Nestle’s approach of embedding researchers into people’s homes compared to a more traditional focus group or interview-based research. What different insights are gained and why?
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Organizations need to understand what their customers need and the psychologies of the clients in order to succeed in their marketing strategies. Moreover, businesses need to incorporate the customers’ needs during the process of manufacturing their products to satisfy the customers. Business organizations need to satisfy their customers in order to gain a competitive advantage. One way to satisfy the customers is to offer what they need in a timely manner. Nestle is a company that invests in research and development and tries to understand the needs of its clients in order to enhance product design and development.
Nestle has embarked on an approach where it sends researchers to people’s homes. Embedding researchers into customers’ homes is a method that involves the researchers going to the customers’ homes to observe how the customers behave. In the process, the researchers learn what the customers need. Nestle then goes ahead and uses the findings to improve the products so that they can meet the needs of the consumers. The Nestle researchers get a real-life understanding of the customers’ needs because they get the customers’ feedback firsthand and in real-time. It is less likely that the information gathered is biased when the home-embedding approach is used to collect data. Therefore, it is information that can be helpful to the company because the company cannot be misled in its product development and design.
The traditional focus group, also known as the interview-based research, on the other hand, is a primary method of data collection. Organizations have been collecting data through this method over the years. The interview-based method of data collection involves the researcher conducting interviews with the customers regarding a particular product. In most cases, there are high chances that the responses that the client gives are biased. The interview-based research does not give the researchers a real-life understanding of the clients’ needs compared to the home embedding approach. Although the traditional methods have been used successfully in research, their level of success could be lower compared to that of the home embedding approach due to the element of bias that exists in them.
PSA Peugeot Citroën is one of the companies that have been using the traditional focus group approach, together with the interview-based research in data collection. For instance, the company conducted research on the young generation to find out whether they preferred mobile phones to cars or cars to mobile phones. The findings of the study revealed that most young people preferred mobile phones to cars. However, a significant number of young people also preferred cars to mobile phones. The focus groups also revealed that young customers did not want to get tied to car ownership. Instead, they preferred to have the freedom of mobility and the ability to choose different options available to them. It is from this research that the company decided to start the MU, where customers would buy mobility units to enjoy the freedom of movement. The traditional focus group method gives information that helps in finding solutions to the issues at hand. However, the difference it has when compared to the home embedding approach is that it does not give a real-life understanding of the customers’ needs. Thus there is a possibility of bias.
How L’Oreal attempts to gain insight into consumers’ lives and why they do not just use questionnaires?
Understanding customers is one of the factors that can lead to the success of any business organization’s marketing strategies. As mentioned earlier, the main reason an organization should understand its customers is to ensure that it provides products that meet the needs of the target customers. It is the reason L’Oreal has been trying to get into its customers’ lives. In doing so, the company conducts research on how the customers behave when taking care of their skins. Its approach is more similar to that of home embedding, given that L’Oreal also observes customers’ behavior in their places of residence. For instance, when L’Oreal was conducting research on Japanese Skincare, it found a woman supplementing her beauty routine using a small razor. The above type of observation could only be made from either the customer’s home or their place of work. Following the observation, the company started offering the razors to its clients.
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It can, therefore, be concluded that L’Oreal gets into the lives of its clients through the home embedding approach. The company does not use questionnaires because the approach may not provide all the information needed. For instance, in the research where the L’Oreal researchers found a woman using a razor, a questionnaire would most likely have missed capturing such information. L’Oreal does not use questionnaires because they are structured in a specific way; thus, they do not give the customer the flexibility to provide more information other than the one required in the questions.