Case Study 1

An electronics company with a global presence had anecdotal that their brand was not being supported well by the retail staff at the major retailers in particular respect to Televisions. They also did not know what key benefits of their product the retail staff was communicating to customers. In addition to getting a further understanding of market share there were a number of things they wanted to understand such as:

-What brand messages retail staff was communicating to customers
-Retail staffs perceptions of both their brand and competitors brands
-If their brand was mentioned if so, was it unprompted or prompted

Once we had an idea of what we wanted to understand the challenge shifted to what the most cost effective way to collect the data would be. Since the research was to be tied into a sales incentive that was a duration of 3 months. We decided the best approach would be to conduct 96 mystery shops amongst the 8 different retailers across the country and spread it across the 3 months with the mystery shops at least a month apart. The reason for this was to allow the client to develop and implement strategies to influence the retailers’ behaviours. The mystery shoppers were screened to fit the demographic of the clients brief. Since no store would be researched twice we decided the best way forward was to utilise the same mystery shopper in a designated region (e.g. Auckland, Christchurch) this would provide consistency across the region. In addition, we also had each mystery shopper call in to be debriefed by the project manager to prompt and probe rather than utilising the traditional way which is allowing the mystery shopper to fill out a self-complete form. This approach has given the client a further understanding of where they sit in the electronics market. It has also help them to uncover what key benefits if any as well as disadvantages the retail staff was communicating to the customer. It also help them to identify the perceptions the retail staff held of both their brands and competitor brands. The information was presented in both an overall report and an individual dashboard style report (See below) that is both engaging and easily digestible amongst management and the sales/account management team.

Benefits:

-Get an idea of marketshare
-Understand what brand messages retail staff was communicating to customers
-Understand retail staffs perceptions of their brand
-Understand retail staffs perceptions of competitor brands
-Understanding whether their brand was mentioned umprompted (employee mentioned
brand without shopper asking) vs. prompted (shopper had to ask about Panasonic)
-Broken up in 3 waves across 3 months for company to digest and information and come up
with strategies to improve retailers’ messages to customers.