Review: Juice


Our client needed to understand how well their juice product performs versus a key branded competitor and major own label equivalent, to ensure they are able to maintain an advantage in an increasingly commoditised category. To ensure we understood performance in detail, our research needed to cover two key ‘moments of truth’ (MOT) – on-shelf and in-use.


APPROACH

We conducted a two-stage study, whereby consumers completed an online survey investigating the first MOT before being placed with a product for 5 days and completing a recall questionnaire focused on the product performance (second MOT).  We recruited a mix of users and non users of each product (our client’s brand and two competitors) to ensure we could understand where opportunities may exist to bring in new consumers but also to ensure any recommended changes do not alienate existing users.
We used a range of MMR’s interactive tools at each stage in order to access detailed perceptions of each product, including:

  • Shelf standout exercise (MOT1) to assess ease of findability in a competitive context
  • Pricing in a competitive context (MOT1) to understand perceived value relative to RRP
  • Brandphonics profiling (MOT1 & MOT2) to access the deeper brand conceptualisations associated with our client’s brand, how these compare to key competitors and the degree to which they are reinforced by the product experience
  • Diagnostic assessment of pack (MOT1) and product (MOT2)
  • Correlation with purchase intent (MOT1 & MOT2) – to generate an overall hierarchy to show which performance metrics across both touchpoints have the strongest relationship with motivation to purchase

RECOMMENDATION

As a result of this research, we were able to provide detailed feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of our client’s product at both moments of truth and compared to their competitors.  We identified that our client’s packaging is well optimised, offering strong on-shelf presence and easier navigation between variants than competitors. The packaging also portrayed a positive brand image – exhibiting equities that are positive drivers for the category overall (such as quality) but also owning a more traditional, trustworthy positioning.  However, the key competitor was found to be as strong in terms of delivering a credible and honest profile, despite being relatively new to the market. Coupled with this, our results indicated that, contrary to our client's expectations, the competitor product also delivered well on post-trial metrics. Both products were found to be  very strong and fully optimised products – which, when taking the price differential into account represents a risk for our client’s offering.  We used these insights to provide our client with specific recommendations for packaging, format availability, in store merchandising and comms.

CLIENT ACTION

Our client had hypothesised that their competitor’s brand was not sustainable, and that initial strong performance was driven by heavy promotion.  However, this research indicated that there is a high level of threat from both the brand persona and product delivery of their competitor, and that they are capable of commanding a higher price point.  We also showed that in this category, consumers are willing to take a hit on taste for a cheaper own label offering.  Our client are therefore currently investigating their pricing strategy in order to identify potential for a more competitive price


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