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Issue 04: Q2 2013 - Product Branding & Customer Research

Product Branding & Customer Research

Issue 04: Q2 2013 / April 9, 2013
Charlie Scott
Founder and Creative Director

Product Branding & Customer Research

How do I get more out of my research dollar? Many business owners don’t test their products or packaging design with consumers because they may think it’s expensive and inconclusive. Here are five tips on testing your product & packaging:

1. Don’t look for a single right answer, look for the right answers

There’s a great Ted Talk on YouTube by Malcolm Gladwell, he talks about pasta sauce and the fact that people have different tastes. Therefore, to look for one single perfect taste, perfect consistency or perfect packaging design is pointless. The real art of research is to find the right answers.

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2. Start by testing a broad range of possible solutions

Picking the right products and packaging should be like picking a partner. To begin with, play the field, find out what you like and don’t like then you start to narrow down your choices. The bad choices will actually tell you a lot about the good choices.

3. Know today’s target audience, but think about tomorrow’s

If you’re planning on qualitative or quantitative testing, everyone will ask: “Who is the target audience” & “What is the right age, gender and socio-economic demographic to recruit”? That’s good but it’s also wise to think about the next generation – they’re the ones who will be using your product in the future.

4. Get emotional & logical feedback from target groups

Some will tell you what they think, while others will tell you how they feel. You need to get both types of insights. Emotional feedback is more immediate, so ensure that research captures the spontaneous elements. Logical feedback is more thoughtful, so slow things down for the objective feedback. They’re equally important.

5. See if your brand has room to do something new

Always start by testing your product or packaging without the context of your brand. This way you get to see what people really think without your brand’s baggage getting in the way. Then test again with your brand to see if you have permission to do whatever you wanted to test!

Success Stories:
Heinz: “From ketchup to world domination.”
Heinz: “From ketchup to world domination.”

For many people, Heinz is synonymous with ketchup & baked beans. With a portfolio led by 15 power brands, straddling sauces, meals, snacks & infant nutrition, Heinz has diversified successfully without losing sight of Henry John Heinz’s founding philosophy: “To do a commonly thing uncommonly well brings success”.

Heinz combines its instinct for “old fashioned product excellence” with modern-day know-how to drive nutrition, agricultural & packaging innovation. The pioneering spirit that packaged the first consumer product in a clear bottle to reassure buyers that no fillers were used (only grated horseradish), has paved the way for many of it’s other innovations.

The flexible and iconic Heinz “keystone” shape is featured & interpreted creatively across packaging labels. This successful balancing act makes Heinz one of our favourite brands of all time!

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