WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES

WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES

WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES

Diagnosis

Our clients, who were in development of an electric vehicle (EV), wanted to understand the consumer reality of owning such a vehicle: what’s it’s like to live with an electric car, day-to-day?

They were conscious that those responsible for the design development were removed from the reality of everyday consumer needs – despite their technical understanding of the model.

There was a requirement to bridge this knowledge gap quickly and without the cost of a full-blown research project.

Dialogue

Typically, for such a challenge, we would undertake an ethnographic approach. However, given that there was neither the time nor budget available for such a detailed study, we had to think laterally and look for a more immediate, low-cost alternative.
A member of the HPS MMEYE team, Sherine Arafa, was actively considering buying an electric car. On the face of it, she’s an ideal target for the product under development: living in a London suburb, and commuting into central London. She’s a frequent driver, looking for a small, city-style car to replace her current car. Hoping for something modern, fuel efficient and, ideally, eco-friendly, an electric car appears to be a perfect match. The only potential obstacle is that she lives in a flat, with no access to charging at home (a frequent problem for urban dwellers).

Sherine hired a BMW i3 (with range extender) and took to the road. With a combination of everyday self-ethnography, and a day of professional video footage, Sherine lived the EV ‘dream’, experiencing two weeks of ownership. She travelled and charged in different locations, testing the product to see how well it would meet her needs.

Destiny

Two weeks of experience were condensed into a six-minute video that allowed our client’s internal teams to be fully immersed in the world of EV ownership, and walk a mile in the shoes of an EV “owner”.

The client reaction was immediate and positive. The video changed the assumptions and expectations that had underpinned the product development, forcing a change in perspective and providing an essential reality check.

The need to attract an urban customer and the reality that many of these would not be able to charge at home, combined with the complexity of charging elsewhere, demanded a refocus on the importance of EV range provision.

HEY BIG SPENDER

HEY BIG SPENDER

HEY BIG SPENDER

In all the years we’ve been working with car brands, one of the things that has consistently intrigued us is the complexity of the decision-making process involved. The time taken from consideration to purchase; the different media channels involved; the importance of brand versus price, the importance of retail experience versus online information-gathering – these are all questions that need to be answered if marketers are going to be able to exert influence with the right messages at the right time in the right place.

Recently we decided to explore whether the customer journey was equally complicated when approaching other high-value purchases; not the £20k required to splash out on a new car, but other less pricey purchases which nevertheless, require consideration and reflection. It seemed to us, that for most people, spending £500+ was a reasonably significant sum of money, and deciding what to spend it on, and then what brand to buy was worthy of investigation. Real life consideration means that there is often a trade-off which cuts across product and service categories, and is not just limited to brands within a category. We wanted to understand the emotional rollercoaster of the risk/reward journey, and to identify how different customer types might have very different perspectives and needs.

So we embarked on a survey of over 1000 UK consumers who had recently made two product purchases over £500 – to explore their purchase journeys in detail. Respondents had purchased anything from luxury watches to laptops, from designer handbags to high tech TVs, from holidays to health club memberships. We then followed up our quant study with depth interviews to flesh out our findings.

What we discovered was fascinating; we found that there are five customer personality types or “personas” to be found across all product categories, and whose attitudes, behaviour and approach to purchase remains consistent whatever product they’re buying – whether that’s a tablet or a weekend in Paris. For example, “Brand love” is a key driver for two of the personas, with over 40% of people saying that they love the brand they purchased. However, digging deeper shows that love of the brand influences these two personas in different ways and for different reasons. Another two of the personas stand out for the length of time they take to make their purchases. Whilst these two segments appear similar (a minimum of 69% of each taking more than a week), by understanding the mind set of these two personas, one can see that they are driven by completely different motivations.

We believe that the research provides a great deal of food for thought. Our findings can potentially help marketers connect better with their customers; how to deliver the most pertinent messages that will resonate with them at the correct stage (and channel) in the purchase journey. It’s also an opportunity for marketers to evaluate their own customer segmentation alongside a segmentation which takes a broader view of customer purchases.

If you’d like to see a full presentation of our findings contact info@MM-Eye.com.

