The target personas development of UK consumers based on their attitude to food-based treats
Our client, a well-known food brand, decided to conduct research and identify groups with different attitudes and emotional associations with pleasurable food. They were interested in understanding differences in drivers of indulging in the use of ‘treat foods’ (e.g. cakes, confectionary etc). Such data enables the development of new marketing strategies tailored to personas identified as their targets. The project was a commission via the brand’s consumer research agency.
Specifics of content
The most significant factor for a successful segmentation was to have good underlying content to work with. In this case, the underlying questions covered issues such as the association of food with pleasure, factors enhancing the enjoyment of food, emotional associations with food, preferred types of food treats, frequency of treating, attitude batteries, motivations for treating and statements about the client’s food category.
The questionnaire development phase required extensive conversations. The market researcher ran the actual study involving sketching out a ‘strawman’ version of segments based on the kind of personas envisaged. A survey was based on previous qualitative research and settled on a well-balanced set of questions. Following fieldwork, we undertook factor analysis, a form of data simplification to identify whether the main themes were well-balanced and aiding a selection of questions for further work. Several models were built with varying numbers of segments and different ways to control response scale use effects (to ensure the differences we captured were real). The Latent Class Analysis assisted in building segmentation. We shortlisted four options to present to the client using our excel based mini-profiles with conditional formatting, including a strong recommendation on option to adopt. It was based on statistical fit of the data and other softer factors such as segment distribution and a strong narrative that would help meet the client’s objectives.
One of the main challenges was to understand what segmentation is ‘a good’ segmentation for the brand. Our contact, a senior consumer researcher within the agency, was familiar with the brief and knew the sector very well and therefore was able to help us nail down softer aspects of the success. Segmentation is essentially a ‘soft science’ but it is critical to use a suitable statistical algorithm. Qualitative aspects of making a good segmentation are consistency, strong narrative, actionable for the client, unambiguous and well distributed.
Our team provided a written summary of the segments, including suggested names for them. This was a very strong segmentation covering the full range of personas: ‘staples’ (prefer basic foods), ‘Bonders’ (food as part of socialising), ‘Hedonists’ (indulgers), ‘Guilt trippers’ and ‘Temples’ (body conscious, restricting intake). The segments were very well received by the food brand.
One of the main challenges was to understand what segmentation is ‘a good’ segmentation for the brand.
This was a very strong segmentation covering the full range of personas: ‘staples’ (prefer basic foods), ‘Bonders’ (food as part of socialising), ‘Hedonists’ (indulgers), ‘Guilt trippers’ and ‘Temples’ (body conscious, restricting intake).