitamins at competitive retail stores. Consumer after consumer revealed insights into the motivations and barriers that formulated their vitamin shopping habits as well as their retail and vitamin brand perceptions. SIVO Insights took this research one step further and presented a follow-up report that analyzed and developed these deep-dive insights into strategic recommendations and “thought-starters” to spark next-step ideas.
With a visual, live-stream of consumers giving first-hand shopping and brand impact testimony, the group had undeniable insights into consumer need. As a result, the group held a rich discussion centered on common goals. The relationship between the vitamin manufacturer and the retail buyer deepened and the doors were opened to begin generating new ideas.
Using consumer immersion experiences in product innovation
An international science and technology company identified DIY Personalization as a growth area to leverage their expansive technology assets. The company commissioned a large quantitative study to better understand the values, motivations and occasions surrounding those who personalize their everyday experiences. The result was an overwhelming amount of data that failed to spark viable new product ideas. Internally, the company was stuck and needed a new approach to revitalize the project. How could a wealth of key insights be organized and utilized to generate consumer-benefit driven personalization products with a broad market appeal?
SIVO Insights quickly determined that the area of personalization was simply too broad to ideate against. The first step was to refine the project’s scope and add the framework necessary to move the project forward. This required a deep dive into the existing qualitative data with SIVO Insights organizing key findings into several innovation platforms that were refined into four main areas of focus. SIVO Insights then developed and facilitated a customized strategic session that moved the company’s internal product development team back and forth between Creative Consumer Fish Bowls and Ideation Sessions. This process used a total consumer immersion experience to produce new insights and fuel the co-creation of new product ideas.
In two days, the strategy sessions generated 101 product ideas that hit the benchmark of having broad market appeal. Additionally, the sessions identified new approaches on how to actively co-create with DIY consumers using hands-on, experiential techniques.
Getting shoppers to bite on a new natural snack
General Mills sought to broaden the reach of one of its recently acquired natural and organic brands by launching a new product, LÄRABAR Bites, under the LÄRABAR umbrella. But which aisle placement, package format and design would best accomplish the objective of disrupting at shelf to introduce a new form and eating occasion? The optimal package would leverage current brand equity without alienating core users while also breaking through to a new segment still not familiar with the brand.
SIVO Insights tested two package formats on shelf at three major grocery retail chains. To reduce research bias and deepen insights, SIVO Insights conducted interviews with both pre-recruited and intercepted consumers who bridged mainstream and natural shopping mindsets. Consumers interacted with each package format in several aisle placements at different times of day. This rigorous methodology was designed to uncover the overt and subconscious consumer drivers, motivations and biases that would shape each package formatâ€™s shopability and predict the likelihood of product success.
SIVO Insights found that a multi-serve pouch better disrupted at shelf and conveyed new, non-bar eating occasions to both loyalists and consumers unfamiliar with the brand. In fact, tests showed that an alternative format confused, even mildly annoyed, consumers and held the potential to impede launch success. The LÄRABAR Team integrated several SIVO Insights design and product placement recommendations and in 2016 successfully launched LÄRABAR Bites.
Strengthening Digital Assets Through UX Research
A major medical device manufacturer was ready to launch their redesigned medical professional website portal with a highly-stylized and interactive design. The biggest challenge was to organize an overwhelming amount of data in a way that was compelling, accessible and kept users coming back. But did this design match how these highly-trained medical professionals expected to receive information? Did users walk away with the information they needed and see the site as a credible online resource?
SIVO Insights tested the redesign using one-on-one interactions with target users across various age, gender, experience and employment spectrums. None had any prior experience with the medical professional web portal. Users were asked to complete a series of tasks, answer interview questions and rate their experience. After analyzing the data, SIVO Insights assigned the website a usability score of less than 50 percent, meaning that more often than not users abandoned their tasks. Even worse, users often walked away confused and sometimes annoyed. Clearly, the visual-heavy design did not match the analytic mindset of the intended users. Having uncovered key insights into what information these specific users wanted and how they expected to find it, SIVO Insights made specific architectural, design and word choice cues to better match the site to core user expectations.
SIVO Insights made the recommendation to eliminate the interactive design, and the medical device manufacturer launched the medical professional web portal with a less-stylized, more traditional navigation design to match the users’ mental model.