A renowned global food producer, traded publicly, has been a stalwart in delivering top-tier protein food items over several generations. Recognized as a household name, the company found itself amidst a swift evolution in consumer perspectives regarding the broader protein sector. Maintaining an unwavering commitment to the environment, they consistently sought to function with both ethical and ecological mindfulness. As societal views began to shift, a louder chorus emerged from consumers, stakeholders, and communities, emphasising heightened environmental standards for food manufacturers.
While the company had significantly elevated its sustainability initiatives, the pressing question arose: how could they effectively convey these advancements without stranding a customer base deeply rooted in the company's storied legacy?
In the midst of escalating discussions across various media platforms and from diverse stakeholders, several critical questions surfaced:
1. What are the genuine concerns of both current and potential consumers regarding this evolving narrative?
2. Which innovative messaging strategies could bolster acceptance of their offerings?
3. What strategies might be effective in re-engaging those consumers who had gravitated towards alternatives emphasising "sustainability"?
4. Is there an opportunity for their brands to assume a pioneering role in this sector, and would such a stance resonate authentically with consumers?
Our analysis of message design yielded invaluable insights, which were subsequently embraced by the executive leadership. Collaborating with their creative partners, these insights played a pivotal role in shaping the company's refreshed corporate and product branding strategies. Notably, a few quarters post-implementation, the company experienced a surge in its top-line revenue by over 10%.
We steered the direction towards messages that could evoke a profound emotional response, emphasising the importance of relatable regional or localised narratives. Even though environmental concerns span globally, tailoring messages to reflect regional or in-country initiatives enhances consumer engagement. When consumers perceive efforts aligned with their local needs, the resonance is considerably stronger. Hence, our strategy focused on intertwining the company's environmental commitments with its mission to provide nutritious food for families. This connection ensures that consumers recognize immediate, tangible benefits.
Furthermore, our research pinpointed messages that carried adverse implications. Although these messages held a degree of relevance for the client, our findings emphasised consumers' preference for straightforward and easily digestible content. While technical jargon may find its place in certain stakeholder communications, its inclusion detracted from consumer engagement in this context.
COGNITIVE MARKET RESEARCH executed a comprehensive two-stage investigation. Initially, we delved into an in-home ethnographic exploration, encompassing consumer perspectives on shopping habits, meal preparation, ingredient choices, and environmental sustainability. This immersive phase, spanning four regional markets in late 2018, involved interactions with 21 diverse households.
Through direct home and shopping venue engagements, we discerned consumers' considerations regarding sustainability in ingredient selection and meal planning. Our observational study of consumers in shopping contexts unveiled purchase motivators, shedding light on the challenges and prospects of framing messaging related to greenhouse emissions, especially within the protein sector. The outcome was a collection of corporate messages, on-pack endorsements, and logos, all grounded in behavioural science insights, priming them for integration into the subsequent quantitative study.
The subsequent phase focused on a quantitative analysis pinpointing the precise attitudes and motivational drivers pivotal for the client's corporate and brand narratives. The mission was clear: curate directives on potent messages suitable for consumer outreach and product packaging declarations. Concurrently, we spotlighted zones where communications might falter or disengage the audience. Further, our experts tailored messages tailored to distinct demographic groups.
???????To validate messages and endorsements from the qualitative segment, we employed our bespoke MessageModel methodology. By gauging respondents' inclination to prioritise various message facets, we gauged the potency of each element and sculpted an optimal messaging blueprint. In the analytical phase, we crafted a framework empowering clients to quantify the resonance of diverse messaging constituents, exploring varied configurations to amplify impact on markets or targeted audiences.