Understanding the essence of the customer

06/10/2016 By Linda Findlay

A global soft drinks brand opted to undertake social research at grassroots level to understand the challenges faced by consumers in today’s world.  The overall aim of the research was to understand how brands can respond to the challenges faced by consumers from a communications perspective.  BVA BDRC conducted the South African element of this global study.

A mix of different methodologies was used to achieve a holistic understanding of the subject matter.  Ethnographic research was conducted amongst people living in the major townships in Gauteng to really understand their day to day realities, challenges and concerns.  On-street vox populi interviews were carried out to build upon the observations made and key findings uncovered in the ethnographies.  In-depth interviews with opinion leaders within NGOs and the media provided a framework and further context for the findings from the consumer research.

The results of the research were used for the development of a non-product focused communications strategy, harnessing the concept of ‘shared experience’, which was rolled out across the globe.  It is considered one of the most successful communications campaigns that the brand has ever delivered.