PEPSICO: Embracing new markets

Understanding customer emotions to introduce a product in a new market

Project with
Chicago, USA – 2012
Delft, NL

Pepsico was on the run to introduce a new product into the american market. The challenge was to analyse shopper’s behaviours regarding the product in order to come up with strategies to introduce it into the market.

We started by conducting observation sessions in multiple stores in the Chicago area; from small to large scale supermarkets the goal was to understand how people bought groceries. Because we had a target audience already set based on market research, we focused on finding people that would match that audience. We were also doing some guerrilla research and asking a couple of questions to some of the shoppers.

The final step of the research was to conduct interviews with potential users. We spent the day shopping with participants in order to observe their behaviours while asking questions that would provide deeper insight into their needs, motivations and expectations regarding the overall shopping experience and the product in consideration.

Besides the usual research techniques we focused on pinpointing people’s emotions and concerns regarding grocery shopping. The goal was to find potential emotional conflicts on the activity. For instance, we encounter that some participants – mainly stay-home moms –  want to look professional when buying their food; for them it was important to give the image that they knew what they were getting, which is the best for their families. However, because of the amount of products offered, they often felt that they had to stop and question their selection, which conflicted with their initial desire of giving the impression that they do their “mom” job correctly.

After gathering all data we identified five shopper personas and the different patterns that drive shopping behaviours. We were also able to establish the decision tree which illustrates the process that user’s follow in order to purchase the product in consideration. The findings were used as starting point for design. The results were a range of solutions from packaging concepts to retail and added services.

This is a collaborative project between Pepsico and Delft University of Technology; its content is confidential, but you can read more about the collaboration here.

Next project: An app to improve the experience of children undergoing a MRI scan  Read