A leading global ad agency
Our client approached us to help them prepare for a pitch to a international discount grocery/FMCG retailer. They knew the angle for their pitch but needed evidence that their ideas would resonate. They also needed fresh visual content to energise their pitch.
Their concept hinged on the trust consumers have in retailers. To make their ads effective they needed to know:
When a discount supermarket offers us the same quality item at up to 40% less than we’re used to paying for it, is it confusing? Suspicious? Or do people understand how discounters supply quality at less cost?
Our task was to test their theory and gather compelling visual evidence, all on a tight timescale and budget.
The client suggested face-to-face discussions with people as they completed their shop in the given supermarket. But we went further; we were present during the preparation for the shop - making lists and the family dynamics around this, the journey to the shop, the shop itself including decision making processes, moments of disappointment when a product couldn't be found and delight at unexpected savings, impulse buys and finally the unpacking of the shop back home - capturing the nuances of the family dynamic throughout in telling photo essays.
Following the entire ritual allowed us to characterise the process visually at the same time as gathering qualitative data, underpinned to the themes of trust, loyalty, quality and cost. We attached microphones to our shopper families and captured the natural chat and interplay between shopping families as well as the more structured points on our discussion guide.
We uncovered a more sophisticated understanding amongst consumers than anticipated. Many actually understand why a budget supermarket can be up to 40% cheaper – they knew that having a smaller range helps keep costs down, and liked it. If more choice means more cost, then one quality option will do.
But people rarely looked at budget supermarkets as a one-stop-shop, often defaulting to other stores for certain items and doing a whole shop there for the sake of convenience.
The outcome was a change in emphasis in our clients message. Quality and trust were still key, but the range available also needed to come to the fore.