Segmentation, Brand Funnel, Purchase Drivers, Brand Imagery, Trade Offs

for Melissa & Doug

Objectives of research:

  • to define the consumer SWOT for this brand in the UK and German market;
  • and identify its most compelling brand proposition in each distinct market;
  • meeting consumer needs, shopping occasions and missions;
  • reflecting the role of this brand amidst the repertoire of toy brands in homes;
  • addressing the trade offs parents make, the say-do gap, between the desire to act sustainably and what they do to provide toys which promote the best play for children.

What we did:

  • Shop safaris online, accompanying and interviewing shoppers on an open browse followed by a tasked browse on Amazon, to understand the shopper journey which could / does take them to the places where Melissa & Doug is visible, or should be visible. We explored how shoppers perceive the category, their triggers, barriers, how they navigate and categorise toys according to occasion, price-value perceptions, age and stage heuristics, and play affinity, and how they respond to competitor brands which appear under the same search terms.
  • We constructed M&D and its competitors’ brand funnels, conducted a conjoint max diff to understand key purchase drivers relevant to the brand and an NPS based drill which related those drivers to individual, habitually bought brands.
  • As part of the quant study a complete U&A and segmentation study was carried out based on values, beliefs and heuristics, family life stage and experience in parenting, and SEGs.
  • We took all the many brand messages employed by M&D in all their different copy and visualisations and drilled them in rotation to extract the key most compelling elements on which to frame the brand and refine its mission.

Who: Consumers were grouped into segments based on purchase drivers, NPS drivers and Likert values and beliefs. We identified “investors” in wood and sustainability, “promoters” and “wannabes”, along with those who prioritise development and learning benefits, and those who are more laissez faire – who they are, how they live, where they shop, how they choose, what they know and understand about toy brands, benefits, RTBs, what their household needs are, their purchase occasions, triggers, heuristics and biases.

What’s happened since?

This research is hot off the press! Watch this space…

Highlights of the project?

Ruth: What a great brand to work on – the #1 brand in wooden toys in the UK. It’s always good to bring to attention to global brand owners the profound differences between markets, even as they share the same continent and so much history, and which make a ‘glocalised’ approach so necessary. Anything I can do to further the ambitions and success of brands like Melissa & Doug which are truly making strides towards sustainability is something to relish, even if that means simply highlighting the ‘say-do’ gap between stated good intentions consumers make and the barriers which slow down the pace of change.

Melissa & Doug is just one of a line of similar projects encompassing trade off analyses as well as category and brand strategy which Ruth has led, including:

  • Beiersdorf*
  • Ajinomoto*
  • Costa Coffee
  • Fisher Price
  • Toys R Us
  • Barbie
  • Hotwheels

In association with Bridgethorne*