A global pet care client wanted to understand how to engage multicultural audiences and what support and information could look like from a brand dedicated to the ways they wanted to care for their pets.
They had valid concerns about showing up with messages to Black and Hispanic consumers that positioned them as having a different or not-as-mainstream relationship to their pets. Through the course of several weeks of one-on-one interviews, shop-a-longs, and in-home ethnographies we were able to develop an audience segmentation strategy that was based on mindsets, not race/ethnicity, but that afforded us the opportunity to help the client develop a messaging framework that incorporated cultural nuance where and when appropriate.
We landed on a strategic positioning based on LOVE+COMFORT and then from there, dug in to understand how consumers thought about what LOVE+COMFORT means from the standpoint of giving to and receiving from their pets. What we found through the research was that pet was one way to think about the animals in the home, and that accrued to a specific mindset. However, there were other segments that saw the animals in their homes as friends, family, and/or companions. We needed to figure out a way to make our client's offering appealing to all of those ways of thinking.
We delivered a multi-tiered approach to messaging that included messaging frameworks for each segment with key content direction and channel strategy.
The content and message strategy were incorporated into a paid and earned media strategy that exceeded the agreed-upon numbers for engagement and sales by 11% and 18% respectively.
AARP had been painted with this brush of being "just for old people", when in fact, the organization is open to all people and has resources, tools and advice that are helpful at any stage of life. We worked to identify current trends among Black and Hispanic communities related to work and work opportunity. Our social listening work uncovered an opportunity in the entrepreneurship space. Our research plan collected data via online focus groups and discussion boards with people contemplating a second career, entrepreneurship as a first career, and those who were already in the work, to help AARP understand how they could operationally deliver to these targets and what the messaging strategy would look like for each segment.
This is not our typical work, but it's work that speaks to our heart and mission. We were honored to have the opportunity to work with two organizations, Museums Are Not Neutral, and ArtStuff Matters to be a part of building an event centered around a critique of the ways in which black and brown bodies are depicted in art, specifically at museums. Rather than developing our own research protocol, the team looked at the wealth of existing research available from both organizations to develop a plan for speaker recruitment, grants and donor funding, and participant recruitment to make the inaugural event, "Visual Ethics" a success heralded by participants, sponsors and in the press. Over 500 participants showed up daily over four days of virtual programming.
We knew that luxury brands & products held particular significance in the Black community. Our apparel & accessory client wanted to understand why this was the case and how they could better reach out to the community.
This was a particularly interesting project because the brand was in good stead, did not have big problems with encouraging Black consumers to shop, and was largely doing well in the market. We conducted a series of one-on-one ethnographic experiences and shop-a-longs with Black consumers in the brand's retail presence, and in the competitive retailers' spaces to walk through the experience with consumers, so we could identify -- and ultimately deliver -- a plan for strategic messaging targeted to Black consumers that resulted in a new brand line and 4 new influencer partnerships.
A global haircare and hair product brand looking to break through to the Black market with products targeting the specific gaps Black/African-American women faced when looking for products to care for their hair.
Our preliminary research uncovered how deeply connected stylists are to each other and to their clients, so we started there. These are real, long-term relationships and highly personal, so it would be important for us to take that sentiment into consideration and get it right the first time. We reached out to stylists to understand how they could feel confident in the products they recommend to clients and the role our client could play in delivering that support. We then talked to the consumers directly over a series of IDIs where they shared their stories, we listened and came back to ask more!
We developed a 2-pronged approach to research, targeting influential stylists and clients/consumers. And, because the nature of this work is so personal, we crafted an approach to research designed to free people to talk and share on an individual basis, without the pressure to perform that can sometimes happen in group or focus group settings.