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- Briefly discuss Nestlé’s approach of embedding researchers into peoples homes compared to more traditional focus group or interview based research. What different insights are gained and why?
Nestle India for example has started using a more personal approach to market research and analysis, which has proved to be very effective. This includes the use of ethnographers; ethnography relies heavily on participant observation, which leads to more grounded insights into the human behavior. Nestlé’s strategy is sending researchers to family homes, to drink tea with multigenerational families or sit on the floor with a group of house women, etc. Nestle is interested in the why? What makes these people tick, how do they behave in their homes, what is important to them? Embedding researchers into people´s homes helps Nestle get the bigger picture of the consumer and apply the research to product innovation. All this is done in different countries, which leads to very personal insights to these different consumers and how they behave, to get a real life understanding of these behaviors and respond to these insights effectively. As opposed to interview based research, which is not always completely honest and effective. People are not always really aware of what they really want or need when it comes to certain products, so conducting interviews/questionnaires would not really provide you with much insight on what the consumer really needs/wants.
- Describe L’Oreal attempt to gain insight into consumer´s lives. Why don´t they simply use a questionnaire?
L’Oreal likes to use consumer psychologists who like to use special consumer laboratories for the observation and study of consumers as well as technology that would enable them to watch how consumers behave in their own homes. These laboratories are designed to look like real home bathrooms and real homes, and these cameras are placed inside. All this is necessary for the company to gain insight on what women are trying to obtain, how they behave in their intimate surroundings and what they are attracted to. Sometimes it is just a minor gesture that reveals something they really want to gain, which maybe they weren´t really conscious about if asked by a questionnaire/interviewee.
All these different gestures being observed and analyzed are key to understanding the use of cosmetic products. You would never get such personal insights with a simple questionnaire offered by the company, which I personally don´t believe that they are 100% truthful. Sometimes consumers just want to fill it up quick and will not answer completely honest, therefore it wouldn’t be of much use for the researchers. This approach has proven to be very effective to gain insight into consumers’ lives, as opposed to questionnaires, and the company has responded accordingly to these studies.