Friday, July 17, 2009

How Deep Ethnographic Insights Help Drive Emotional Connections with Shoppers, Michelle Adams and Donna Romeo of Frito Lay

What exactly is ethnography and what does it have to do with snacks? According to Michelle Adams and Donna Romeo of Frito Lay, it is an inductive research method that relies on indepth interviews, video, analysis, participant observation, re-enactments and so forth. The mega-snack maker has been using ethnographic research to drive consumer-driven innovation in its overall shopper marketing programs.

The executives presented a case study on the 360 Shopping Process. Its goal is to understand the food shopping cycle from a holistic perspective using ethnography.

There are three phases to today's shopping:

(1) Pre-Shop (make list, gather coupons, research via web and word of mouth)
(2) Shopping Experience (provide consistency in the store; use end caps as anchors)
(3) Post Shop (food is easy to store in pantry and fridge; got value via deals; pleased family).

Nowadays, perhaps because of the recession, Mom has taken on more responsibilities and sometimes opts to stay at home with young children.

Three key insights:
(1) The New Frugality (Mom bears the brunt of deciding no Disneyland vacation this summer)
(2) Wants vs Needs (nutrition and main meals are first)
(3) More work and less pleasure.

Times are tough. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

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