MAERSK EXPERT COMMUNITY

MAERSK EXPERT COMMUNITY

MAERSK EXPERT COMMUNITY

Diagnosis

In 2015, Maersk, the world’s largest logistics company, asked us to develop a new customer engagement programme. They wanted to create an ongoing dialogue that would benefit both Maersk’s customers and the brand itself.

Dialogue

We recommended creating a customer community. Providing qualitative diagnostics and quantitative metrics, this approach offered many benefits for company and customers alike, and encouraged participation from busy senior audiences.
Our client had previously been advised against an online community by a B2B research agency, but trusted our opinion. The Maersk Expert Community is now in its fifth year and consists of 2,000+ customers, ranging from senior decision makers to those who handle day-to-day logistics.

Recruitment is conducted using customer lists, targeted email and social media campaigns. The members complete research in areas relevant to them. They might be asked to test new products, assess communications or help develop value propositions.

MM-EYE manages the community, turns the data into insight and holds monthly meetings to discuss findings. Our cutting-edge platform allows us to access profiled information, conversation transcripts and the answers to every question ever asked. We monitor the email inbox to ensure all queries are forwarded to the right contact, and undertake daily moderation of discussion pages.

Destiny

By commissioning the Maersk Expert Community, our client now has a customer-centric research tool that allows them to uncover small but powerful truths that help them develop new products, services and global customer value propositions.
Using knowledge gained over time, questions can become more precise and targeted, and insights can become richer. In return customers see their ideas and comments being acted on, which leads to them being increasingly engaged.

JAGUAR LAND ROVER – BRAND HEALTH TRACKING

JAGUAR LAND ROVER – BRAND HEALTH TRACKING

JAGUAR LAND ROVER – BRAND HEALTH TRACKING

Diagnosis

When JLR first approached us in 2009, they had been conducting brand tracking research for decades with a well-known research agency. This traditional approach wasn’t delivering the insight they wanted to drive commercial growth, and they were looking for a more effective alternative.

Dialogue

From the outset, we focused on the deceptively simple question, “How does this brand make you feel?”

Our Thoughtscape approach puts the consumer centre-stage. Instead of only measuring what the client wants to know, our brand positioning research allows us to assess what drives buyer behaviour. We’re constantly searching for the small truths that will help give our client a competitive advantage.

Initially, we focused on five key markets but this has expanded to over 25, across five continents. We transform the data into powerful insight using Thoughtstring, our unique language coding technique.

With these sophisticated tools at our disposal, we’ve become expert at revealing the signals hidden in the noise. Using bespoke technology, we manipulate the data in real time and integrate results with other studies to help us see the bigger picture. Working with JLR’s Customer Insight team, we deliver results which work for everyone from local marketing managers to global executives.

Destiny

Our insights have guided JLR through the last nine years of growth. For Jaguar, this has covered the introduction of XE and F-PACE, the development of the British Villains campaign, and the launch of extended warranties in USA.

For Land Rover, our insights have guided them through an equally successful period with the launch of Evoque, the revitalisation of Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, and the introduction of the Discovery Sport.

ELECTRIC VEHICLE OWNERSHIP

ELECTRIC VEHICLE OWNERSHIP

ELECTRIC VEHICLE OWNERSHIP

Diagnosis

Though a small market, consumer uptake of electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) is steadily on the rise, and external pressure on manufacturers to develop low-emission vehicles continues to mount.

Aiming to get ahead of the competition, our client came to us seeking to uncover customer truths about the experiences and needs of these drivers.

Dialogue

To get close to the customer in the most authentic way, we conducted in-car in-depth interviews with our minds wide open, sharing the experience of EV/PHEV in real-life scenarios.
To get even closer to them, we conducted in-home interviews, which allowed us to engage with the emotional and rational aspects of EV ownership, such as usage, charging and future expectations. Our work covered four markets: UK, USA, China and Netherlands.

Destiny

Through this qualitative research, we identified four specific customer types, representing the key motivations behind EV ownership. Insights were presented on film, highlighting the pain points of ownership, and the key positives that needed to be communicated to attract future customers.

Our client used these insights to enhance their EV/PHEV strategy, focusing product development plans on the ‘must have’ areas for future customers. Product development refocused to ensure they produced a functional, fast and beautiful EV that remained true to core brand values. The resultant vehicle won What Car Reader Award for Car of the Year 2018.