Sara Lee was evaluating an entry into two new categories. As a preliminary step Marketing was interested in exploratory research that would help the team better understand the perceptions, behaviors and unique dynamics of the categories.
To develop a broad knowledge base a two-phased consumer deep dive was conducted. The first phase consisted of traditional focus groups among current and potential buyers to help gain a broad understanding of current category perceptions and dynamics. The second phase focused on consumer shop-alongs to observed attitudes and behaviors at retail.
When combined this two-phased approach provided a breadth and depth of knowledge enabling the team to develop concepts that were more effectively targeted and differentiated.