Shopper Insights from the Center Aisle – and Beyond

What do furniture polish, toothpaste, books, crackers and spaghetti sauce all have in common? They are all placed in the center aisles of the grocery store. They also face a lot of competition for consumer attention (and dollars) – so each brand in these product categories is trying to connect with shoppers in ways that will resonate, and understand their path to purchase. Today’s sales channels include grocery chains, specialty stores and online outlets, so it’s imperative to understand the entire decision process that consumers go through in order to deliver great products with great experiences. There was a time when most brands clearly knew who the competition was, and what their competitors were capable of, in terms of products and programs. Take spaghetti sauce as an example. Ragú had the market fairly well-cornered as a familiar, reliable name. Then came specialized brands like Newman’s Own, founded by Paul Newman, with a new “boutique” paradigm. Now, micro-producers like Tortellini Originali can become major competitors in highly defined markets. That means that understanding your target consumer’s relevant choice set is increasingly important for brands and manufacturers large and small. Consumer market research offers key insights like purchase intent and attitudes on purchase outlets, which can be analyzed in context of point of sale data to project what the acceptance of product concepts and sales programs will be. Book publishers have also faced these challenges, and more, in the marketplace. Not only are books found in more retail outlets than ever before – including grocery stores, discount department stores, and online retailers – the publishing industry now has an entirely new distribution model made possible by technology such as e-readers and the ability to “publish on demand”. There are new competitive pressures brought about by an expanded set of choices for consumers looking for something to read. R.R. Bowker, LLC is a publishing industry distribution powerhouse that uses consumer market research to help navigate these changes. They’re working with MarketTools on a variety of studies to uncover buyer habits to help them understand the way the market is shifting, and share those insights with publisher clients across the industry. The lessons they’ve learned are valuable to any industry that serves consumers and shoppers – particularly with so many markets facing product innovation, shifts to online distribution, and cannibalization issues between emerging and existing product forms and sales channels. At this year’s TMRE (The Market Research Event) in Orlando, Florida, Kerry Gallagher of Bowker will share some of his company’s learnings from consumer retail studies to highlight key strategic indicators for a swiftly-changing marketplace, at a session on Tuesday, November 8th at 2:15PM. He’ll outline how their consumer and shopper insights are being used industry-wide to adapt to new opportunities, specifically in the following retail areas: > Changing Retail Access > Competition > Pricing > Messaging If you are attending TMRE, we hope you join us. If you’re not able to attend the event in person, click here to register to receive a copy of the presentation after the show.
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