By uncovering detailed drivers of product performance at a
sensorial, emotional and functional level, we were able to isolate core brand
equities and produce a clear R&D brief that allowed them to shape the optimal
Our client found
themselves in a highly complex situation with their key moisturising product
available under different brand names, formulations and fragrances in different
markets. They needed to reduce the range
of formulations in order to improve local sales opportunities by better
matching formulations to both consumer preferences and the brand. The problem?
The brand and product are iconic, and any formulation change posed a serious
risk to brand equity.
To establish what
makes the brand ‘iconic’ around the world and drives such strong commitment
(despite variations in formula).
This was established via emotional and functional profiling
of the brand and key competitors across core markets of interest, to gauge
which equities have a strong association with the brand and which help to
differentiate, thus giving an advantage vs. competitors.
A host of functional equities were expected and it would be
vital to maintain these to avoid dissatisfaction. However, many of these were
also associated with competitors, giving little scope for differentiation. Most of the brand’s positive equities (and
those that helped provide a competitive edge) were found to be emotional in
nature in all regions.
To create a statistical model for each local market to
understand which attributes drive both liking and perceived efficacy.
To do this, products representing the market space were
assessed blind on key measures and a full diagnostic assessment was completed. A number of product attributes combined to
deliver overall efficacy perceptions.
To identify which specific sensory, emotional and
functional attributes contribute to the key efficacy drivers.
This enabled us to establish what the product needed to
deliver to maximise efficacy – and how / if this differed by market. We were
able to isolate core brand equities in each market and where similarities and
differences exist plus understand what the optimal product should look like to
maximise potential in all markets.
Understanding which of the efficacy drivers are also
strongly linked with the brand itself (ie. are ‘functionally or emotionally
This detailed understanding of conceptual linkages enabled
us to build a product brief for the unified formulation – focused on driving
efficacy perceptions whilst developing (or maintaining) attributes contributing
to the brand’s core emotional equities – building consonance and thus
Individual market models were used to ensure that the recommended
changes in unified formulation would not alienate / negatively impact
perceptions of efficacy.
The results indicated that a common base formulation would
be appropriate for all markets, however, that the optimal fragrance for one
market was of a floral nature (to portray comforting equities) whilst a
medicated undertone was required for another.
The output was a clear brief for R&D that allowed the
client to produce one formulation for all markets – with the added benefit of reduced
Using the results from this research, our client- has
progressed with the recommendation to adopt a consistent base formulation at a
global level and use fragrance to increase brand fit and category advantage at
an individual market level.