Understanding your Consumer Journey


I was recently working on a UK household snacking brand and I was struck by a few key thoughts:

Like many in this market they were under pressure from every angle: indulgent brands muscling in on their space and health conscious brands waving guilt at the consumer whenever there’s an opportunity. Own label products mimicking the big brands together with trendy niche producers disrupting but not particularly growing the market.

So what’s a household brand to do? Especially when you are cherished for your steadfast reliability and homeliness. All great brand values but hardly sexy enough to get the consumer’s attention in this crowded space.

So we took our client on a journey. We began with the Taste Journey of their products and examined competitor products Taste Journeys as well. They wanted to understand: How their products were differentiated from the competition? Which aspects their competitors had got right? How they could strengthen their position in their traditional market? And how to compete with own label whilst expanding into adjacent markets?

Our research showed that the crux of the issue boiled down to one question:

Why do consumers eat the product?

Seems like an obvious question doesn’t it? However, In order to truly answer this question, and thus all the questions that our client was asking, we needed to understand:

  • What mood shift does the product create?
  • How do our products and our competitors operate within this consumer journey?

We all love food and drink because of the way it makes us feel. We come back to certain products time and time again because we feel better afterwards than we did before.

However it is only by understanding exactly why this is and how our product delivers this mood shift compared to competitors that we truly understand our product and the power our brand has over its competition.

It seems crazy to try to develop products, write communications and plan strategy without understanding this basic but fundamental question.

Needless to say, our unique methodology allowed us to dig deep into the consumers’ emotional relationship with the products and gave our client a clear map to help them understand the consumer journey.