Stemming sales declines by identifying the negatives and embracing the positives associated with the brand.
Our brand positioning research approach employed a combination of rational and implicit elements to dig deeper on deeply ingrained stereotypes within the category. Part of the method involved a projective exercise that we customized toward various key audiences — such as moms or teens — that allowed them to evaluate various beverages in a real life context without actually knowing their answers were related to the category. Our Rapid Choice and Implicit Brand Image Decoder methodologies allowed us to understand consumer associations with the brand and the category at a nonconscious level.
The top key findings included:
- Negative health associations with key ingredients had penetrated the consciousness of consumers and were deeply associated with the category.
- Beyond health concerns, the category also suffered from a lack of meaningful differentiation, particularly against a new market entrant, which was gaining the most share.
- While men were still engaged in the category, engagement among women and health-conscious individuals decreased at alarming rates.
We advised the client that health concerns can only be combated indirectly, since any direct defenses against health would do more harm than good. We recommended that the brand should instead emphasize specific implicit emotions (such as happiness, satisfaction, and relaxation) that were differentiating against other brands and product types in the category.