There are lots of research approaches that can assist with making sure major mistakes aren’t made, and with MMR’s sensory and food science expertise we’re ideally placed to deliver these. But it’s not just about sensory matching, or ‘next best’ type decisions – we firmly believe renovation and reformulation research needs to delve deeper, and provide a much more holistic view on the potential impact on a brand.
Our Sensory Branding tools allow us to assess the impact on appeal/perceptions of the new product experience, but also to pick-up on subtle changes in the emotional and functional delivery as the formulation changes – this can (and has) proven vital in choosing the best option and in mitigating the ‘hidden’ risks associated with relatively small formulation changes.
This type of reformulation, if handled correctly, can also be a great
opportunity to capitalize on positive PR; it’s a challenging area though
and the right research is needed to understand which claims will be
motivating, which are believable (an increasing issue in a world made
more sceptical by media and social networking scrutiny) and, last but
certainly not least, which work most effectively against the brand. The
latter is often over-looked, but is increasingly important for
long-standing brands, or those looking to build a purpose/meaning driven
position. Too often we find that the sensory changes are looked at in
isolation, when there’s the potential to use the right research tools to
explore not just consumer reactions to sensorial changes, but blend
this understanding with their reaction to potential claims, ensuring
that any change can be assisted by communication designed to boost brand
perceptions and reinforce core equities.
If you’re a large
brand, why not take a lead in these difficult times; take the initiative
and grasp the opportunity to take consumers on the journey with you -
leverage the credibility and trust associated with leading brands to
steal a march on those who have the same challenge to overcome but
without the same degree of latent positivity as a starting point?
extensions have become the staple diet of many brand strategies over
the last couple of decades, and there’s still plenty of room for these
to work, as long as there’s a real consumer need and a positive brand
related reason for extending. You’ll not be surprised to hear that we
strongly believe Sensory Branding has a major role to play in deciding
which extensions will have a long-term positive impact on the brand, and
in helping ensure these are well executed to capitalize on the
opportunity. But with our SURF approach, we also have a highly
acclaimed way of predicting the impact on sales of any change to an
established range. Simple to apply, this is a great tool for providing
the confidence and flexibility required to effectively manage a brand’s
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Mat Lintern is Global CEO at MMR Research Worldwide.