Market Strategies International


Stimulating Product Trial for a Consumer Goods Company


A leading manufacturer of household cleaning products needed to expand the specialty cleaner category and increase brand trial within emerging markets. A year earlier, the company began noticing that hesitance among consumers to try products cut across their product categories. The marketing team started to develop hypotheses around barriers to category or product usage, but they needed consumer insights to guide them. The company planned to leverage these insights to initiate product trials within emerging markets.


The company wanted to meet a number of objectives to generate the insights needed to stimulate product trial, but time and budget were limited. We designed an approach to meet project constraints—extended focus groups leveraging psychodynamic exploration, role-playing and war-gaming exercises. Then, we created a demonstration staging area within the focus group room so respondents could simulate/recreate the cleaning process in their home. Finally, we incorporated local ‘push-girls’ (in-store sales reps) into the research to further understand their influence on brand/product selection.


Results provided much deeper insights than the company expected. Product trial was not being as inhibited due to price as previously thought, but more as a result of consumer psychological and emotional barriers. This was eye-opening for the company. The research insights also clearly outlined specific themes that advertising needed to focus on as well as how to reposition the product to stimulate trial.

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